Arenal Volcano became active on July 29, 1968 with a pyroclastic flow that devastated an area of about 12 square kilometers west of the volcanic cone. For the following 46 years, Arenal has been active with gas emissions and lava flows. Between 1984 and 1994, there were frequent explosions that would emit pyroclastic materials into the air (ash and blocks of lava). Other types of flows due to the lava front breaking up or the volcanic cone collapsing are more recent, with the last ones on May 24, 2010 and October 10, 2010.
Since July 2010, there have been no new lava flows. There are still signs of steam and other hot gases and occasional collapses of the cone; however, no new ash or lava activity has been witnessed. According to the volcanologists this indicates that the volcano is entering a more dormant or less active phase. Although it is difficult to predict the future, they now think that Arenal will remain quiet and emit steam for decades or longer.
The volcano remains an imposing presence as the centerpiece of Arenal National Park, and continues to be attractive to visit. It is one of the few natural laboratories in the world where visitors, accompanied by a professional guide, can learn about the zone that was devastated on July 29, 1968. Visit and hear about the materials expelled from the volcano, rock formations from recent lava flows, the natural regeneration of the flora and fauna in area, as well as many of the area’s natural wanders.
The area has vast rainforests with hundreds of bird species and tropical wildlife and offers great hiking. Additionally there are canopy tours, a gondola ride, horseback tours on country roads, biking, boat tours on the lake, birdwatching, waterfalls, canyoning, the Danaus reserve, volcanically heated hot springs, bridge walks, visits to farms, and campesino home-cooked meals just to name a few. The Arenal area is a base for day trips to Caño Negro which has tremendous wildlife. Arenal is also part of our combined tour packages to Monteverde, Rio Celeste and the Guanacaste beaches, or Manuel Antonio.