2014 Central American Odyssey travel blog

On the boat

Arenal Volvano


This morning we were back on a minibus for about an hour and a half down a very bumpy and dusty ride. This brought us to Lake Arenal, a large artificial lake formed by a dam. Here we jumped on a boat for about 20 mins, this took us to the dam wall. Then another minibus for 20 mins to arrive at La Fortuna.

La Fortuna’s history is intimately connected with the Arenal Volcano. When the volcano violently erupted on the morning of July 29th, 1968, it spewed ash, rocks and gas for three consecutive days. As the smoke cleared, the villages of Tabacon, Pueblo Nuevo, and San Luis were found buried under the debris, with 87 people dead. Out of this tragedy, La Fortuna (The Fortune) was born as the central town in the Arenal Volcano area. The town of La Fortuna sits just 6km from the Arenal Volcano.

Although it’s one of the more famous volcanoes in Costa Rica, Arenal is not the only one. In fact, the country hosts six active volcanoes and sixty dormant or extinct volcanoes within its borders.

Arenal volcano is currently active and you are not allowed to go up to the crater. There are some hotels very close to the crater and these have helicopters available for escape if the volcano erupts.

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