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Set high on a ridge facing Costa Ricaís most active and spectacular volcano, the Arenal Observatory Lodge offers the adventurous traveler a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

After having lain dormant for over 400 years, Arenal Volcano erupted violently on July 29, 1968, wreaking havoc with the local population and creating a ďlava landscapeĒ for miles around its base.

At the Arenal Observatory Lodge, you can enjoy the sound & fury of Arenal Volcanoís constant eruptions from the comfort of your room, or from one of the many perfect volcano viewing sites around the lodge.

The Lodge

The Arenal Observatory Lodge has thirty spacious rooms. All are comfortable and most have volcano views from the privacy of your own bedroom. Five rooms are fully equipped for disabled travelers, with rooms, bathrooms, hallways, parking areas and even the new swimming pool designed accordingly.

The lodge is located just 1.8 kilometers from the active crater of Arenal Volcano, and is separated from it by a deep river valley. The location was specifically chosen by scientists from the Smithsonian Institute, who needed a close but safe vantage point from which to study the volcano.

Arenal Observatory Lodge sits on 870 acres of land adjacent to the Arenal Volcano National Park. The site contains 270 acres of primary rain forest with well-marked trails, 400 acres of reforestation projects, and 200 acres of working farm lands.

Arenal Observatory Lodge is situated on a ridge 120 meters above Lake Arenal. The ridge rises between the Agua Caliente and Quebrada Danta rivers. This topographical feature is important, so as any possible lava flow will not affect the Lodge. The lodge is within ZONE "D" Low Danger Area, near the volcano. Moreover, as prevailing winds are from the East, the lodge would seldom be affected by ash or other fallout from a major eruption, as the lodge is located to the southeast of the volcano.


The Arenal Observatory Lodge has several different room types to fit most travelerís needs and budgets.

The Smithsonian

Four of the Smithsonian rooms are located just off the main lodge and dining area. Each of these rooms features a king-sized bed, modern private bath, and amazing volcano view through itís over-sized windows. Two of these rooms also feature views of Lake Arenal.

Ten Smithsonian rooms are housed in a modern building located about 120 yards from our main lodge, reached via a 134 foot suspension bridge through a small patch rain forest.

These rooms feature huge walls of glass that provide premiere views of the volcano from the comfort of your bed, or from the two sitting chairs strategically placed for you comfort and enjoyment. These rooms feature varnished wood floors, private bathrooms, and one queen- and one full-sized bed. The Smithsonian also features a viewing deck, a conference room and our own volcano museum, with an active seismograph constantly monitoring the volcanic and seismic activity just outside your door.

Our nine Standard rooms provide a rustic, yet comfortable base for your volcano viewing and rain forest activities. These rooms were originally designed and used by researchers. Each room features one bunk bed and two full-sized beds, as well as a private bath. These rooms are located just off the main lodge and dining area, and two of them feature direct views of the volcano.
 La Casona
Budget travelers will find four comfortable rooms in La Casona, our original family farmhouse. Three of the rooms here feature queen-sized beds with direct views of the volcano. The fourth room, with itís three bunk beds, is perfect for groups. Located about 500 meters from the main lodge and dining area, La Casona features a large common sitting room with a fireplace, as well as a spacious front porch with volcano view and two full bathrooms for shared use amongst the guests.
White Hawk Villa
Located approximately 800 meters from the lodge, is a big house with a spectacular view of the volcano and the lake, with capacity for 10 guests. The two individual rooms "Trogon" and "Toucan", have one double bed and a cradle-bed each and their own bathroom. The villa also has a living room with a sofa-bed, a dining room and a equipped kitchen.


Arenal Observatory Lodge isnít just a beautiful spot from which to watch the pyrotechnical wonders of the Arenal Volcano. Itís also a great base for a whole wide range of activities and adventures.

The Arenal Observatory Lodge is strategically located in the central part of Costa Ricaís prime eco-tourism area. Youíll find rain forests, waterfalls, and of course volcanoes, as well as easy access to the CaŮo Negro Wildlife Reserve, the Venado Caves, the Rio San Juan and Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve. Bird watching, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, sail boarding, river rafting are just some of the many available activities.

Take a look at all the options available below and design your own custom itinerary, or choose one of our pre-designed packages. Whatever you do, donít rush through the Arenal area. Take some time to enjoy its bountiful beauty and the many amazing adventures open to you.

What to do

  • Bird Watching
  • Hiking
  • Canopy Tours
  • White Water Rafting
  • Horseback Riding
  • Mountain Biking
  • Kayaking
  • Fishing

Room Rates 2005/06

Rates Include

  • Personal attention by our host service manager
  • Full breakfast buffet
  • Complementary morning walk with a local guide
    (*Entrance fee to Arenal National Park $6 not included) .
  • Walking trails
  • Swimming pool and Jacuzzi
  • List of Birds
  • Children under 6 years free meals and lodging 7-11 years, 50% meals cost, free lodging*
    (*Sharing room with their parents)


Rates for Lodging ($)
(Full breakfast buffet included, add 16.39% for taxes)

Low Season
May 01, 2005 to November 30, 2005

La Casona 40.00 + tax 53.00 + tax 69.00 + tax 86.00 + tax
Standard 56.00 + tax 74.00 + tax 89.00 + tax 100.00 + tax
Smithsonian 80.00 + tax 98.00 + tax 116.00 + tax 125.00 + tax
Junior Suite 107.00 + tax 109.00 + tax 126.00 + tax 133.00 + tax

High Season
December 01, 2005 to April 30, 2006

La Casona 48.00 + tax 66.00 + tax 79.00 + tax 92.00 + tax
Standard 70.00 + tax 87.00 + tax 96.00 + tax 113.00 + tax
Smithsonian 95.00 + tax 118.00 + tax 126.00 + tax 136.00 + tax
Jr. Suite 129.00 + tax 136.00 + tax 144.00 + tax 153.00 +tax
White Hawk Villa The whole villa $375/night, 8 pax
"Trogon" and "Toucan" Individual rooms: Smithsonian Room Rates
Rates & Taxes For Meals ($)
Lunch 13.00 + 23% TAX = 15.99
Dinner 15.50 + 23% TAX = 19.07
Box Lunch 7.50 + 13% TAX = 8.48
Tax Breakdown: 13% sales tax, 10% service fax
*Rates subject to change.


All rates are subject to change without notice

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