Arenal in January is smack dab in the middle of the sunny season, making it an incredibly popular time to visit. With snow and cold temperatures in most of North America and Europe, travelers flock to the warm, humid and scenic destinations in the Alajuela Province of Costa Rica. Temperatures pick up even more, so it is not uncommon to see afternoons reaching 80 degrees Fahrenheit. That means you’ll want to pack your swimsuits, because it is the ideal time to head to the lake!
Once again, the fantastic and dry weather translates to higher prices and crowds. Make sure you book your trip as early as possible in order to secure reasonable flights as well as hotel accommodations. If you’re planning any tours, it’s smart to reserve those as early as you can as well. If you leave it to the last minute, you could miss out on some spectacular experiences. One of the top tours is a guided hike around Arenal Volcano. A local expert can guide you through the trails around the base or even all the way up to the peak. While you’ll see the volcano peeking out from many spots throughout Arenal, it’s definitely worth seeing it up close for yourself.
In Arenal, the first day of January is widely regarded as a public holiday. Revelers may still be partying from the night before, and it is a day of family and feasting. If you can snag an invite to a local family’s home, you’ll be in for a treat. Otherwise, be prepared for some of the smaller sodas, or local restaurants, to be closed on that day. The rest of the month, dig into the tasty food at La Ventanita, one of the most popular restaurants near Arenal Volcano National Park. The menu features tasty and inexpensive burritos, nachos and fried green plantains. If you’re looking to save money during the high season, snag rooms at the Chalet Nicholas B&B Costa Rica. The charming and small hotel boasts views of the mountains and the water, and it is just a 15-minute walk into town.
For more information about when to travel to Arenal, we recommend reading the following articles: