Hiking Costa Rica: El Silencio Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna, Tours & Activities

The El Silencio Mirador Hike Offers Gorgeous Views and Plenty of Wildlife Viewing

Situated in Costa Rica’s Northern lowlands, the Arenal Volcano and park provides some of the most stellar hiking experiences you’ll find in Costa Rica. Though the volcano has been in a resting phase since 2010, a plethora of plant and animal life, winding trails, hanging bridges, and sweeping views are waiting for you to discover them.

Getting There

From San Jose, travel north to La Fortuna. The El Silencio Trail is located within the nature reserve accessible just outside of town. You can either enter the park on your own, paying the day use fee, or arrange for a tour guide to bring you in on a shuttled tour.

Climate and Topography

The El Silencio Mirador trail will take you winding through the rain forest, to the Mirador (Spanish for “lookout”) itself, providing awe inspiring views of the Arenal Volcano and surrounding jungle. The hike is moderate, with stretches of both flat trails and inclines. You should plan for at least two hours to travel the jungle trails, giving yourself more time if you’d like to pay special attention to the animals and scenery along the way.

Temperatures average 75-90 degrees, and as expected, the possibility of rain is almost always present.

Flora and Fauna

Positively teeming with wildlife, the trails of El Silencio offer the amateur zoologist plenty of opportunity to spot any number of the various animals that inhabit the rain forest here. That barking sound off in the distance isn’t dogs, but howler monkeys, and you might even encounter tarantulas, lizards, huge beetles, or the adorable White Nosed Coati. The plant life present in the preserve is just as captivating; you’ll be enchanted by the forest of trumpet trees, heliconia, hardwood and match trees rising up from a verdant fern carpet.

What to Bring

Supportive footwear is a must for this hike, as is light clothing, preferably in layers. Because this is the rain forest, weather can become inclement without much notice, so packing a light rain coat is always advisable. Take along sunscreen, plenty of water, and insect repellant, and be sure to bring your camera! You’ll want to capture the views from the Mirador and any wildlife you find along the way to share when you get back home. No matter what distance or difficulty you’re planning on tackling, it’s also always advisable to review hiking essentials to ensure your preparedness.


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