ARENAL: VOLCANOES AND ZIP-WIRES
There are more than a dozen volcanoes in Costa Rica. But for sheer drama and Jurassic-Park-esque adventure, it has to be Arenal. Rising to 5358-ft and ringed by forest, it has the archetypal volcano silhouette, complete with the occasional puff of smoke from the crater. Of course, it’s when you get up close that the drama really begins.
For a quick taste of what it’s all about, join the trails of Sendero Colada 1968 and Tucanes. At 3.4 and 2 kilometres respectively, these paths wind through the secondary forest to rocky, rugged lava fields. You may spot toucans and parrots and even hear a faint rumble from the crater above.
You can safely hike these trails independently – provided you stick to the paths and follow the signs. However, for a truly unique experience there are numerous guides who can take you to some of the lesser-known viewpoints. As well as the volcano itself, there are hot springs, waterfalls, hanging bridges and zip-wires to discover.
Put your feet up
To make your visit as indulgent as it is intrepid, stay at Nayara Hotel Spa and Gardens. This eco-luxury hotel overlooks the rainforest and the volcano and offers spectacular views, not to mention sublime spa treatments.