The 33-square-kilometer Arenal Volcano, located 7 kilometers from La Fortuna, has been active since July 29, 1968. It has two different landscapes: one covered with lush vegetation that houses a variety of wildlife, and another rugged area of lava flow and sand as a result of constant eruptions. It is considered the main attraction in the area and can be viewed both during the day and at night to take advantage of its constant eruptions. In addition, this area is known for its hot springs, which provide a unique relaxing environment surrounded by local nature.
With its several protected areas, lakes, lagoons, volcanoes, rivers and waterfalls, the Northern Zone is undergoing a boom in tourism service and adventure site development, so that nature-loving visitors can enjoy the region’s many riches. Thanks to frequent rains, the Northern Zone features wet and evergreen forests as well as fertile plains—natural environments that serve as sanctuaries for water birds, reptiles, mammals and the prehistoric Gaspar fish, and important sites of interest for wildlife-lovers. Adventure activities and nature-watching may be enjoyed on the region’s rivers—Peñas Blancas, San Carlos, Toro, Puerto Viejo and Sarapiquí—some of which are important navigational routes.
Forming part of the region is the Sarapiquí canton, which, with its rich biodiversity, is recognized as a scientific research site and the last stronghold of endangered species such as the great green macaw. The region is famous for the turnos (outdoor parties or festivals) held in its towns, with bull riding and livestock auctions.
Did you know...
Tourist and leisure companies in several communities have created facilities for adventure activities on suspension bridges, nature trails and canopy tours, including: La Fortuna, La Virgen and Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí.