Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano)

Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano)

Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano)
4.5

Top ways to experience Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano) and nearby attractions

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles680 reviews
Excellent
386
Very good
194
Average
53
Poor
22
Terrible
25

Graciela P
1 contribution
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
This trail is extremely dangerous, I do not recommended, we start at the arenal lodge trails (pretty cool, signed, with nice view points) and take the ilegal trail to the lagoon.

The damage to the environment is pretty high, we definitely not recommended, a properly trail doesn't exist so you have to step on roots and vegetation, climbing and eroding everything, people was swimming at the lagoon with sunscreen, is a total shame the implications of this illegal hiking to that protected area.
Written 25 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Iris B
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Friends
Don’t underestimate the climb and the mud! But it is worth every step. I would defenitly recommend it 😊 Enjoy!
Written 4 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lukas
Vilnius, Lithuania2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Family
Fantastic, unforgettable experience. Really hard and adventurous climb, especially because we did during hard rain
Written 29 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Helen
Canberra, Australia9 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021
The mid twenties special forces passed girls and guys are advised to climb this volcano. Anyone else, please do not attempt. You will regret it.
Written 2 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ARBreviews
New York City, NY19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2021 • Solo
I’m 33 and regrettably I’m quite out of shape. I’m tall (6’3”) which helped.

The trail is basically four parts: 1) Green Lagoon to the trailhead - basically a road uphill - gets the heart beating but nothing too crazy, 2) the trailhead entrance to the “trail ends here” sign - more brutal then part 1 but minimal scrambling...this section is an appetizer for what’s next, 3) the closed leg of the trail to the volcano rim - this crushed me because I’m out of shape, probably took me the longest despite not being a huge distance...slippery scramble, 4) the descent to the lake...looks scary but if I made it to the top there was no way I was turning back now. The decline to the lake is worse than climbing back up it, and isn’t much different than the other jungle descent. Just do it.

For the ascent, it took me about 2:30 from green lagoon, although if I were in shape I could probably do it in 1:45-2 hours. I descended slowly because this big fella didn’t want to wipe out and roll an ankle, probably 1:45 descent.

I saw exactly 14 other hikers, including myself. I embarked at 8am and enjoyed the lake with just 3 other hikers.

If you’re a bit out of shape, but are willing to embrace the suck, it’s totally possible just take it slow and hit the agua early and often.

I brought 4 liters of water and almost drank it all!

As I write this my legs are jello, but it’s worth it!! Such a magical place.
Written 15 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ariana
Rhode Island144 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020 • Couples
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!
Written 22 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gabrielle mundy
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Couples
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!
Written 18 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Southern Wayfarer
1 contribution
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019 • Friends
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.
Written 16 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alex
31 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
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.
Written 5 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Erika
Caracas, Venezuela9,856 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
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.
Written 13 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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CERRO CHATO (CHATO VOLCANO): All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano)

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