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“A bit more than a stroll in the park”

Cerro Chato ANC Park & Gardens
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US$ 62.00*
and up
Arenal Volcano National Park Walk with Optional Hot Springs
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: GreenLagoon Arenal Nature Conservancy Park & Gardens is a private Park, Trails & Gardens Preserve within its 400 Acre-Property. It is the closest property to the Extinct Cerro Chato Volcano, its Crater's Green Lagoon and the Fortuna Waterfall. There is a $10 Fee charge at the GreenLagoon InfoCenter or at the GreenLagoon Lodge to take this Hiking Tour. Parking facilities at no cost are available at the lodge. The Trails also lead to the Wildlife and Rainforest Preserve within the 400-Acre private property. You will have magnificent Views to Mountains, Arenal Volcano and the Valley of San Carlos here. If you decide to hike to the summit of Cerro Chato, the Lagoon or to the view point of Arenal Volcano at the summit, you will do it under your own risk and responsibility.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Grapevine, Texas
Level Contributor
67 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“A bit more than a stroll in the park”
Reviewed 28 February 2012

This hike is not for the faint at heart. It is a demanding challenge for most, a lot longer and steeper than one would epect. As a trail hike and not one of paved stepping stones a good pair of hiking shoes is in order. Once in the rain forest you are in the land that time forgot, the reason you have choosen this hike. When you finally summit, its is then you relize that the lagoon is still not yet within your grasp. The down climb into the volcano is one of slippery mud and vines down the trail. At time a vertical descent. So be careful... I am guessing that EMS could be a long time in getting there if needed. Over all would I do it again? With out a doubt! What a site to see! Remember the distination is not always the adventure. It is the journey itself that makes the distination the adventure.

Visited February 2012
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Thank Cheoylee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Chicago, Illinois, United States
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Rewarding swim after a very technical hike.”
Reviewed 26 February 2012

As people say, this hike is tough. Short, but tough. You'll be using your hands a lot and climbing down tree roots like a monkey, but SO MUCH FUN.

Helpful?
Thank Saverio T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Great hike, but you had to pay for it!”
Reviewed 15 February 2012

I was surprised at how many places expected you to pay to see the sights (the waterfall, Cerro Chato, etc...) It was a pretty hike in the rainforest, but it was raining the whole time we were there and the lake was completely covered in mist. An interesting site, but I wish I had gotten to see the whole lake, especially after paying to hike it!

It was fairly steep, and could be challenging for beginner hikers, but overall we didn't find it super difficult. The worst part was that it was super muddy because of all of the rain, so we actually fell a couple of times coming down the mountain. So if you're not very nimble and it's been raining a lot recently this might not be the hike for you.

Visited March 2011
Helpful?
Thank avidtravelerDM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
35 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Steep Hike with okay view at the top but beautiful scenery on the way”
Reviewed 8 February 2012

We did this hike in late January.... my boyfriend and I are very use to long hikes and have done many difficult ones - and this one definitely counted as difficult! I was not prepared for how steep it was even though the hike was relatively short. The beginning part was beautiful with nice views of La Fortuna.... the hike through the rainforest was also beautiful. We got to the top and were disappointed however. It was just a lake.... and I guess being from Colorado I guess we are spoiled with experiencing many great lakes that are in the mountains.... so this was not anything special.... and I think too that it was ridiculous that there is a $10/per person fee.... so a $20 hike that we could do anywhere in colorado for free. I would only recommend this to people if you really dont have much else to do in the area or need a good exersise day! One nice thing however is that I dont believe too many people do this hike -we only saw two other people on our way down - but we ended up chatting w/them so that was one of the highlights of this hike. It was cloudy, so we didnt get great views of arenal, but that is fine - we started the hike w/that expectation.

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
Thank ColoAmanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CerroChato, Guest Relations Manager at Cerro Chato ANC Park & Gardens, responded to this review, 9 February 2012
Dear Traveler,
It is important to know your opinion and your feelings and I appreciate your time writing your comments. I am certain that others also appreciate all versions of opinions. I love this forum because people will excactly know how previous hikers feel about this particular one. I thank you because you mention the great attributes and beauty of the hike, as well as the great CARDIOVASCULAR BENEFIT OF IT, WHICH IS WORTH more than pennies. By the way, this is at the end of the day, why people come here. I have also climbed most mountains in Colorado and downhill skiing there. I agree that your mountains are special and some of the parks and trails are free. Unlike Colorado's blessed wealthy ski resorts that pay substantial taxes to the counties there, In Costa Rica Private Enterprises may function as the Providers of Maintainence and Care of Hiking trails in the Mountains and Maintenance of Reforestation Efforts, Wildlife Protection as well as Springs Protection. The fee of $10 is necessary to Maintain The Gardens, the 3 Km-long Trails that you enjoyed, which is not a short distance by the way, specially considering the fact that it is steep which add to the value of maintenance due to torrential water falls and that it may take 1.5-2 hours one way to the top for most people.
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albq, nm
Level Contributor
25 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Very verticle”
Reviewed 19 January 2012

It is a steep hike and quite nice along the way. However, the likelihood of a clear day to see the lake is slim indeed. Even walking down to the edge of the lake only renders visibility of about 15 feet.

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank nat4000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CerroChato, Guest Relations Manager at Cerro Chato ANC Park & Gardens, responded to this review, 6 February 2012
Dear Hiker, I am sorry you did not get a clear day like most people do, but the Cloudy RainForest is also attractive.
I do value your time and effort to enter your comments and special your candid note. I am however, very proud of you because you made to the Summit of Cerro Chato. As you mention this is a unique Hiking activity and best for those who are in good physical condition and those who want to take upon the challange of Moderate Mountaineering Expeditions. Unlike Everest, this is a tropical climb and much more favorable and the reward at the end as many have mention is the Green Turquoise Lagoon at the end of the Journey. Further more, for those who still have energy and walk to the View Point you will have the spectacular view of the Amazing Arenal Volcano. Follow around the Summit and you will see on the West side the Lake Arenal.
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