People usually come to the country of Costa Rica for its nature, volcanoes, and rainforest. Arenal Observatory Lodge provides access to all of this in one spectacular location. The expansive property consists of 870 acres for guests to explore, featuring four hundred acres of tropical gardens and reforested land and 270 acres of rainforest. The landscaping and gardens of the lodge are beautifully designed with trees, shrubs, and colorful flowers chosen to draw in wildlife such as exotic birds, stunning butterflies, and jewel-colored hummingbirds.

Arenal Observatory Lodge is the only hotel in La Fortuna that is situated in the Arenal Volcano National Park. In 1991, when the national park was established, its boundaries included the lodge's ranch. No other area hotel is as close to Lake Arenal, Cerro Chato, and the Arenal Volcano as the Arenal Observatory Lodge. Guest are sure to always feel the constant commanding presence of the volcano during their stay.

Built originally in 1987, the Arenal Observatory Lodge first served as a research facility for the Smithsonian Institution. In 1968, scientist from the Smithsonian became frequent visitors to the Arenal area after the volcano's dramatic and sudden eruption. These scientists would camp out on the property due to its strategic location. Cabins, as well as a small hotel, were gradually built over time to accommodate the researchers.

Today, the lodge offers forty-eight comfortable guest rooms across several buildings throughout the grounds, as well as two one-of-a-kind vacation homes for rent. Guests can enjoy a delicious meal at the on-site restaurant, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows that offer amazing views of Lake Arenal and the Arenal Volcano. There's also an observation deck right outside. If visitors need some relaxation after a day of exploration, the Observatory Spa provides relaxing massages and other treatments.

Naturalist guides lead complimentary walk through the rainforest and on-site gardens on a daily basis at Arenal Observatory Lodge. Visitors can also enjoy mountain biking, horseback riding, and hiking along the seven miles of maintained trails throughout the 870 acre-resort. A half-mile trail provides universal access to the rainforest and gardens. More adventurous visitors can take the unpaved River Trail through the primary part of the rainforest.

The property is also an ideal location in Costa Rica for birdwatching, as there have been over five hundred different bird species that have been noted in the forest. Arenal Observatory Lodge can be easily reached from the town of La Fortuna. The lodge is also located near numerous adventure tours in the Arenal area. There are tours for a wide variety of adventures, such as paddle boarding, kayaking, hot springs, whitewater rafting, fishing, zip lines, and much more. There is something for everyone.

In addition to the Arenal Observatory Restaurant & Bar and the Observatory Spa, the Arenal Observatory Lodge features the Arenal Observatory Museum which contains photographs and information that share the history of the volcano. The observation deck offers spectacular views of the rainforest, Lake Arenal, and the Arenal Volcano. There are several other viewpoints throughout the property of the lake and the volcano as well.

Alajuela Province, La Fortuna, Costa Rica, website, Phone: 717-394-6185

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