Grumpy Camel


Why Lake Arenal is the Perfect Place to Unwind

In the mountainous northern region of Costa Rica, you’ll find Lake Arenal. Despite its remote location, this incredible body of water is a popular destination, especially among outdoor lovers.

Unfortunately, holidays can be hectic. They should be about unwinding and recharging your batteries, but this isn’t always possible. Slowing things down can help you reduce stress on your holiday, giving you the chance to truly appreciate your surroundings.

So, here’s why Lake Arenal is the perfect place for a slow tourism holiday.

Lake Arenal: 3 Things You’ll Love About It

Not sure if Lake Arenal is the right destination for you? Here are three things we think you’d love about it.

The Tranquil Waters

Costa Rica is a top destination for watersports. While many people take to the country’s stunning beaches, there are also plenty of inland lakes that offer just as much fun.

Lake Arenal is no exception. As the largest lake in the country, there are plenty of ways to get out there and enjoy the water.

Lake Arenal in Costa Rica
Photo by Vera on Unsplash.

The waters of Lake Arenal are peaceful and tranquil. There are no predators, making it incredibly safe. You can rent a boat Costa Rica and explore the lake for hours on end.

Other water sports available at Lake Arenal include kayaking, wakeboarding, paddle boarding and windsurfing. You don’t need to be proficient at any of these, as there are lessons available for participants of all levels.

The Incredible Views

Lake Arenal is located high in the northern Costa Rican mountains, so as you can expect, it offers amazing views.

Mountain ranges stretch off into the distance, while the imposing Arenal Volcano dominated the skyline.

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Photo by Patricia Palacín on Unsplash.

What could be better than relaxing on the shore or sailing peacefully on a boat, while taking in these beautiful views?

Spending time in nature has been linked to physical and mental health benefits, so a trip to Lake Arenal might be just what you need.

The Wilderness

Lake Arenal is surrounded by thick jungle, home to a wide array of different plant and animal species. You could see exotic birds, howler monkeys, sloths or even a jaguar.

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Image by FINTAN O’ BRIEN from Pixabay.

You can explore the area by yourself, although we recommend hiring a guide for a safer and more enjoyable experience.

There’s also the pretty town of La Fortuna, located to the east of Lake Arenal. This is a great base for exploring the Costa Rican jungle.

You can stay at one of the luxury hotels in La Fortuna, basking in the sunshine or taking a dip in the pool.

The town also offers extensive dining options where you can sample traditional Costa Rican cuisine.

How to get to Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal combines the excitement of adventure with the breathtaking beauty of Costa Rica’s landscapes. If you’re planning a trip to this serene destination, here’s everything you need to know about getting there.

Traveling By Air and Road

The most common way to reach Lake Arenal is by flying into one of Costa Rica’s international airports. The closest major airport is the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) in Liberia, which is a 2 to 3-hour drive away.

Alternatively, you might fly into Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in San Jose, the country’s capital. From there, Lake Arenal is approximately a 3 to 4-hour drive.

Upon arrival in Costa Rica, you can rent a car to reach Lake Arenal, which enables you to explore the surrounding areas at your own pace.

There are various car rental agencies available at the airports or in major cities. Make sure to hire a 4×4 vehicle, as the roads can be winding and steep in the mountainous regions en route to Lake Arenal.

Bus Services

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, consider taking one of the public buses.

The services from San Jose or Liberia to the town of La Fortuna are usually reliable. The journey can take a bit longer, typically around 4 to 5 hours from San Jose, and it gives you the opportunity to enjoy the local way of traveling.

Once in La Fortuna, you can catch a taxi to your final destination near the lake or arrange for a hotel shuttle pick-up if available.

Private Transfers

For a seamless journey, you might opt for a private transfer service. These can be more comfortable and convenient, especially if you’re traveling with a group or have lots of luggage.

Private transfers can be arranged from both San Jose and Liberia, and many will offer a door-to-door service from the airport straight to your accommodation near Lake Arenal.

Remember to carry some local currency (Costa Rican colón) as not all services accept card payments, especially in more remote areas.

Also, always have your ID and a print-out or digital copy of your accommodations and return flight information on hand.

Tip: Make sure you choose the right travel insurance when visiting Lake Arenal. This should cover outdoor activities and any expensive gear you plan to travel with, including cameras.

This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may receive a commission on any purchases made through the links in the post at no extra cost to you.

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