Arenal Observatory Lodge

The closest lodge to Arenal Volcano, with a winning combination of amazing views and secluded walking trails.


Just under 3kms from Arenal Volcano

Accommodation Type


Accommodation Level

ModestA good option for the budget savvy traveller.

Price Guide

Arenal Observatory Lodge

This was one of the first lodges built in the area and was originally a scientific research station. From its hilltop setting there are far-reaching views down to Arenal Lake and across to the volcano which you can admire as you sit on the large terrace sipping a drink and chatting to other guests. There are many activities available in the national park, ranging from gentle bird watching walks to full-on canopy tours. In between you can treat your body to a soothing massage, cleansing scrub or therapeutic wrap at the spa. The lodge’s 48 rooms, suites and villas are arranged across several buildings, some near the main area and others in more secluded locations. They provide convenient and comfortable accommodation for couples, groups of friends and families.

Why go to Arenal Observatory Lodge?

You have Arenal Volcano National Park with its hanging drives and canopy tours on your doorstep, plus easy access to Lake Arenal and water-based activities, so this lodge is perfect for nature lovers. If you want some peace and quiet, explore the lodge’s 11km of walking, biking and riding trails that wind through varied scenery. Should you wish, guides are on hand to offer added insights to help you gain the most from your time here and help you identify the many birds. When you want to relax, the lodge has an attractive outdoor pool, jacuzzi and well equipped spa, or you could just take life easy on your balcony and relish the views of mighty Arenal Volcano.

Wildlife around Arenal Observatory Lodge

A walk through the lodge’s grounds offers chances to see a wide range of birds, blue morpho butterflies, howler and spider monkeys and coatis, among others. Arenal Volcano National Park, as a natural wildlife sanctuary and rainforest, is home to over 2,000 species of plants, as well as several species of mammals and exotic birds, with species including hummingbirds, kingfishers, woodpeckers, parrots and toucans. As Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa is within the Arenal Volcano National Park, you will find 870 acres of wildlife where more than 400 species have been identified in the surrounding area. The bird-watching is a must here, with over 370 species recorded in the area.

Arenal Observatory Lodge Highlights

  • The sole lodge within Arenal National Park
  • Views of the volcano and lake
  • Daily guided walks
  • Great for birdwatching
  • Mountain biking, horse riding and kayaking
  • Soothing massages at the spa
  • Villas to accommodate families and group

Arenal Observatory Lodge

Arenal Observatory Lodge


  • 48 rooms
  • Open All Year Round
  • Daily Buffet Breakfast


  • Restaurant and terrace
  • Bar
  • Swimming pool and jacuzzi
  • Spa
  • Gardens and private rainforest
  • Bird sanctuary
  • Computer and Wi-Fi in the lobby


  • Free guided rainforest & bird watching walks
  • 11kms of walking, cycling and horse riding trails
  • Hanging bridges tour in Arenal
  • Rainforest canopy tour
  • Visit the butterfly gardens and bird sanctuary
  • Kayaking and fishing on Arenal Lake
  • Hike to Cerro Chato volcano
  • Mountain biking
  • Horse riding
  • White water rafting
  • Massages

Arenal Observatory Lodge Rooms

The Lodge has 48 rooms, arranged in serveral buildings. There are standard rooms, smithsonian rooms and junior suites. There is a White Hawk Villa, Phil’s Villa and La Casona

Standard Rooms

Smithsonian Rooms

Junior Suites

White Hawk Villa

Phil’s Villa

La Casona


Rana the frog likes this because…

“The lodge makes a concerted effort to cut down on green house gasses by omitting air-conditioners which are not necessary, limiting the number of TVs, nature is the entertainment here. They practice reforestation and the use of natural and biodegradable products to maintain the gardens. Water saving practices are encouraged among both staff and guests. Energy saving practices such as drying laundry outdoors rather than using dryers.  Recycling is done where possible and organic waste is used  as food for farm animals. Staff comes from the local community, and the lodge support the local school with books and assists the community with road maintenance, drainage systems and cleaning and dredging the river.”

And don’t forget … for every booking we get, Costa Rica Specialists plants trees in deforested areas of latin America through The Travel Forest, and we back The Tribes Foundation’s conservation and social projects.

Take the plunge...

We know and love Costa Rica, and would be delighted to help you plan your perfect Costa Rica holiday. Call 01473 599085 and speak to one of our Costa Rica travel specialists today.