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Cerro Chato hike

USA
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Cerro Chato hike

Hi,

I am going to be staying in La Fortuna, and I want to do the Cerro Chato hike. This is my current plan:

1.) start at the La Fortuna waterfall

2.) hike over to the arenal observatory

3.) catch a cab to tico tabacon and stay in those free hot springs for about an hour

4.) cab back to La Fortuna

Is that possible to do in one day? What are all the entrance fees? From what I understand, it might be $10 to see the La Fortuna waterfall, and maybe $6 to start the hike. Will I be able to catch a cab at the end of my hike at the Arenal Observatory?

Sorry for all the questions, and thanks for any help!

La Fortuna de San...
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1. Re: Cerro Chato hike

This is all possible, but you would end up paying more in cab fare than you would paying for a tour. There is a company in town named Red Lava tours which operates a tour like this. I don't think they are ICT certified and probably do not have insurance, but I think they have backpacker friendly rates. I hike Cerro Chato often and see them up there with tourists every time I go. I am not endorsing them, just think it may be a good option for you to save money given the circumstance. The tourists generally appear to be happy for what it's worth.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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2. Re: Cerro Chato hike

Go for nice hike...

Roadadvisor

USA
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3. Re: Cerro Chato hike

Update:

I did this hike/hot springs and it was great. As mentioned previously, the taxi costs are expensive. However going with someone else and splitting the taxi costs made it a lot cheaper than a tour. The most comparable tour I could find through Red Lava is $80 per person.

Cost:

$7 taxi from la fortuna to Green Lagoon lodge

$10 per person to do hike

$25 taxi from arenal lodge to tico tabacon

$15 taxi from tico tabacon to downtown la fortuna

total for 2 people: $67

Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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15,298 posts
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4. Re: Cerro Chato hike

Michael, thanks for the update. What was your hike route, and how difficult it was?

USA
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5. Re: Cerro Chato hike

No problem.

The route was just the Cerro Chato trail starting from the Green Lagoon Lodge and ending at the Arenal Observatory. We didn't get a map or anything, because the trail is so well labeled. We hiked up the volcano, looked at the lagoon, and hiked down the other side. We didn't do the additional hike down to the base of the lake, because we didn't want to swim. Plus, the trails around the top were really muddy. The rain forms puddles there.

It took about 2.5 - 3 hrs to go up and about the same to go down. Once down on the Observatory side there is another 30 mins - 1 hr walk to get to the Observatory.

I don't go hiking regularly, but I'm in good shape so it wasn't bad. It is really steep and you have to climb up/down through roots/ruts in the ground which is fun. My 60 year old father did the hike with me, and he is in great shape. My legs were tired the next day, but there wasn't a point during the hike where I thought I couldn't continue. I recommend it!

Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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15,298 posts
60 reviews
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6. Re: Cerro Chato hike

Thanks a lot, that hike is very seldom mentioned here so your input is welcomed.

La Fortuna de San...
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2,002 posts
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7. Re: Cerro Chato hike

Just one very important note is to GO EARLY! Because this is a long day, it can get dark under the forest canopy as early as 3pm (thick/dense fauna) so make sure to start early! :-) Enjoy!!!

Cleveland, Ohio
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106 posts
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8. Re: Cerro Chato hike

Where to park to start the hike? Can we park a rental car at green lagoon lodge?

London, United...
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9. Re: Cerro Chato hike

That is an excellent post. Thanks Michael

Canton, MI
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194 posts
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10. Re: Cerro Chato hike

If I plan on staying @ Arenal Observatory Lodge in a month, how long would it take to hike Cerro Chato visit La Fortuna waterfall & return?

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