IF YOU LOVE HIKING, NATURE, CHALLENGING YOURSELF, FEELING ACCOMPLISHED AND BEAUTIFUL VIEWS, THE CERRO CHATO IS FOR YOU!
A LITTLE INFO: The Cerro Chato is an inactive volcano located in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, right next to the active Arenal Volcano. Because it is inactive, it is totally legal to hike on. It only has 2 total “trails” on it, 1 on either side of the volcano. Both trails aren’t really “trails”, they are more like steps made out of tree roots and rocks, but trails nonetheless. If you aren’t in good shape, you may want to pass on it, but HIGHLY recommend challenging yourself and giving it a try. It was tough, but so worth it! You will feel leave feeling so accomplished and proud of yourself. I know I did! I will start with pictures of the bottom of the trail and head up the trail with reasons why you MUST give this hike a try! Here we go….
THE CLIMB OF THE BASE:
The dirt trail begins to disappear, the hike turns to a steep incline, you will start becoming out of breath (already… at least we did!), but you are still in the wide open air! We had just started (well about 30 minutes ago) and quickly realized we weren’t in as good of shape as we thought! Lots of huge bumps, definitely need to watch where you step… But since you’ve climbed up a decent amount in this area, it is here you can see beautiful views before you get into the narrow crazy forest trail part! Pictures above of base trail, and pictures below of the views from this part (hard to tell how high you are already… & thanks to Rob for being my hike model without knowing it).
THE CHALLENGING PART:
The rest of the hike is the best part of the hike. It is steep stairs made by nature. You will be challenged physically and mentally. You will be out of breath and you will be hot and sweaty. You will get muddy. You might see a few snakes, bees, insects, birds, and if you’re lucky mammals. You will hear nothing except nature. You will be hours up a volcano with nobody else around you. BUT, you will love it.
WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT. I felt so proud of myself. We felt accomplished. That was the best part about it. But besides the mental happiness, YOU’LL BE ON TOP OF A VOLCANO. Not often you will be able to say that. The top now has a green lagoon residing in it. You can hike down to swim in it or just admire it from above for a little while. Take your time, sit, think, look, smile, snap pictures, meet fellow hikers, eat, whatever you need to do before you begin the trek back down.
OTHER INFO: It took us about 2 hours to get up, stopping for a water break a couple of times. And a little less to get back down. I highly recommend bringing: WATER, lots of water, durable comfortable shoes that you don’t mind getting muddy (my shoes sucked, learned that lesson the hard way), a camera, a sense of adventure, and maybe some granola bars if you like to snack all the time like me.
CONCLUSION: YOU SHOULD HIKE THE CERRO CHATO VOLCANO BECAUSE IT WILL CHALLENGE YOU, MAKE YOU FEEL ACCOMPLISHED, YOU WILL SEE BEAUTIFUL VIEWS, SEE BEAUTIFUL NATURE, AND BE STANDING ON THE TOP OF A VOLCANO! 🙂 GET THERE. YOU CAN DO IT.
P.S. Wear better shoes than we did 😉 Happy Hiking!
KellyNicoleTravel@gmail.com for questions!