Traveling from Tamarindo to Arenal Driving Directions

Top 5 Most Impressive Volcanoes in Costa Rica (and how to get there from Tamarindo!)

Traveling from Tamarindo to Arenal Driving Directions

When people think “Costa Rica” they think of three things: pristine beaches, prolific wildlife and colossal volcanoes.

Costa Rica is home to over 200 volcanic formations speckled throughout the country – most of them accompanied by piping hot springs and challenging hiking trails. Here’s a list of the top 5 most impressive volcanoes in Costa Rica in order of their proximity to Tamarindo (and recommendations on which ones are OK for day trips versus which ones require overnight stays).

(NOTE: I’ve included directions, but do yourself a favor and ignore them. Instead, rent a GPS along with your car and let it take you where you need to go.)

Rincon de la Vieja Volcano

Traveling from Tamarindo to Rincon de la Vieja Driving Directions

Rincon is one of only two volcanoes close enough to Tamarindo for a day trip. It’s an incredible place to hike, as there are boiling mud pots and loads of wildlife around every corner. There is so much to do here I couldn’t possibly list it all here.  Horseback riding, hot springs, ziplining, waterfall rappelling, tubing and pretty much anything else outdoors you could imagine. Talk to Lola at RPM about booking a tour. Keep in mind the park is closed on Mondays.

Directions: Drive north along the Pan American Highway past Liberia for 3 miles/5.8 km and turn right at the signs for Curubande/Rincón de la Vieja National Park/Las Pailas sector. Travel 8.6 miles/14 kilometers on a dirt road to the village of Curubande which is 8.5 miles/13.6 km away and continue in the same direction along the same road. Watch for signs to Rincón de la Vieja National Park/Las Pailas sector.

Miravalles Volcano

How to get from Tamarindo to Miravalles Driving Directions

Miravalles is a fairly smooth 2-hour drive from Tamarindo (it’s definitely worthy of a day trip!). It’s about 45 minutes away from Liberia and 10 miles north of the small town of Bagaces. There aren’t really any EASY hiking trails, but if you really want to get crazy you can hire a guide to take you on a 9-hour round trip hike to the top. There are also some hot springs that are easy to reach by car, where you can soak in the thermal waters or rub soothing volcanic mud all over your body.

Directions: Take the Interamerican highway to Bagaces, then turn off to the right. Drive about 20 miles toward Guayabo until you see the signs for Miravalles.

Tenorio Volcano

Tenorio’s two craters and four volcanic cones are not nearly as impressive as the unbelievable celeste blue river running through the national park. This vibrant blue color is an effect caused by the sulfuric hot springs heated up by volcanic activity. The best time to visit is during dry season between February and May, when the river is at its best. It’s about a 2.5-3.5 hour drive from Tamarindo depending on road conditions and how fast you drive, so it’s best to make a visit to Tenorio National Park an overnight one.

Directions: Take a left in Villareal and drive until the road ends in Huacas. Take a right and follow the signs to Liberia (when you reach the main intersection at Belen you’ll take a left). Pass the Liberia international airport, which will be on your left. After 10 mi (16 km), in Liberia downtown, follow the signs to San Jose. Drive straight through until you get to the city of Cañas. About 6 miles after Cañas is a turnoff to Bijagua. About 20 miles past Bijagua, you will find the entrance to the Park.

Arenal Volcano

Driving directions from Tamarindo to Arenal

This is by far Costa Rica’s most famous volcano, and with good reason – it’s pretty much the iconic shape and size of what you’d expect a volcano to be. Plus, from 1968 to 2011 it used to erupt with hot lava each and every night. Now it mostly smolders as it’s considering not quite dormant, but “sleeping.” Arenal is definitely NOT a day trip from Tamarindo. You want to allow at least 2-3 nights in La Fortuna (the town next to Arenal) to really experience the area – perhaps even 4 or 5 nights if you want to really take your time.

Directions: From Tamarindo, drive to Huacas and onto Belen, through Liberia and on to Cañas. Follow signs to Tilaran and on to Arenal. Click here for more in-depth directions.

Poas Volcano

Driving directions Tamarindo to Poas Volcano

Poas is the no-brainer of all of Costa Rica’s volcanoes, particularly if you’re flying into the San Jose International Airport. It literally could not be easier to reach by car (however keep in mind it’s a 6-hour drive from Tamarindo, so plan on spending the night in the Central Valley!). Just drive to the parking lot, and walk less than 10 minutes along the perfectly level, well-kempt path to reach the neon-blue crater. Be sure to plan your trip as early as possible in the morning (I’m talking be ready and waiting the moment the park opens), otherwise it will probably be too foggy to see anything. It’s super windy there, so if you’re lucky you might end up with a funny family photo like this one!

Directions: From San Jose, take the highway to Alajuela. From there, take to road to Itiquis and Fraijanes, following the signs to the volcano.

Credits:

Blog by: Genna Marie

photo credit: Wha’ppen via photopin cc
photo credit: leivajd via photopin cc

Other photos by Genna Marie of Tamarindo Family Photos

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive updates and special offers:
See What Our Guests Are Saying!

Casa Pipilacha review

Kathy
5star rating
March 8, 2015
Great experience. Everything was top-notch. Would stay there again in a heartbeat!

Great for families or multiple couples!

Kristen
5star rating
February 6, 2013
The pool was great. Everything was very clean. The people were very nice and having the security guard was great. We really enjoyed our stay. Our other family members were in Amenpuri 5. Their unit was also beautiful.

Tamarindo & Playa Langosta

Gordon
4star rating
February 27, 2013
Bahia Longosta is located steps away from the beach with decks over-looking the pool & the ocean!! Thanks goodness for air conditioning & the 5 ceiling fans in our unit!! The weather was HOT!! We had all the amenities needed to cook our meals,even...

A hidden gem vacation rental in Tamarindo!

Brigette
5star rating
March 12, 2021
Oro Del Sol 16 was everything I could have hoped for and more with a vacation rental! I stayed for one month and the house made for the perfect home base! Clean, colorful, and spacious. The outdoor pool area and balconies are so nice and the house...

Great condo – Centrally located

Matt
5star rating
May 4, 2022
Great experience. Condo in a great location and had a great pool area. Would rent again.

Perfect Stay

Pablo
5star rating
January 22, 2015
It was amazing. Has a perfect distribution. We loved our stay here.

La Esquina 10

Victor Hector
5star rating
April 11, 2023
Muchas gracias RPM Team, tuvimos una excelente Semana Santa!!! Muy agradecidos por su atencion y servicio, el lugar muy tranquilo, seguro y en exc condiciones!!! Saludos,

Casa Sirena

Ryan B
5star rating
July 13, 2022
What a beautiful home in a beautiful location. We stayed for a week in July, and would have stayed another if the house was available. While this may be a difficult setup for families with small children, it was absolutely perfect for us, as every...

Sunrise 30

Laura
4star rating
August 10, 2016
Beautiful condominium and complex. Extremely convenient location to surfing, town, nightlife, etc. The only issues we had were that the beds were very, very uncomfortable. Also, both times we went to the office in Tamarindo (upon arrival and de...

amazing location

Sara
3star rating
January 7, 2021
we really enjoyed the apartment. the location was great, right in front of beach and easy access. the apartment was a bit dark but fine when you turned all the lights on. amazing sunsets and views! you could tell the place had not been used in a w...

Great location and beautiful unit!

Gina
5star rating
June 9, 2014
We really enjoyed our stay at Cerca del Mar. The location could not be better, close to the beach, and the property management company was very helpful and accomodating.


See What Our Guests Are Saying!

Great family place to stay. Spectacular views.

Connie
5star rating
May 24, 2019
Great condo. Very family friendly and close to beach and all restaurants. Tropical vacations booked some of our excursions and the drivers and activities were awesome. Felt very welcomed. Our only disappointment was that the condo next to us pulle...

Amazing space!

Trizza
5star rating
February 13, 2020
We really enjoyed the accommodation overall.Preferred staying in Langosta than in Tamarindo.The check in was a little delayed - cleaning staff were still in the house when we got there, which was no big deal (we decided to get groceries in the mea...

Excellent Clean Rental Best Location In Tamarindo

Allan
5star rating
January 16, 2018
We booked Sunrise #8 Last minute and were totally satisfied. The location is perfect and allows you to walk to everywhere in town without the need of a rental car. The pool and ocean views are great for families. The only recommendation I would ma...

17-Nov

Mike
5star rating
November 24, 2018
Great location. A few maintenance issues that management was quick to address. Will stay there again.

Tropical Getaway to CR

Stanley
5star rating
October 31, 2018
Such a friendly and nice place for a getaway. Plenty of privacy.

SPECTACULAR

Jan
5star rating
July 9, 2018
It could not have been more perfect...the views, the amenities, the value. We had 5 adults staying in the condo and had plenty of room to roam. We felt safe and secure at all times. My only negative was that the couch was not a fold out so one pe...

Costa Rica vacation

Wade
5star rating
May 29, 2021
Matapalo 606 was very nice clean and a tremendous view

Mr

Oscar Funes
5star rating
December 31, 2022
Great place. Perfect Location. The best view in Tamarindo. The beach is literally in your garden, the sunsets are spectacular and are seen from your private balcony. The pool is excellent. The apartament is beatifull and newly renovated. Definitel...

Horizontes Condo

Jeffrey
5star rating
December 29, 2020
Had a wonderful time in Playa Langosta staying on the beach in beautiful condo at Horizontes. Staff was always very prompt with any concerns and very professional. Highly recommend

great people great beaches

Claude
5star rating
February 15, 2014
Bahia Langosta was a very relaxing vacation.the walk into town was a little longer than expected about 20 to 30 mins but otherwise a very safe place to stay.Tamarindo itself is a typical vacation beach town,busy and more expensive than slightly mo...

Perfection!

Joseph
5star rating
June 2, 2016
Our first time in Costa Rica and renting this incredible house made our vacation, relaxing, comfortable and we didn't want to leave! The house has everything you need to live lavishly and comfortably, including a beautiful view! We loved it and w...

Awesome get away

Lynda
5star rating
March 9, 2015
Great house close to everything.

© RPM Vacation Rentals.