Cerro Chato is a dormant volcano that flanks the southeast side of the Arenal Volcano. Cerro Chato has been inactive for some 3,500 years and rests at an elevation of 3,740 ft (1,140 m). In this sense, it is quite different from the neighboring Arenal, which is much taller and until 2010 was the country’s most active volcano.
The Chato Volcano first erupted 38,000 years ago during the Pleistocene period. One of these eruptions paved the way for the waterway that leads to the La Fortuna waterfall. It has two peaks, named Chatito and Espina, as well as a 1,640-ft (500-m) crater that’s filled with greenish-blue water.
In the past, it has been possible to hike up Cerro Chato. There is a trail that departs from the Arenal Observatory Lodge on Chato’s western slope. The trail leads along a ridge and descends the eastern slope, leading to an end point near the La Fortuna Waterfall.
Recently, heavy rainfall has made it impossible to hike Cerro Chato. The trails are too muddy and slippery, and the Costa Rican government has restricted access. We’ll keep this page updated if anything changes.
In the meantime, check out these nearby hikes.
On this hike, you’ll explore the unusual landscape that surrounds Arenal Volcano. It includes second-growth forest and lava fields.
El Silencio Hike takes you on a trail through the rainforest on the side of a dormant volcano to a lovely vista.