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Considered by many to be one of the most spectacular regions in the country, the Northern Lowlands and Volcan Arenal area are Costa Rica’s hottest tourist destinations. The Arenal Volcano is one of the ten most active volcanoes in the world and presents a truly majestic sight, as it spews molten rocks and ash from its summit on a daily basis. With regular eruptions, you can hear the rumbling and see steam rising as lava flows down the sides of the volcano.
One of the best places to take in the Arenal Volcano’s awe-inspiring fireworks is at La Fortuna, a tiny town located near the foot of the volcano. The prefect place to kickback and enjoy the area’s superb beauty, La Fortuna is a touristy place that retains much of its original Tico charm. There are also many natural hot springs here as well as resorts where one can pamper themselves taking a long relaxing soak amidst beautiful orchid gardens.
Across from the Arenal sits the sparkling Laguna de Arenal, a delight for sports fishermen and avid windsurf enthusiasts. One of the best places in the world to go windsurfing as the breeze here is very consistent, this lake transforms into a windsurfer’s paradise from December to April with an unbelievable view of the Arenal in the distance.
For nature lovers, the Arenal region also offers numerous hiking and trekking trails near the volcano where one can see some stunning waterfalls, gushing rivers, and beautiful plant and wildlife. Just north of this area lies the Caño Negro Nature Reserve that is also definitely worth a visit. You can arrange a trip from either Nuevo Arenal or Tilaran, which offer all day tours, where you board a bus and get transported to the river, from where you head downstream along with the guide to see a plethora of animals and birds, including monkeys, toucans, alligators, and much more.
Nearly 16 feet (5,000 mm) of rain falls on parts of Arenal yearly. Expect rain at any time of the year, but the wettest months are June through October, and the driest are February through April, and occasionally November. Yearly average temperature, 75 °F (22°C). As you climb the slopes of the volcano, the temperatures drop and the rainfall increases.