Arenal is the country’s most active caldera, a spectacular volcano that gently smoulders during the day and for years has lit up the night with spellbinding lava flows and firework displays. It sits at the heart of a 7000 hectare national park of primary and secondary rainforest, tumbling waterfalls and crystal clear streams that harbours an extraordinary array of wildlife. Over 850 species of birds including the resplendent Quetzal have been recorded in the reserve alongside deer, jaguar and capuchin monkeys. Arenal is the face of Costa Rica tourism and comfortable lodges offer guests the chance to sink into volcanic hotsprings or explore the park by foot, horse, bike, raft and even zip-line. At the foot of the volcano, a vast lake and part man-made reservoir stretches 30km into the distance and attracts windsurfers, paddlers and fishermen from far and wide.