Arenal Volcano National Park
The Arenal Volcano National Park is located in the west side of La Fortuna de San Carlos, in the Alajuela Province. It includes the Arenal Volcano and the Chato Volcano. The Arenal Volcano is 1.633 meters high, with an almost perfectly conical shape. It has a crater on the summit of 140 meters deep. Geologically, Arenal Volcano is a young volcano, dating from less than 3.000 years old. Before 1968, it was considered extinct volcano and even some people felt that it was not a volcano. It was first known as Cerro Arenal. On 1968, the volcano began his active period, opening three craters into the western flank. The crater A caused the explosion, emanating pyroclastic flow (fiery cloud), which devastated 12 km, disappearing village of Pueblo Nuevo and Tabacón, and killing about 87 people. Later in the year, the volcano began broadcasting lava flows from the crater A, which remained active until 1973, when the activity migrates toward the crater C, at an altitude of 1450 meters. This crater is still active to this day, is characterized by lava flows on a permanent basis, composition of basaltic andesite; explosions and pyroclastic materials constant emission of gases.
Arenal Volcano National Park provides a beautiful view of the active volcano and its current eruptions. The park has short trails which pass through young secondary forest and old lava fields from large previous eruptions. The park is part of the Arenal Conservation Area, which stretches 200.000 hectares.
Among the highlights of the Arenal Volcano National Park include: hot springs, lush forest, volcanic scenery especially at night with red hot rocks exploding out of the cone, and many different species of flora and fauna. The National Park offers many services for tourists: La Casona or Information Center, Lookout View Point, Hiking Trails, Restrooms, and Parking Lot. The entrance has a price of $10 per foreign tourist.