A Slice of Paradise – Nuevo Arenal
If you were to choose a sweet location for your Costa Rican escapade then there is no other place to go than Nuevo Arenal in Guanacaste.
It may be just a small town, but it is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiast who wants to maximize their experience of Costa Rica. Here you will find serenity as you wake up to nature, something unique to start your day right.
The town got its name from the majestic Arenal Volcano. “Nuevo” means new. The original Arenal town is now found at the bottom of Lake Arenal.
The locals during the 70’s were more than happy to relocate when the government decided to expand the lake.
Not only that they gained an ideal spot for tourist, they also get to view the Arenal Volcano at a safe distance.
So, where is Nuevo Arenal found? You can find it in the Northern Plains of Costa Rica in Guanacaste.
It is located between the towns of Tilaran and La Fortuna and is situated in Costa Rica’s largest lake, Lake Arenal.
It’s surrounded by lush jungles; dramatic and expansive mountains, lakes and volcanoes; and with an incredible exotic wildlife to boot, perfect for trekkers and backpackers, nature lovers and adventure seekers, anglers and fishers, and the ordinary sightseers wanting a pleasant experience.
It also has a bustling nightlife and has a number of restaurants to suit your taste ranging from the local cuisines to German and Italian eating houses. The climate in Nuevo Arenal is suitable for tourist to visit anytime of the year.
December to April is relatively warm with limited rainfall which is perfect for those who want to get away from the shivering cold of winter.
May to July is the thunderstorm season. Thunderstorm enthusiasts will really enjoy a good show from Mother Nature.
Don’t forget to bring your cameras to capture the perfect lightning picture as it strikes. From August to November, it’s still a bit rainy but it usually occur around late afternoons or early evenings, so it won’t actually hamper your day trips. Rain will not stop you from experiencing the best of Costa Rica.
To get to and from Nuevo Arenal, you can bet on a four-wheel drive and your sense of adventure as you drive on the mountain roads. It will give you a unique viewing experience as you cruise through the most beautiful and stunning scenery.
It takes about 30 minutes to Tilaran and 45 minutes to La Fortuna. If you’re heading to Monteverde, it takes about 2 hours while Liberia and Tamarindo takes at least 3 hours. San Jose is just 4 hours away and Manuel Antonio is around 4½ hours away.
Now these driving times are approximates because you never know what interesting finds you may encounter. The journey is well worth it.
One of the most sought after destinations in Costa Rica is the Arenal Volcano. This volcano is one of the most active in the world. It has an almost perfect cone shape which is just magnificent to look at.
What makes it interesting is that it constantly erupts every five to ten minutes. These small eruptions stop the volcano from building up pressure for a big one to happen. To see it happen is truly amazing.
Now there are two sides to the volcano, one side is filled with lush greeneries while the other side is where you can find the lava pouring out and flowing freely, dangerous yet hauntingly beautiful.
According to the locals, the best time to view Arenal Volcano is around the middle of August until the first week of November, where you can get a picturesque view of the volcano.
If you want to explore more volcanoes close to Nuevo Arenal, then visit the Tenorio National Park for a tour of the Tenorio Volcano.
It’s enormous in size but it’s dormant. A bit farther is Rincon de la Vieja which is found northeast of Liberia, which last erupted in 1998.
There’s a bit of legend about Rincon de la Vieja which means “the old woman’s corner”. If you’re interested, don’t hesitate to take a day trip to those areas.
Other day trips you can take is the canopy tour in Monteverde but if you want something a bit closer then head east of Nuevo Arenal.
Just 4 kilometers on the way out of town, you will find a magical butterfly garden and the Arenal Botanical Gardens.
Now a vacation to Costa Rica is never complete without a trip to the beach. The closest beach from Nuevo Arenal is found on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.
The beaches or “playas” in Tamarindo is one of the most popular destinations for surfers. You’d be happy to know that during the months of November and December, the waves can get up to 12 feet high.
Now that spells adventure. The atmosphere in this beach side city is friendly and laid-back. If surfing is not your thing, you can still enjoy the beach; there is always something for someone to do.
Now here are a few “playas” you could visit for an adventurous and relaxing time at the beach.
The Gulf of Papagayo and Playa Hermosa are both good swimming areas or for just bathing in the sun. This area is currently gaining popularity.
The most exclusive Costa Rican resorts are found in Papagayo while Playa Hermosa has only recently gained the attention of most tourists so nature here is a bit raw.
Playa del Coco and Playa Ocotal are great places to enjoy the beach with a local twist. Playa del Coco or Coco Beach is a favorite among tourist and the local Ticos.
It has just about everything from souvenir shops to restaurants and bars to entertain you. South of Playa del Coco is an isolated paradise called Playa Ocotal.
Flamingo Beach is famous for its pristine calm waters, beautiful coastlines and entertainment.
You will definitely enjoy swimming here. It also has a few wellness spas to help remove the stress. This is a good place for those who are really looking for rest and relaxation.
After a day packed with leisure and adventure, it’s nice to come home to a comfortable place. Nuevo Arenal is such a place.