Be sure to add this destination to your list of 'Arenal Things To Do!' The area surrounding the lake is as inspiring as the water itself — hills of pastured and forested land roll into the distance, while the summit of the Arenal Volcano dominates the eastern horizon.
In 1979, Lake Arenal was enlarged to three times its original size with the construction of a hydroelectric dam. The towns of Arenal and Tondadora, which were originally sited on the spot where the lake now rests, were relocated to the northeastern side of the lake. Nowadays, Lake Arenal’s dam is hugely important to the country, as it produces nearly 12% of Costa Rica’s electric energy.
› Learn more about Costa Rica's commitment to sustainability.
For visitors, the lake offers many year-round activities, and is the first of many adventures awaiting you in Arenal, Costa Rica. These include windsurfing, fishing, boat tours, and kayaking. Lake Arenal enjoys a world-class reputation among windsurfers and sailboarders, as it receives a steady supply of strong and dependable wind. Many people, in fact, consider it to be one of the world’s foremost windsurfing destinations. Fishing is equally popular within the lake’s waters, the best of which is done for rainbow bass. These large, fighting fish — known locally as “guapote” — are members of the cichlid family. Their meat is white and tasty, and their sharp teeth and feisty nature make catching them a real challenge. The best time to troll for rainbow bass is around sunrise or sunset; organized fishing trips begin with a hotel pickup at 5:30 AM or 2:00 PM.
› If these adventures aren't intense enough, explore Costa Rica's rapids...
The area surrounding the lake can be toured by horseback or mountain bike, and has trails that can be hiked along. For those traveling to the Monteverde Cloud Forest, taxi boats provide a quick and scenic shortcut across the lake.
› Get to and from Lake Arenal, your hotel, and your other exciting tours with ease when you add convenient transportation options.