Arenal Volcano Costa Rica
Located in the far northwestern corner of Costa Rica, Arenal Volcano is presently the most active volcano in the entire western hemisphere. The volcano is revered for its impressive nighttime displays of flowing lava, and the occasional small pyrotechnic blast.
Located deep within the magnificently diverse landscape of Costa Rica's often overlooked northwestern corner, Arenal Volcano is a treat for any traveler with even the slightest interests in volcanoes. A volcano is a true geological phenomenon. Volcanoes, spurting out their technicoloured hot magma, give the viewer a unique perspective of the slower geological time clock of planet earth.
The volcano protrudes from the luscious green farmland surrounding it, shadowing the nearby farming community of La Fortuna. Arenal Volcano first emerged from the earth approximately 4,000 years ago. The volcano appears to have erupted very consistently for the next 3,500 years, and grew to a height of 1,633 meters, or 5,372 feet. At the time of the first arrivals of the Spanish Conquest, Arenal appears to have gone into a dormant state. People largely forgot that the now-forested mountain was, in fact, a volcano. This changed in the mid-20th century, when the volcano began to become active again, culminating in the massive 1968 eruption which annihilated the local communities of Tabacón and Pueblo Nuevo.
Since the major 1968 eruption, Arenal has drawn much interest from volcanologists and curious tourists. The volcano is much quieter these days, but can still be deadly. There have been a handful of examples over the past decade where people have gotten too close to the mouth of the volcano and have either been caught in magma flows or carbonized by a seismic blast. All things considered though, Arenal Volcano is a generally safe place as long as you respect its potential danger and follow all of the pertinent safety guidelines.
Realistically, the potential danger of Arenal is what gives the visitor that inherent sense of adventure when visiting the volcano. The rumbling growl of the earth or a nighttime flow of magma is what makes Arenal Volcano an unforgettable Costa Rican destination that simply can not be reproduced elsewhere.