Located at only 2.7 km from the majestic Arenal Volcano and surrounded by 860 acres of incredible rainforest, the Arenal Observatory Lodge offers visitors a rare opportunity to view one of the world’s most active volcanoes. This property was originally built as a research station for scientists of the Smithsonian Institute and Earthwatch. The rich volcanic soil supports primary and secondary rainforest teeming with birds, butterflies, mammals and reptiles. Howler monkeys call from the forest every morning and late afternoon. The lodge offers 48 guestrooms of different categories: budget rooms with sharing facilities at the Casona, standard rooms, Smithsonian rooms (five of them have been especially designed for disabled guests), Junior Suites and the White Hawk Villa. All rooms have ceiling fan, coffee maker and safe deposit box. In addition, the lodge features a restaurant, a bar and a spring-fed swimming pool and Jacuzzi. Seven miles of well-marked walking, bike and horseback riding trail system traverses the property and provides safe, easy access to breathtaking natural beauty. A paved trail, wheelchair accessible, extends 800 meters into the rainforest allowing excellent views of the volcano and primary forest. This trail is perfect for a short night hike to immerse yourself in the exotic sounds and smells of the jungle after dark. Other facilities and services include free guided walks, a TV room, a souvenir shop, laundry service and a private parking lot.