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Best Wildlife Hotel near Arenal

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USA
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2,214 posts
33 reviews
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Best Wildlife Hotel near Arenal

Looking at Arenal Lodge but wondering if there is another hotel near Arenal that would offer better chances of wildlife sightings on the grounds?

USA
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2,214 posts
33 reviews
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1. Re: Best Wildlife Hotel near Arenal

Bumbity-bump

Chicago, IL
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473 posts
25 reviews
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2. Re: Best Wildlife Hotel near Arenal

We didn't get as far as the hotels in Nuevo Arenal, but we liked Arenal Observatory Lodge. It is right next to the preserve, and there are a lot of paths in the forest. There were howlers there, pizotes, and beautiful birds. You do have to go on a bumpy road because it is isolated, but I would pick that any day over the hotels in La Fortuna which are all right along the road.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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3. Re: Best Wildlife Hotel near Arenal

Take a tour to Cano Negro...is a great area...

Around Arenal you do not have to many chances of wildlife...maybe...Pizotes, Armadillos, Zorros, some snakes, hawler monkeys...

Luis Road Advisor

Just buckle up and enjoy the ride in paradise!!

Boston, MA USA
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29 posts
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4. Re: Best Wildlife Hotel near Arenal

Hola!

We just booked our fourth trip to the Arenal Lodge, in August. One of the key reasons we keep returning is the wildlife. Far from the bustle of La Fortuna, howler monkeys will wake you up in the morning -- not traffic noise!

That said, you won't see the huge diversity of Costa Rican wildlife on the grounds of any of the hotels -- other than howler monkeys, scavenging coatis, tolomucos and birds.

Two recommendations:

> Kayak in the Cano Negro: We saw more wildlife on this tour than anywhere else. A kayak allows you to glide up to the edge of the jungle, and see things that would disappear if you were walking on a trail. The kayaks are sit-on-tops -- so no skill or experience is required. This is a full-day excursion; the Lodge can make the arrangements.

> Old Lava Beds trail: If you're adventurous, this trail behind the Arenal Observatory Lodge winds through virgin triple-canopy jungle, across a small river, and up the side of Arenal. It isn't frequently traveled, and we've seen quite a bit of wildlife. Note: a variety of very poisonous snakes are part of the magic of Costa Rican wildlife. Keep an eye out on any jungle hike, particularly when you step on/over a log. Wear good hiking boots.

I hope this is helpful,

Enjoy!

Mark Hays

Chicago, IL
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473 posts
25 reviews
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5. Re: Best Wildlife Hotel near Arenal

When we were at the Observatory lodge a few weeks ago, the old lava trail was closed.

Boston, MA USA
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29 posts
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6. Re: Best Wildlife Hotel near Arenal

Hola!

Thanks to Shoie for the note regarding the Old Lava Beds trail. According to the AOL website, however, the "Morning Hike" trail is temporarily closed; this is the trail that connects to the New Lava Beds trail in the National Park. The "Old Lava" trail is apparently still open. See:

arenalobservatorylodge.com/EN/arenal/la-fort…

I'm going to send Shoie and the AOL a note to follow-up, to clarify what was closed during their visit.

Mark Hays

7. Re: Best Wildlife Hotel near Arenal

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Brooklyn, New York
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811 posts
16 reviews
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8. Re: Best Wildlife Hotel near Arenal

I'm curious if there are any updates to this thread? Does anyone have any more info on what trails are closed or open at AOL? Also interested in the place with the best on-site wildlife sighting.

USA
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2,214 posts
33 reviews
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9. Re: Best Wildlife Hotel near Arenal

Arenal Observatory Lodge.

We saw Howlers, Spider-Monkeys, Guan, Pizotes, A Coyote, and more right in the Garden.

Not to mention an Oncilla (though it is a bit less than wild and more of an illegal immigrant from Nicaragua.....long

It covers thousands of acres and they have free wildlife watching guided tours every morning.

USA
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10. Re: Best Wildlife Hotel near Arenal

Correction--870 acres--but adjacent to the National Park and Cloud Forrest resevres....