Northern zone attractions PDF Print E-mail
The northern zone has been blessed by mother nature, giving it luxuriant rain forest, waterfalls, wild rivers, hot springs, caverns, lakes and the spectacular Arenal Volcano. There is one thing this zone lacks and it is beaches, but because it lies in between the North Pacific and the Atlantic Zone, it is easy to combine your stay here with trips to either coast.

Costa Rica Northern zone attractionsThis zone is an increasingly popular destination with its great natural assets such as the country's most active volcano, jungle lined rivers and a large lake. Without a doubt Arenal Volcano is the region's number one attraction, but this landmark isn't always easy to appreciate, since it is most of the times enveloped in clouds, and even when it is clear it may not be erupting.

But while visitors await one of the country's great experiences, which is the view of an Arenal eruption, there are plenty of activities to do and sites to see nearby to keep them busy. Most people stay either in the Arenal Volcano area or near the towns of San Carlos or Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí, even though there are lodges scattered all over the region. Being one of the country's smaller zones, the region's attractions are easy to visit from any of its lodges. The following are the Northern Zone's principal points of interest:

La Fortuna

La Fortuna is a small picturesque town, the excellent departure point for many days trips to the area, you'll find an extensive range of small hotels and eateries owned by local people. There is no doubt that the Arenal Volcano is our main attraction, it has almost a perfect cope and a spectacular night view activity but sometimes it can hide behind the clouds and it`s impossible to appreciate all its splendor.

La Fortuna de San CarlosThat can frustrate the visitors but there are so many things to do besides that! This is a great place with warm people, an exuberant region with quite a flora and beautiful places togs. There are great horseback riding, rafting and canopy tours. A must in this zone is a thermal and mineral water bath, a healthy experience that in a very few you can find. One of the best spas in the world, with European treatments and specialized personnel is grist waiting for you. A very exclusive way to make this your best time ever; a gift for your well being that maybe you want for yourself.

Also you can find tours to Arenal Lake, hanging bridges, mountain bike, almost any sport, any food and any nightlife you will find it here. Another place you must go is to La Fortuna waterfalls. A refreshing place to picnic and enjoy the hypnotic rhythm of the 200 feet ribbon-like cascade as it slices the lush green cliffs that amplify the sounds of the jungle. The cascade plummets into an ice-cold emerald pool where one can swim. Everything La Fortuna offers is for relaxation.

Arenal Volcano National Park

The Northern Zone's most impressive landmark is the classically conical 1,633 meter high Arenal Volcano, which towers over the east shore of Lake Arenal. Costa Rica's most active volcano, Arenal rumbles regularly and bursts into occasional explosions that send molten lava and incandescent boulders flying in all directions. It's an impressive enough sise by day, but the best time to watch the volcano's performance is on a clear night, when the eruptions light up the sky.

Unfortunately, the volcano is often obscured by cloud cover, and there is no guarantee that you will ever hear it erupt, because it sometimes passes weeks without oven an explosion. It's the luck of the draw, but if you are lucky enough to experience a major eruption, it is guaranteed to be unforgettable.

Venado Caverns

Venado Caves Costa RicaLocated down a rough road to the east of Lake Arenal, the Venado Caverns provide an interesting alternative to Costa Rica's predominantly outdoors adventures. Though there is no door on the mouth of these caves, you certainly aren't going to get sunburn exploring them. A single entrance leads to two dead-end caverns, which have small streams flowing out of them, and an interior waterfall that spelunkers have to pass through. Some parts of the caves are a bit cramped, and you are bound to get wet exploring them, so bring a change of clothes and footwear.

Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí

This tiny town is the embarkation points for boat trips down the lower stretch of the Sarapiquí River, where crocodiles often lounge on the riverbanks and a great diversity of birds inhabit the surrounding forest. There are also several private preserves nature lodges nearby, the famous of which is La Selva, a biological station and nature preserve administrated by the Organization for Tropical Studies.
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