What fun! We did the hike from the traditional trailhead. Neat how the trail takes you from open grassy slopes with distant views into a dense cloud forest. "Climbing" steep clay and rutted mud is certainly a unique experience.we hiked down into the crater but didn't brave the cold water for a swim.
Muggy hike on rutted trail up through the rainforest to the top for a great view of the lake inside and Arenal Volcano in the distance. Some friendly Coati's were hanging around hoping for some scraps of food. We decided to hike around to the other rim and then down to the lake inside the mouth of the volcano to take a dip. The water was a unique blue color and VERY cold but felt great after a long hot hike!
This was our first hike after arriving is Costa Rica. We were staying at the Arenal Observatory Lodge (recommendable). We hiked up Chero Chato and back down to the lodge in four hours. Not really difficult but quite muddy walk. We did not descent to the Laguna. We found the hike to be very enjoyable and close to nature.
My husband and I climbed from the Green Falls Lagoon Lodge at the base of the mountain. They charge $10 per person unless you are staying at the lodge. From this location it is 4 miles round trip on an out and back trail. The climb to the top wears you out and takes about 2 hours. The hike down hurts even healthy knees and takes about an hour. There is a lot of mud on this trail! To get down to the lagoon was the muddiest section of the trail but it was a lot of fun. There is even a rope for a bit of rappelling. I didn't need insect repellent at all for this trail.
Great uphill in the humidity. Fun views of Arenal and the lagoon from the top.
My wife and I made quick work of this hike on a great day. The skies were clear and the trail was dry. It was clear that this trail could be a nasty mess in wet conditions. We hiked around once at the top and had great views of Volcan Arenal. This was a great way to stretch our legs and start our vacation.
Easy and pleasant road walking at the start, followed by a severely eroded trail up the volcano. Amazing rainforest flora and fauna. Bring raingear, even in the dry season. I also packed an ultralight umbrella and used it much of the time. The weather can change from dry to torrential downpour in a matter of minutes and it is possible to get chilly if the rain is wind driven. Your feet will be muddy. I wore old trail-runners, which were great, but it was slick coming down. Would have liked to have my poles with me. My southern most summit to date!
Awesome hike through the rain forest. Saw several species of birds. It's wet and muddy as you descend but watch out for those bugs. You won't know they are eating you!
I wore shorts and the jungle bugs ate me alive!
I sprained my ankle whilst in the Arenal National Park one evening. However, that did not stop me from climbing Cerro Chato to the top all on my own the next morning! It started to rain when I reached the top and the clouds were so thick I couldn't see the lagoon. You also need to be careful of deep mud in places at the top.
This is a great hike if you're in the La Fortuna area. How often do you get to hike through jungle. We were there in the "dry" season but it still rained and misted like crazy. Trying to stay dry is pointless so just embrace the wet and have fun. Amazing plants and wildlife. Hopefully you'll get to see Volcan Arenal (we didn't) but even if you don't it's still an amazing hike. Make sure and cool off with a swim in the lake at the top.
Great hike! You don't necessarily get better views of nearby Volcan Arenal but a hike through the jungle is a great experience. Keep an eye out for the white face monkeys!