Arenal, Costa Rica: A Timeless Natural Wonder

Arenal, Costa Rica: A Timeless Natural Wonder

For nearly three decades, visitors have flocked to Volcan Arenal to witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of an active volcano, glowing, rumbling, and smoking like a scene from an adventure film. This experience leaves an indelible mark on everyone, and, to some, ignites a lifelong desire to make Costa Rica their home. The volcano’s mystical glow provided an otherworldly ambiance even when shrouded in fog. It’s no surprise that Arenal remained a top tourist attraction for decades.

Though Arenal may no longer spew molten lava, its allure remains as potent as ever. Today, locals and tourists alike converge on Arenal to explore the national park, bask in the beauty of Lake Arenal, and immerse themselves in the region’s lush jungles, breathtaking vistas, dynamic activities, and pristine waters. 

Nayara Resorts, with three exquisite properties in the area, has found its heart in Arenal. Nestled in the hills of the Arenas region, Nayara Resorts seamlessly combines a deep reverence for the natural world, a rich tapestry of local traditions, and meticulous luxury to craft a one-of-a-kind, life-affirming experience for our guests. Arenal has become the backdrop for creating unforgettable family memories and is rightfully considered one of the best tropical vacation destinations on Earth.


Arenal Volcano – A Little Bit About The Region

Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano is the youngest in the country, standing at less than 7,500 years old, characterized by its iconic conical shape. The volcano’s height varies with activity, but it currently stands at around 1,633 meters (5,358 ft) above sea level, with a crater diameter of 140 meters (460 ft).

The 29,692-acre Arenal Volcano National Park, part of the larger 504,094-acre Arenal Conservation Area, established in 1991, includes the dormant Cerro Chato Volcano, which rises 1,140 meters (3,740 ft) above sea level. 

Arenal plays a crucial role in Costa Rica’s power production, with Lake Arenal, at the base of the volcano, providing 12 percent of the country’s hydroelectric energy. On the opposite side of the lake, wind farms harness strong winds from the Tilarán mountain range, while the Miravalles Volcano Geothermic Plant taps into the volcanic activity for electrical power.

Arenal’s climate is diverse, influenced by both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, resulting in temperatures ranging between 21°C and 27.5°C and annual rainfall averaging between 3,500 mm to 5,000 mm. Defined as a tropical rainforest climate, the rainy season lasts from May to January, while the dry season runs from February to April.


Activities to Suit All Desires

Arenal offers a plethora of adventure options, from zip-lining through the jungle canopy, walking on hanging bridges through the dense jungle, and exploring diverse bird and animal species, including toucans, hummingbirds, jaguars, deer, sloths, coatis, along with Costa Rica’s iconic howler monkeys. The region is also home to a wide array of reptiles, such as geckos, iguanas, and snakes like the parrot snake.

If you prefer scenic vistas, explore the terrain on horseback, mountain bike, or ATV. Water enthusiasts can partake in kayaking or paddleboarding on Lake Arenal, while adrenaline junkies can brave white-water rafting on the Balsa and Sarapiqui Rivers during the rainy season. For those seeking an extra dose of excitement, consider rappelling down waterfall-laden canyons or venturing into local caves. Arenal offers endless opportunities to create cherished memories.

Many visitors are drawn to the region for a more serene form of adventure, such as birdwatching, night animal or frog tours, yoga, and bodywork. The area exudes a unique energy, drawn from the volcano and its climate, making it perfect for those seeking renewal. Cultural enthusiasts can explore coffee cultivation, learn to cook with cacao, discover the arts and crafts of the Maleko community, or visit the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge.

And perhaps the most well-known are the hot springs. For decades, relaxation in the region has included soaking in the local hot springs. With dozens of resort-based options, this has become a rite of passage in Arenal. Nayara Resorts has gained a reputation for its award-winning spas, offering the ideal way to cap off a day of adventure or relaxation. Our spas have received accolades like “best hotel spa” from Conde Nast Traveler and the title of the #1 luxury hotel in the world from TripAdvisor.


Resorts Designed for Every Type of Guest

When choosing a Nayara Resorts property in the Arenal region, it’s essential to consider each one’s unique focus and audience.


Nayara Gardens: Discover the Magic of the Rainforest

Guests of Nayara Gardens include families looking to spend time together around the pool and exploring the dynamic activities across the region, as well as couples eager to relax in the property’s villas and the newly refurbished casitas that have the amenities of a five-star resort:

“Set against the backdrop of the majestic Arenal Volcano, our exquisite Arenal Pool Casitas are newly refurbished sanctuaries of serenity, each offering a harmonious blend of privacy, elegance, and connection to its natural surroundings. Boasting expansive garden decks, your personal haven is further adorned with a private plunge pool where you can unwind to the melodies of the rainforest.”

Add to the experience the award-winning spa for a full day of rejuvenation and pampering.  Our goal is to allow you to relax and renew fully.  Ready to experience incredible dining?  As perfectly described on our website, the culinary focus of our restaurants is focused on:

“Costa Rican rich taste and authentic flavors are at the heart of everything we do. Our restaurants are distinct in look and feel—from an intimate tapas bar to a lively outdoor terrace. Our chefs apply fine dining techniques to local ingredients and seasonal produce to delight you with a menu of sophisticated and delicious flavors.”

From al fresco dining in the family-friendly Latin-themed La Terraza del Arenal to romantic private dinners for two at Besame Mucho.  From a tapas-themed wine and dining experience at Nostalgia to Asian-Tico fusion at Asia Luna.  Regardless of your tastes or the size of your party, Nayara Gardens has the restaurants to satisfy your every wish.  And don’t forget to have an after-dinner aperitif on the terrace, watching the sunset and soaking up the sights and sounds of the jungle surrounding you.


Nayara Springs: A Secluded Place of Understated Luxury

There is a reason why Tripadvisor has named Nayara Springs the #1 Luxury Hotel in the World.  Nayara Springs holds a special place in the hearts of the Nayara Resorts team as a place where beauty, luxury, and a special connection to the world combine in a unique property filled with special moments to come.

This adults-only property feels like part of the jungle and the topography of Arenal.  Every path, every deck, and every location becomes a natural tableau that recenters and relaxes you.  When you are on the grounds you feel your heartbeat and stress lessen, and your senses draw you into the vast jungle. You smell the floral notes in the breeze, hear the beautiful songs of the wildlife, taste the locally-grown fruit by the pool, and see the clouds crossing the peak of Arenal Volcano. It is a setting that fosters a special connection between people and the property.  

We expand upon this bond by creating villas that are both sumptuous and serene.  With naturally-fed mineral springs, plunge pools, and spacious bedroom and lounging amenities, our villas are perfect for couples celebrating a special occasion or looking for pampering without pretense.  You can easily spend an entire day just relaxing in your villa and your pool, but as we’ve noted, Arenal is an area that draws guests to participate in activities, and our staff will happily develop itineraries (both on- and off-property).

When you are ready to dine, Nayara Springs’s award-winning restaurants have you covered.  Executive Chef William Weiss and his team have developed signature dining experiences that are truly memorable.  At the signature restaurant Amor Loco, guests are invited on a culinary journey across Costa Rica’s provinces for a unique seven-course experience. Other options include dining by the pool in the afternoon or a stunning Northern Italian meal at Mis Amores.

And of course, no trip to a Nayara Resort is complete without spending time in our award-winning spa, which has won “Best in the World” and “Reader’s Choice” awards from Condé Nast Traveler three years in a row. 


Nayara Tented Camp: A Clifftop Tent with the Vibrant Rainforest Below

“At Nayara’s Luxury Tented Camp, you can experience the ultimate rainforest adventure in style. Nestled in the heart of Costa Rica’s reforested lush jungle and high above a verdant rainforest, our Tented Camp offers a unique blend of nature and luxury. Each spacious tent features a private pool fed by hot springs, providing the perfect opportunity for couples or families to relax and unwind in their own oasis.”

For those thinking of tents as something you’ve not done since your youth, these are not those tents.  These tents are truly homes in the canopy, but with a special twist in that they allow for even more of a sense of being part of your surroundings. Our tents aren’t simply “glamping”, they are the best resort amenities.  

You can explore options ranging from smaller tented camps perfect for a couple, to large family configurations that can sleep four adults and four children, and even treat yourself to a truly unique experience with our Casa Dana and Casa Paloma residences. Each of these luxurious camps has two king and two queen beds, a fully equipped kitchen, a living and dining area, a fire pit, and an oversized infinite pool fed by hot springs.  With each tent having incredible views of Arenal and the jungles, as well as private pools, you will find that the Tented Camp is the ultimate in family adventure travel.

When you’re ready to leave your tent to dine, Ayla combines the very best of Mediterranean cuisine, a “Middle Eastern” touch under a tented canopy with incredible views of Arenal. As a guest of Nayara Tented Camp, you have access to all of the restaurants of Nayara Springs and Nayara Gardens below, with restaurants including an intimate tapas bar, an Asian/Latin American fusion eatery, a northern Italian bistro, and a lively outdoor terrace. You won’t need to leave the resort for dining or imbibing! 


Getting to Nayara Arenal

All three Nayara Resorts properties are nestled to the east of Arenal Volcano, near the town of La Fortuna, in the Alajuela province of Costa Rica. They are roughly equidistant from both Juan Santamaría International Airport in the greater San José area and Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia on the coast of Guanacaste province, the two most common ports of entry to Costa Rica. But no matter your port of arrival, our concierge team can organize or consult you on your transfer to Arenal, so that from the moment you arrive in the country, you’re welcomed with the highest standard of Nayara hospitality.


We Invite You to Join Us in Arenal 

Arenal, with its fascinating history and natural beauty, continues to captivate visitors from around the world. While the once-active volcano no longer erupts, its charm remains evergreen, drawing tourists to explore the national park, savor the wonders of Lake Arenal, and embrace the region’s serene and picturesque landscapes. Nayara Resorts, with its three unique properties in the area, provides the ultimate Costa Rican experience, blending respect for nature, local traditions, and luxury to offer guests an unforgettable stay. 

Whether you seek adventure, renewal, or a mix of both, Arenal has something for everyone. Choose the Nayara Resorts property that suits your desires, whether it’s Nayara Gardens for a family-friendly getaway, Nayara Springs for a secluded luxury experience, or Nayara Tented Camp for a unique rainforest adventure. Your journey to Arenal is just a trip away, with convenient access from Costa Rica’s major airports.