Whenever we travel, we always try to incorporate at least one big hike into our trip. Costa Rica delivered, giving us plenty of hikes to choose from. We decided to tackle the Cerro Chato hike as we heard it offered a great view of Arenal Volcano and the Cerro Chato crater lake.
We started the hike at the Arenal Observatory Lodge where we signed in and paid a minimal fee. At first, you follow a paved path that then leads to a dirt path with a slow incline up the base of the mountain. After passing several fields, the trail becomes less maintained. The path is super muddy with roots galore and very steep inclines. Be sure to wear clothes that you don’t mind getting muddy and hiking shoes with good traction.
Once you reach the top, the views of Arenal Volcano and the emerald Cerro Chato lake are spectacular making all the huffing and puffing to get there worth it. If it isn’t too wet, venture down the path to the lake. If you thought the hike up to the top of Cerro Chato was slippery and challenging, the hike down to the lake will really get your heart pumping. Bring a change of clothes and a towel in your pack if you plan to swim in the green lake.