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Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano)

672 Reviews

Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano)

672 Reviews
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See the best of La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano area in just one day with this tour. Start with a hike along the La Fortuna River, continuing to a suspension bridge tucked deep into the jungle. Then walk to a local indigenous village followed by a traditional lunch. In the afternoon, visit the Arenal Volcano for more hiking before wrapping your day up with a soak in a natural thermal river.
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Ariana C wrote a review Nov 2020
64 contributions5 helpful votes
I want to begin by giving readers some demographics. My boyfriend (36, active) and myself (30, 5’4, 120 lbs, not very active) decided to climb this volcano on a whim (living on the edge). We read a bunch of reviews but I had zero clue what I was getting myself into. Firstly, please start at Green Lagoon Lodge. We went to Arenal Observatory Lodge and there is a guard at a gate prior to entrance on the property. He does not permit entrance to do Cerro Chato. So we then drove 35 minutes to the Green Lagoon Lodge. We paid 10 USD for both of us. The dudes there provided us with basically zero info (to be expected) because this is definitely a ‘do at your own risk’ activity. Now let me tell you, I was short of breath about 5 minutes in. The trail starts off on a steady incline up a grassy/rocky terrain. You will pass by several cows and horses and have to walk thru two gates to keep going. I thought this was bad LOL I was in for the shock of my life! The terrain started getting steep shortly after that. This consisted of a ‘path’ that was not a path. I was on my freakin hands. Like, using all four extremities to maneuver and this was barely suffice. I was short of breath the entire way but we reached the end of the Green Lagoon Lodge property and there is a sign indicating the end. By this point I was all ready shooketh but still had no idea how much worse it could get! To speed this story up...the next hour was grueling. At one point I didn’t think I was going to make it. You are basically on a rock wall that is muddy and covered with vines, leaves and trees. You can just about see where to go. Beware of snakes. We finally made it to the top and initially was disappointed by the view. However, you can descend about 100 ft to a lower viewing area. We decided the remainder of this descent was too dangerous and did not make it down to the lagoon. We stayed there for about 30 minutes to eat snacks. Now, the way down started off great. We were cruising and I thought to myself, ‘ah this is way easier than the ascent.’ Well, the universe heard me and then said a giant F-class you and it started down pouring. So the already slippery trek was now made 100x harder! I fell three times and nearly busted my face. Bottom line: I am glad I did this and quite frankly, shocked I was able to. But I wouldn’t do this again and I wouldn’t recommend on a day with a chance of rain or in the dark. I also wouldn’t recommend to anyone with respiratory or joint issues. If you go, pack a light backpack with at least 1 liter of water and a small snack. Good luck!
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Date of experience: November 2020
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Gabrielle mundy wrote a review Dec 2019
2 contributions2 helpful votes
My husband and I decided to take on the challenge of hiking the Cerro Chato volcano. Yes it is technically private property of the government and technically blocked off due to weather making the hiking path more difficult. However, it is very doable if wearing the proper attire and shoes. We wore all long sleeves and shoes with good tread. Hydrate the day before, don’t drink a bunch like we did! Haha Bring electrolytes and power bars to give you energy! There is no security on the green lagoon side, however if you try to access the hiking trail from the Arenal National Park side... there is a guard. So... We got dropped off at the green lagoon lodge. They make you pay $10 a person and they tell you their trail is 1 hour and after that if you want to keep hiking they are no longer responsible for you and you are on your own. We did their 1 hour hike and when we got to the sign that says “ this is the end of the trail” we just kept going! Pura Vida! You may be the only ppl out there so pack accordingly. It’s a beautiful hike that takes around 5 hours round trip... but it took us 7 due to us stopping and taking breaks. I recommend starting your hike early so you make sure you don’t get stuck in the forest at dark. The sun goes down around 5ish. There is a path u can see to follow, it’s just an adventure navigating around the trees and rocks. It’s like climbing a million stairs in the middle of a forest. You will get dirty but that’s all part of the fun! Once you reach the top of the volcano you can choose to go down to the green lagoon which is in the crater of the volcano. It’s a 30 min hike down and it’s all mud with little footing. You have to grab branches and slide down. If you brave the hike down you will get to swim In the beautiful COLD lagoon. It felt amazing after a long hike. Bring a bathing suit to change into if you don’t want to hike back wet! The hardest part of the hike was getting from the green lagoon back up to the trail, not much to grip onto. But it’s possible, we did it! The way back takes less time because you are going all downhill. It was one of the most exhausting and rewarding things we have every done! Such an incredible experience that not many people can say they have done! If you love adventure and a long hike I highly recommend it! When you are hiking it feels like it never ends but don’t give up, it’s well worth it!
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Date of experience: December 2019
2 Helpful votes
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Southern Wayfarer wrote a review Dec 2019
1 contribution2 helpful votes
I shot a time lapse of the hike and have put it on YouTube. Please be aware of what you are getting into as the trail is completely washed out now. My username on YouTube is Southern Wayfarer if you wanna watch. Video titled Cerro Chato hike Nov 9th 2019 Costa Rica.
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Date of experience: November 2019
2 Helpful votes
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Alex wrote a review Dec 2019
25 contributions1 helpful vote
Well at least you pay a parking ticket to know you car wont be stolen, right? LOL The hike was 1 hour, it was raining and if not my gorgeous friend who was with me, I'd say fck it and go home for more shots.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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Erika wrote a review Sep 2019
Caracas, Venezuela8,839 contributions553 helpful votes
This is the best trekking I have done in my life so far. A local recommended to go there and no agency will recommend you to go there. The bad thing is that you enter the Green Lodge and they charge you 10 dollars to pass the private property as they are thieves. The trail is almost virgin. Is not bad is simply the nature as it is and you will walk by the path the water leaves when falls down the mountain. There are gigantic trees fallen in the path and you simply have to go over them. We got to the top of this inactive volcano but didn't go to the lake (another 45min to go down) because I saw that trail a little dangerous and it was raining and we could not see anything and not even the lake. Bring a liter of water per person and some fruit. The trail is "forbidden" as everyone would say but many tourists go there.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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