Costa Rica is home to more than 120 volcanoes, and some of them are truly must-see attractions.
The Arenal Volcano is the most recent addition to Costa Rica’s geological history, with its first eruption occurring approximately 7,000 years ago. A mere blink of an eye on a planetary scale.
On the early morning of July 29th, 1968, Cerro Arenal was a tranquil mountain covered in lush vegetation. That day, its awakening was nothing short of spectacular: the earth trembled, ash plumes rose into the sky and fell over the forest, and laundry women who had their arms submerged in streams felt the water turn scorching hot. An incandescent lava flow descended the volcano, destroying everything in its path and claiming the lives of 87 people and numerous animals. This eruption resulted in the formation of three new craters.
For over 40 years, Arenal was the most active volcano in Costa Rica. Its activity waned in 2010 and eventually ceased shortly before 2011. However, since 2012, emissions of gas and steam from its summit have not been uncommon. Today, local inhabitants exercise great caution when it comes to constructing their infrastructure.
The Arenal Volcano National Park was established in 1991. It offers stunning views of the volcano and its nearly perfect cone, standing at 1,633 meters in altitude. The Arenal Lake hydroelectric dam was built in 1979 and currently generates around 18% of the country’s total electricity.
Today, the Arenal Volcano is one of Costa Rica’s most visited natural sites. Thanks to numerous lava flows, hot springs resorts have emerged throughout the area, contributing to its renown. This essential region offers a multitude of activities for families as well as nature and thrill enthusiasts!