We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Arenal Lodge vrs Arenal Observatory

Which La Fortuna de San Carlos hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
toronto
Level Contributor
22 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Arenal Lodge vrs Arenal Observatory

Hi,

My husband and I will be going to Costa Rica for about 11 days at the end of Nov. 2010. We are flying into San Jose and then taking a transfer to the Arenal area for a few days. We are looking at looking to stay at either the Arenal Lodge or Observatory. Which have better rooms with views of the vulcano view and what rooms at either would you recommend. We are also looking at doing some of the activities (hot springs, suspension bridge, rafting and canopy tours perhaps) and which hotel is closer to the majority of the major sites?

Please help

thanks,

jen

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
Level Contributor
5,265 posts
131 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Arenal Lodge vrs Arenal Observatory

The Observatory Lodge has the best view in the Arenal area and the best hiking/wildlife--it is in the corridor between Monteverde and the Arenal national park and other rainforest areas. It is also the most remote--but you can easily spend days there just hiking and gawking at the volcano.

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
Level Contributor
5,265 posts
131 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Arenal Lodge vrs Arenal Observatory

The Observatory Lodge has the best view in the Arenal area and the best hiking/wildlife--it is in the corridor between Monteverde and the Arenal national park and other rainforest areas. It is also the most remote--but you can easily spend days there just hiking and gawking at the volcano.

Edited: 06 August 2010, 17:24
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
46,017 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Arenal Lodge vrs Arenal Observatory

In a clear day or night either one will offer a fantastic view...closer from AOL...but Arenal Lodge offer some great romms with A/C...

Sincerely yours from COSTA RICA

roadadvisor

Edited: 07 August 2010, 00:42
Austin, TX
Level Contributor
17 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Arenal Lodge vrs Arenal Observatory

www.arenal.net/arenal-costa-rica-map.htm

That map will show you the current lava flow. What we did was stay one night at the Arenal Volcano Observatory, then move to somewhere on the other side, closer to the "action."

I'd recommend horseback riding to the waterfall, and tabacon hot springs (definitely worth the $$).

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
3,192 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Arenal Lodge vrs Arenal Observatory

Arenal Lodge is at the foot of Lake Arenal, probably 3 or 4 miles as the crow ( or better... toucan) flies.. It is at the end of a winding approach road up a couple of 100 feet. from the lake dam. The rooms are fine and have a view of Arenal volcano... from you bed. You can see sparks and some lava action if the volcano is not clouded in, and, of course, if there is action happening. There is a good restaurant on premises. A small pool, We have stayed there twice.and enjoyed it. AOL is MUCH closer to the volcano, has a not so hot restaurant with a fabulous volcano view ( less than 1/2 mile I would say.) You can see boulders ejected from volcano cone and better lava action from AOL.

We stayed at Arenal Lodge, but made it a point to visit AOL for lunch to see the volcano up close.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
46,017 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Arenal Lodge vrs Arenal Observatory

Nice view from Arenal Lodge...but some times is so hard to understand the rooms locations and prices...since they have the old rooms...the not to old rooms...the new rooms...

But if the volcano is clear and active...it is one of the best views around there!

roadadvisor from Costa Rica and In Costa Rica!

Let me know if you have any more questions!

Sussex
Destination Expert
for Mana Pools National Park, Marco Island
Level Contributor
861 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Arenal Lodge vrs Arenal Observatory

If you are visiting the Arenal area with the primary aim of seeing the volcano I would say there is no competition - you will get the best views from the AOL.

Falmouth...
3 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Arenal Lodge vrs Arenal Observatory

I recommend Arenal Lodge, hands down above Arenal Observatory. Arenal Lodge truly provides a Costa Rican feel and the customer service is far superior and has a "casual atmosphere and understated elegance". In addition, you are sure to see an abundance of wildlife; They have 2 Blue Macaws on the property, deer, butterfly garden, lots of bird and more often than not, other animals unique to this area.

You might see some wildlife on the trails at the Observatory Lodge, but the property is surrounded by Pine Trees - NOT monkey / animal friendly!

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
Level Contributor
5,265 posts
131 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Arenal Lodge vrs Arenal Observatory

You can hear howler monkeys from the AOL's deck, and we saw a kinkajou and a jaguarundi from our room.

toronto
Level Contributor
22 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: Arenal Lodge vrs Arenal Observatory

Hi,

Thansks for all of your input. . . . we ended up booking with Lost Iguanas as the Observatory Volcano view rooms were sold out.

jen