Arenal Volcano National Park, the home of the famous Arenal volcano near La Fortuna town, is a must-visit stop on any Costa Rica family itinerary.
In addition to ogling this picture perfect volcano, which isn’t currently active but does emit smoke from time to time, you can spend the days exploring the jungle, wallowing in mud baths and rinsing off in the numerous hot springs in the region. More adventurous families can enjoy ATV tours, zip lines and river rafting.
There are a number of hotels at a range of price points in the area, but only a few are ideal for family travelers. Here are my picks for the best hotels in Arenal Costa Rica for families.
Arenal Springs Hotel
This hotel is located about 5 miles from the town of La Fortuna, the main town near the Arenal volcano and Arenal Volcano National Park.
The Arenal Springs Hotel receives high marks for beautiful gardens, home to a number of native Costa Rican birds and animals, and stunning views of the volcano.
Consider booking adjoining rooms for your family so you have a bit more room to spread out. You can book one room with a king-sized bed and a second with 2 queen beds.
Here you’ll find three hot spring pools available exclusively for the use of hotel guests (not open to the public). One of the pools includes a bar and restaurant as well which is a nice option for lunch. For dinner, consider taking a short taxi ride (about $12) into La Fortuna town for the best dining options. Il Medeteraneo and Kapa Sushi, two restaurants in town, receive rave reviews from guests.
It’s easy to confuse this hotel, the Arenal Springs Hotel, with the fancy, and slightly less kid-friendly, The Springs Resort and Spa, when researching online, so just be sure you’re looking at the right hotel if you’re doing your research online.
The Arenal Sprigs Hotel even offers a cute coloring book you can download free on their web site. This is a fun way for kids to learn about the volcano and hot springs experience before traveling!
If you’re looking for a comfortable home-base to explore the greater La Fortuna area, the Arenal Manoa is a great option.
This hotel does not have hot springs on site, but it does have amazing views of the volcano as well as two great pools (one fed by a natural hot springs) and restaurant on site.
Guests love the clean, well-maintained facilities. Rooms are in “casitas” with 2 rooms per casita, making booking adjoining rooms here a great option if you’re looking for a bit more privacy and enjoy the benefit of your stand along structure.
One unique thing about the Arenal Manoa hotel is it is adjacent to a working farm, owned by the same family as the hotel. You’ll be surrounded by pastures and animals, and can see the daily operations of a real working farm. Kids can explore here and even milk a cow!
Of all these hotels, the Arenal Kioro has the best views of the volcano.
This hotel does have lovely family suites, so you don’t have to book 2 rooms to meet the needs of your family. These rooms have 2 queen beds and a sofa bed. Your kids will love the hot tubs in each room.
As with the Arenal Springs hotels, the Arenal Kioro has hot springs on site available for exclusive use for hotel guests.
But if you’re looking for a larger, more inclusive hot springs experience, the hotel suggests using the Titoku Hot Springs located about 7km away from the hotel.
Have you visited Arenal with your family? Where did you stay?
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