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Parque Nacional Arenal

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The Arenal Volcano is the archetypical erupting volcano: its elegant, conical form makes it stand out from the neighbouring mountains, and it is not part of the mountain range. With an altitude of 1633 metres, it can be spotted easily from all directions, most particularly from the west, with Lake Arenal in the foreground. It is also the image of a "real" volcano because it is one of the most active in the world.

In 1994, 12,016 hectares were added to the Area de Conservación Arenal, which was then renamed Parque Nacional Arenal. The park was created to protect the region and inform the public about this very active volcano.

Most visitors to the park go to the Mirador observation point, about 1.3 kilometres from the entrance. It is accessible via a footpath or by car, and there is parking available. Since this observation point is at the foot of the volcano, it is probably the best place to see, hear and feel the volcano's power. From here, you can see the lava that flows to the base of the mountain, destroying everything in its path. On some days, ash explodes from the top of the volcano. And don't be startled if you feel the earth shaking and hear a loud rumbling, as though the Arenal wanted to demonstrate its power and destructive force.


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