Arenal Observatory Lodge

La Fortuna (Arenal), Costa Rica

Text©Beatrice Blake-New Key to Costa Rica

This site was chosen by Smithsonian vulcanologists who wanted a safe vantage point from which to study the volcano’s activity. There is a small museum with a seismograph monitoring current action.
The climate at the lodge is cool and fresh, and there are tours and self-guided hikes to a nearby waterfall and to Cerro Chato, a dormant volcano. The lodge has an attractive spring-fed pool and three five-person jacuzzis nestled below the cabins. If you cannot afford to stay, $2 will get you a day’s access to the trails and a seat on the restaurant’s well-appointed viewing deck. Birding is great there. Though the road to the entrance is bumpy, the steep road up to the lodge from the entrance is paved.
Five rooms and one nature trail are wheelchair-accessible. There is also the White Hawk Villa, with fantastic views and a kitchen (sleeps 8; $425).

Amenities & Features


Double occupancy from $57 to $140

Website & Contact

phone: (506)2290-7011, 2479-1070 fax 2290-8427

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Nearby Activities & Attractions

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The nearest town is La Fortuna (Arenal), 8 km away and Aeropuerto Arenal airport is 15.2 km.

Please note that distances for nearby hotels, attractions, activites & other points of interest are in a straight line. Distances by road may be significantly longer!

The exact gps map coordinates of Arenal Observatory Lodge are latitude 10.43776, longitude -84.71024. (exact GPS coordinates are accurate to within a few meters, gps data labeled approximate is within a few hundred meters)