is the largest fresh water lake in Costa Rica with a surface area of around fifty square miles. Amazingly, it is manmade although a much smaller lake existed prior to dam construction, covering the original city of Arenal in its depths. It is an excellent destination for boating, fishing, and kayaking on cool blue waters in refreshing mountain air. Kite boarders and windsurfers frequent this world class jewel to perfect their techniques and share the sport with other enthusiasts.
Surrounded by rain forest and pasture land, Lake Arenal offers spectacular scenery as you drive the shore west and north from La Fortuna to Tilaran (or south and east on the way to La Fortuna). Many times the local pezotes, or coatimundi, will be seen along the road soliciting food donations. Be careful, although furry and cute they do have sharp teeth and claws. Howler monkeys are in the trees so keep an eye out for them if you don't hear them first. And be sure to enjoy each special view of the lake as you round another corner!
Starting from Rio Chiquito on the southern side the communities around the lake are Tronadora, Puerto San Luis, Rio Piedras, Aguacate, Neuvo Arenal, La Union and El Castillo. Each pueblo offers a different view of the lake and volcano as well as friendly Ticos who were displaced from their original towns when the lake was expanded. Nearby are the towns of Tilaran, Guatuso, La Cabanga, La Fortuna, and Canas where there is more commerce and support for this largely agricultural northern zone.