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Lush rainforest, mountain streams loaded with natural geothermal springs and an active volcano, this is what travellers to Arenal Volcano National Park will be thrilled to see. Throw in some stellar wildlife from three-toed sloths to howler monkeys to hundreds of bird species and you might just think you found paradise. Arenal Volcano National Park is a special place to visit on a Costa Rica trip and this destination can make many of your adventure dreams come true.
Choosing the right environment to holiday in is important and finding the perfect hotel in Arenal is easier than you thought. There are plenty of choices from hostels to luxury resorts and everything in between that can fit into any traveller’s budget.
It should come as no surprise that you are thinking about where to stay in Arenal. We have pared down your selection to the six best Arenal hotels that fits every budget.
Photo credit: Arenal Kioro Suites and Spa
If you are interested in a hotel near Arenal Volcano that boasts secluded luxury and superb accommodations then the Arenal Kioro is perfect for you. Situated at the base of the volcano on 27-acres of lush rainforest, the hotel boasts large suite-style rooms with an upscale interior and two Juliet balconies overlooking the mountains as well as volcano. The amenities standout at this Arenal hotel and include hiking trails, a hot spring, swimming pool with poolside service from Orquideas Bar, a full service spa with treatments as well as free breakfast within the Heliconias Restaurant. Nightlife can be found at the sport bar Carajillos which sports hand-crafted cocktails.
- Location: 11km Northwest from downtown La Fortuna, Alajuela Province, La Fortuna, Costa Rica (15-minutes' drive west of La Fortuna)
Photo credit: Arenal Observatory Lodge
One of the best hotels in Arenal for travellers looking for plenty of unique amenities, gorgeous landscape and direct access to the volcano is the Arenal Observatory Lodge and Spa. Situated within Arenal Volcano National Park on 826-acres of rainforest, the property sports a contemporary design with rooms, junior suites, villas and unique Smithsonian accommodations. Each unit portrays something special along with outstanding views of the volcano and some rooms overlook Lake Arenal too. The grounds of the property contain 11 hiking trails within Arenal Volcano National Park, full service spa, spring fed swimming pool and there is even a seismograph onsite monitoring the volcano's activity. Guests can indulge in fine cuisine as well as hand-crafted cocktails served at the Observatory Bar. Restaurant El Jilguero which boasts a backdrop of the volcano will take care of the food. There are no televisions or air conditioning, a draw for some but perhaps you will not miss these amenities when you’re busy soaking in the splendid nature lovers' paradise deep within the rainforest.
- Location: Alajuela Province, La Fortuna, Costa Rica (Within Arenal Volcano National Park)
Photo Credit: Encantada Guest House
With commanding views of Lake Arenal and Arenal Volcano, the Encantada Guest House is a perfect guest house for large groups or couples looking to escape into a jungle atmosphere. The guest house is stated on a hillside overlooking Arenal Volcano and offers accommodations with a rustic décor for 2 to 8 people that include a full kitchen, dining and living area as well as a private terrace with excellent vantage points of the lake as well as the volcano. There are plenty of activities within a short walk or drive that include dining and shopping in the nearby village of El Castillo.
- Location: Via Encantada 1, Alajuela Province, El Castillo, Costa Rica (10-minutes' drive southeast of El Castillo)
Privacy, spacious accommodations and big views of Arenal volcano is what you will find at the Eco-friendly Hotel Campo Verde. The Hotel Campo Verde boasts freestanding bungalows which sport a rustic interior as well as contemporary deluxe rooms with a Jacuzzi tub that feature a private terrace. The accommodations at Hotel Campo Verde are highlighted by the gigantic views of Arenal Volcano along with views of a surreal tropical landscape from every room. The property is one of the best Arenal hotels for travellers looking for quick access to the national park as well as onsite hiking trails through the rainforest. The hotel offers free breakfast and El Mirador Restaurant allows for rustic steakhouse dining with superb views of the volcano.
- Location: 9km west of Fortuna 35, Alajuela Province, La Fortuna, Costa Rica (10-minutes' drive west of La Fortuna)
When you first enter the grounds of the Arenal Hostel you might think you have arrived at the wrong place. Don’t worry or turn back because the Arenal Hostel is more than just a hostel with dormitories and a communal kitchen; the rustic lodge offers everything from cheap dorm-style rooms to upscale resort tower rooms that are furnished with a contemporary jungle décor and private balconies. The property is situated within a lush tropical landscape which adds natural beauty to the central La Fortuna location. There are plenty of nearby activities to be had and you can cool off in a small freshwater swimming pool that features a swim-up bar. You can easily walk to the bus terminal where you can catch a ride to Arenal Volcano National Park by public transit to help cut costs. The Tropical Lounge Bar serves breakfast and hand-crafted cocktails throughout the day as well as evening. The hostel is situated in a perfect spot with numerous restaurants and nightclubs within an easy walk.
- Location: 142, Alajuela Province, La Fortuna, Costa Rica (In downtown La Fortuna)
Photo credit: Nepenthe B&B
Seclusion, beautiful views of Lake Arenal and comfortable rooms can be found at Nepenthe. Situated on a hillside overlooking the lake and volcano, you will definitely be off the beaten path and away from the more densely populated tourist areas. The hotel sports plenty of accommodations that range from motel-style rooms to cabins to a private villa. Décor from local artists drape the walls with cabins containing a kitchenette and the private villa features a full kitchen. Most rooms have a private balcony or terrace overlooking Lake Arenal. You can relax on the sundeck around a small freshwater swimming pool while soaking in the views of the area and there are spa treatments available. The hotel’s in-house restaurant, Tres Cabras offers plenty of fresh choices for dining while additional restaurants in the area require a bit of travelling.
- Location: 2.3km southeast of the Butterfly Conservatory, El Castillo, La Fortuna, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica (9-minutes' drive from downtown El Castillo)
As you can see from the selection of Arenal Volcano hotels above, there is something for everyone from backpackers to families to upscale to luxury accommodations.
Whether you are searching for a hotel near Arenal Volcano or one that is centrally located, you should not have any problem finding a place to stay in Arenal that is ideal for you. Now the decision is up to you in terms of what type of environment and accommodation you prefer while on holiday. Don’t worry because in this part of Costa Rica, you will find waterfalls, plenty of hiking trails, geothermal hot springs and a tremendous amount of unique wildlife whichever Arenal hotel you decide to book.