Arenal Observatory Lodge

The closest lodge to Arenal Volcano, with a winning combination of amazing views, secluded walking trails and accommodation for families and groups as well as couples.

Arenal Observatory Lodge picture of a room
View of Arenal Observatory Lodge pool area
view from Arenal Observatory Lodge of Arenal Volcano
Arenal Observatory Lodge at night


Just under 3kms from Arenal Volcano and 20 minutes’ drive from the town of La Fortuna.


Arenal Observatory Lodge is open year round.

Accommodation type



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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.


Arenal volcanoWhy 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.

Howler monkeyWildlife 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 groups

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People horse riding with Arenal volcano in the background

Arenal Observatory Lodge


  • 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

What is included in the stay

Accommodation, daily buffet breakfast, Wi-Fi, use of swimming pool and Jacuzzi, guided morning walks in the grounds, self-guided walks


Children of all ages are welcome. Those aged 4 years of age and under stay and dine free when sharing a room with parents. Those aged between 5 and 11 stay free when sharing a room with parents. There is a maximum of 4 people per room and suite. The villas and La Casona can accommodate larger families.


There is a computer and Wi-Fi, and a phone for local and international calls in the reception area.


There are 48 rooms in total, arranged in several buildings.Rooms come in several categories:

standard-room Standard rooms: these have 2 queen size beds, coffee maker, safe, ceiling fan, en-suite bathroom and balcony or terrace with a table and chairs. Some of the rooms are near the main area and others are about 500m away down a slight slope. Maximum 4 people per room.



smith-roomSmithsonian rooms: these have the same interior facilities as the standard rooms. All have large picture windows and some have balconies. 5 of these rooms have been adapted for disabled use, with wheelchair access. Maximum 4 people per room.




junior-suiteJunior suites: they have 2 king size beds, the same room facilities as the standard and Smithsonian rooms plus a sitting room, fridge and local artwork. Maximum 4 people per suite.




white-hawk-villaWhite hawk villa: 800m from the main hotel, group or family accommodation recommended for those with their own transport or who like walking. The accommodation comprises a large sitting room with TV and safe, dining room, kitchen, 2 bedrooms (named ‘trogon’ and ’toucan’) each with a queen size bed and 2 single beds. Both bedrooms are en-suite. Maximum 8 people.



phils-villaPhil’s villa: this is also 800m from reception and is recommended doe those with their own transport. It has a large lounge with open fireplace and TV, dining room, kitchen, 3 bedrooms all en-suite, 2 with 2 king size beds and 1 with 1 king bed. The villa has 3 terraces with forest views. Maximum 10 people.



La-Casona-roomLa Casona: is 500 m away from the main building down a slight slope and is ideal for groups and families seeking good value accommodation. It has 5 bedrooms, 4 of which have a queen size bed and the other with 2 queen beds and a bunk bed. There are 2 bathrooms. La Casona has an expansive terrace with a view of the volcano and lake.

Swimmers entering the water during sunset on a costa rica holiday

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