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Arenal Volcano
Today’s Volcanic Activity & Safe Visitation Guidelines

The Arenal Volcano has been one of the main attractions in Costa Rica for years. The lava flows, smoking craters and dramatic explosions made this one of the “must see” locations in Costa Rica. Then, in October of 2010, the Arenal Volcano went quiet.

To keep up accurate information on the situation with Arenal, we spoke to the volcanologist that we rely on for this kind of information, his name is Gerardo Soto.

Gerardo is a geologist whose specialty is Volcanology. He has his degree in Geology from the University of Costa Rica and his specialization is from the Japan International Cooperation Agency. He lived in Japan for 4.5 years and was a professor at the University of Kagoshima.

Gerardo works in subterranean exploration and is an international consultant on subjects having to do with Seismology, Volcanology and Geology for Peru, Dominican Republic, Salvador, Bolivia and Panama.

Gerardo has been our adviser since 2003 when we asked him to help us define Safety Guidelines for our guests after some travelers (who weren’t with Costa Rica Expeditions) were killed by a pyroclastic flow. This most recent information comes from a trip we took to Arenal with Gerardo in August of 2014. Below is how we were advised:

We are now offering hikes along trails that offer views of the volcano and natural history opportunities in the National Park. These are trails we have not offered in years. There are also new activity options that offer a geologic history tour of the region, where you can learn about Arenal’s explosive past. However, we are strongly discouraging anyone from hiking too high up the mountain side, and definitely from trying to go for the top. If anyone offers you this activity they will tell you it is safe, but because of the danger for a phreatic explosion, this remains untrue.

Guidelines for a Safe Visit

Please consider the list below. It covers a few areas we still consider unsafe, although in most cases the danger has moved from lava flows to landslides possible in times of high rain and thus loose earth.

Your Safety – Things to Keep in Mind

Important Note: Costa Rica Expeditions guides and drivers will NOT visit high-risk areas and are instructed to keep guests away from them. If a guest insists, he or she is free to arrange transportation on his/her own.

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