It is located to the northwest of Costa Rica, forming part of the volcanic mountain range of Guanacaste. It is a cone-shaped stratovolcano, with an altitude of approximately 1700 m.a.s.l., and 150 kilometers north of the city of San Jose.

Until 1968, the Arenal had been considered a peaceful volcano since time immemorial. There is no data on the activity during the colony or in subsequent years. It was not until the thirties that its summit was trodden and it was when an expeditionary group verified the activity of fumaroles.

On the morning of Monday, July 29, 1968, what was then known as “Cerro Arenal” revealed all its volcanic nature and with an enormous explosion on its western flank, it ended with a blow with more than a hundred human lives, at the same time that it flooded with ashes, gases and lava to crops, villages and farms. Enormous hot stones, burning gases and tons of ashes destroyed what until then had been known as a hill.

Three explosion craters were opened on the western flank: crater A at 1050 mt height, crater B at 1175 mt elevation and crater C with a height of 1460 mt, in addition to these three craters opened during 1968, there is crater D, with a height of 1633 mt that existed before the beginning of this eruptive period. One of the craters caused the explosion of a burning cloud that destroyed 12 square km, disappearing the towns of Pueblo Nuevo and Tabacón and causing the death of 87 people.

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In the last twenty years this is the most active volcano in Costa Rica. But the tragedy served, however, for the area to become an attraction for local and foreign visitors, for the majestic spectacle of the volcano in constant activity, which has not ceased in these 40 years, as well as for the exuberant nature and flavor of a rural Costa Rican area that still retains features of yesteryear. In spite of the natural invasion first and that of the visitors later, the inhabitants of La Fortuna, Tabacón and other localities close to the volcano have managed to conserve the communal spirit and solidarity that is rooted in the pioneers who carved communities with autochthonous flavor in those couples, it is for this reason that every year for the end of July a mass is officiated in remembrance of the fallen in 1968.

The eruptions made by the Arenal are called “Pyroclastic flows and occur very often in the Arenal Volcano. The Arenal Volcano after unleashing all its telluric force in July 1968, has also erupted again in 1975, 1993 and on May 5, 1998 presented a fissure in the northwest side of the crater, which unleashed an eruption of ash and descended an avalanche of ash and incandescent stones, which threatened nearby towns and diverse tourist facilities, including the hotel “Tabacón” which at that time counted 200 people between tourists and employees. In the year 2000 there were eruptions of such magnitudes that it was necessary to close the passage and entrance to tourists at a certain distance. In one of these last eruptions 2 tourists and a tourist guide were killed. Currently the authorities are on alert as it is one of the most dangerous volcanoes today.

Currently the Arenal is not active, and does not represent any danger for visitors, and giving the opportunity to appreciate the great scenic resource of its surroundings as the Arenal Lagoon and the park of the same name; you can also enjoy the thermal waters, for which there are specialized spas.

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