The Arenal Observatory Lodge crowns a ridge overlooking Arenal Lake and the looming volcano only 1.7 miles away, all within the refreshing ambiance of a working 870 acres farm that includes 400 acres in reforestation and 270 acres of natural forest, all surrounded by the tropical splendor of the Arenal National Park. Arenal Lake is the largest in Costa Rica and offers excellent sport fishing.
The lodge actually grew out of several extremely humble buildings originally built for housing scientists and researchers from the Smithsonian Institute and Earthwatch.
The Arenal Observatory Lodge is the best place to experience the thrill and beauty of the Arenal volcano because of its location, its long history as a research center and the knowledge and the experience of its staff and guides.
The Arenal Observatory Lodge was beautiful! It exceeded our expectations by offering a breathtaking view of the volcano from the comforts of our room. The view of the volcano can be tricky though, as it can hide behind the clouds all day with only a few minute window span to take a clear picture. While we stayed here, my wife and I did an excursion with Sky Adventures that consisted of a guided walk through the rain forest, a tram ride up a mountain, and then zip lining back to the Sky Adventures headquarters. The experience was one of a kind! Words of advice, bring some type of rain gear (rain jacket/poncho/umbrella), bug spray, warmer clothes (long sleeves/sweater/jeans), and a good pair of hiking shoes that can get wet! The guides suggest bringing water, rain gear, and bug spray on the hike.
The Observatory Lodge has very friendly staff and is willing to answer any questions if able to. The food was decent for the price for breakfast and lunch. Dinner was a little pricey, but compared to the ~$30 cab ride (one way) into town, we were fine with eating at the Lodge for all 3 meals!
The Arenal Lodge is so wonderful. We loved the entire stay. I requested a room with a volcano view and we got it. And it was so incredible to wake up every morning and see the volcano right there. The staff at the lodge were extremely helpful, sweet and funny with helping us book different activities in the area, like nature walks, and ziplining and hot springs. The food at the lodge's restaurant was really good as well. Overall I couldn't recommend the lodge more and hope to make it back soon!
The National Park is beautiful, but the Observatory Lodge was very busy and crowded. The room was nice and clean and overall we had a good time. Trails are well kept.
If you are a nature lover than this place is for you!
After driving eight miles in dirt road my wife was wondering about the Quality and location of the hotel but as soon as we passed the main gate her faith in me and the hotel was restored! :)
Geanina and the hotel staffs were all about Quality and customer service From the moment we booked with the lodge until we checked out a few days later.
- Try their Red Merlot Chilean wine at the restaurant, Good one
- Wake up with Monkeys Hauling and look for them on the tall pine trees. They start by the front desk and jump on the trees toward the back of the lodge.
- Take the 8.30 Am Free Nature walk.
- Hike to the top of the Cerro Chato and swim in the lake (I was alone up there and didnt dare to swim by myself :)
- Zipline with the hotel recommended tour near the hotel.
- Take a lot of pictuers! :)
- DONT Mess with nature.
We will be back! Thanks again for a fabulous time and adventure.
Location was fantastic with great volcano views. Accommodation is nothing fancy but adequate for what you need and the restaurant was better than expected.
Arenal observatory lodge is a great place to view the volcano and also arrange for hikes. Breath taking views.
That being said, I would recommend to stay close to office, as opposed to a standard room away from main area. It's a .5 k uphill hike to breakfast everyday if you don't have a car. Also, you will not have internet connectivity if not close to the reception desk. No kitchen or fridge either, which was not a plus since we had to rely on their fairly expensive restaurant.
Views are great though, so for nature enthusiasts it's a perfect spot.
Great place to stay with easy access to the park, a great centralized place to plan activities and nice accommodations.
My husband and I had an excellent two nights at the Arenal Observatory. We had volcano view room the first night. We had arrived after dark, but it was such a pleasure to wake up to a volcano in the morning. The birds & coati were beautiful and a pleasure to see up close. The grounds are very well groomed and welcoming to the public. I never made it to the pool as we spent most of the day hiking, but it looked amazing!
We made some last minute changes to our itinerary & they were very accommodating. Thank you for everything! We hope to be back!
The Arenal Observatory is a beautiful facility with incredible views of the volcano. My husband and I stayed for two nights and loved hiking the well maintained grounds. We also did the hike up to the neighboring extinct volcano & swam in the lagoon at the top. It's a challenging climb, but a great experience.
Incredible wildlife all around the property, but we were disappointed not to come across any monkeys. However, all the birds and the coati were awesome! One came right up to us after we sat on a bench at the bottom of the entry to the extinct volcanos. Completely friendly out looking for food. Great place to take a family or to go with your partner.
The room was magical.
The observatory is the way to go and get the best possible view of the volcano!
Geanina was very helpful.
I will definitely stay there again if going back to Arenal.
Nir & Ashley
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