Travel Articles

Costa Rica- Arenal Volcano & Beaches

by: Equitrekking host Darley Newman


Monica, our local Costa Rica horseback riding vacation guide, and her brother Sebastian and I rode at the base of the very active Arenal volcano. We rode through rolling farmland dotted with cattle, which would feel the heat if Arenal were to have a major eruption. To ride here, is to ride in the danger zone and a geological wonderland.

Near the base, we rode through rich, green pastures up to a high point to take in Arenal Lake on one side and the tall volcano on the other.  Climbing to higher elevations at the volcanoes base, we rode among lava rocks listening to the rumblings of the volcano and watching smoke billow from the top of the cone. Arenal can throw rocks the size of cars and its flow has been known to change direction. We waited until sunset to see the hot, red lava cascading down Arenal’s side. We also dipped into the nearby hot springs, to enjoy the soothing heat that Arenal provides and take away some of the saddle soreness. Seeing something so active at such close proximity, made me even more happy to be on horseback, just in case I needed to make a quick getaway.

As the sun set, we were able to see the neon lava flowing down the side of the volcano. It made for an interesting ride back to the horse trailer, where we loaded up our horses and then headed over to a locals only hot spring. After days of horse riding in Costa Rica, it was nice to soak with a frosty drink in hand.

We also took a sunset beach ride on the Pacific Coast. Monica and Esteban know the country really well. They chose a private beach for our ride, where we had free rein to canter and gallop back and forth and even take our horse into the ocean. Pure freedom in Costa Rica! 

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