Costa Rica > Arenal Volcano > History  

Costa Rica Provinces

History of Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano  The earliest known eruptions of Arenal took place about 7,000 years ago, and it was active concurrently with Cerro Chato until the activity of this last ended about 3,500 years ago.

A perfect conical shaped peak that became thundering... By the year of 1951, when the first of these pictures was taken, there was not much activity in the region; and the Arenal Peak, as the Arenal Volcano was called, was a mountain with thermal emanations that was witnessed by some explorers who dared to climb and even camp at the summit, since the year of 1937. Then they lowered narrating histories of resounding and vapors coming from the bowel of the earth...

But the period of most recent volcanic activity of Arenal began with a big lateral explosive eruption which thrown its destructive power towards the west in the morning of 29 July 1968; unfortunately there were two little settlements into the scope of the 15 km² of devastated area, "Tabacón" and "Pueblo Nuevo".

Arenal Volcano History

Most Recent 2012 Eruptions & Activity Report!
Location: La Fortuna, San Carlos. Costa Rica.
10°27'48"N, 84°42'12"W
(around 90 km north-west of San José)
Volcanic Activity: 42 years of continuous eruption activity from 1968 to 2010.
Height: 1,720 m ASL (5,643 feet) approx.
Age: More than 7,000 years (according to the most up-to-date earliest volcanic eruption evidence)
Type: Andesitic Stratovolcano
*Arenal Volcano eruption activity appreciation is possible with properly safety guidelines applied by tour operator guides and Arenal Volcano National Park authorities, so follow it carefully.

Arenal Volcano from La Fortuna at 1951.
(© Courtesy of Olger Aragón).
Arenal Volcano from La Fortuna.
(© 60's. Olger Aragón).
Arenal Volcano from La Fortuna while the church was building.
(© 1960-1964, Olger Aragón).
Arenal Volcano from La Fortuna Church.
(© 1998, Olger Aragón).
Deposit of volcanic rocks after the pyroclastic flow July 29, 1968 from the W flank base.
(© 1968 Clint & Juanita, Courtesy of Olger Aragón).
Arenal Volcano classic strombolian eruption from La Fortuna.
(© 1995, Olger Aragón).
Arenal Volcano Pyroclastic Flow (May 5, 1998; 1pm).
(© Olger Aragón).
Arenal Volcano Pyroclastic Flow, another angle (May 5, 1998; 1pm).
(© Olger Aragón).
-
Arenal Volcano
-

 Arenal Volcano is part of a volcanic chain formed between 100 and 12 thousands of years ago which contains, in chronological order according to its formation, the lava domes "Los Perdidos" (whose erosion had gave place to the beautiful Fortuna Waterfall), the currently inactive and about 12 thousands of years old "Chato" volcano (whose crater becomes filled with water and host now a 500 m wide fantastic lake) and finally the spectacular active Arenal Volcano. About 7,000 years ago have taken place the first known eruptions of Arenal, and it was active concurrently with Chato Volcano until this last ended its activity about 3,500 years ago. Throughout the time the volcanic activity of Arenal features periodic major explosive eruptions (at intervals of several hundreds of years) and periods of lava effusion that have built the volcanic cone.

Pueblo Nuevo with its destroyer as background (1968). Courtesy of Gerardo Soto Previously to current volcanic eruption phase, the latest remarkable was at the epoch of arrival of Christopher Columbus to the original indigenous Costa Rica region. After this, followed approximately 450 years of inactivity, which causes to be locally known as "Cerro Arenal" (Arenal Peak) and not as an dangerous active volcano. But the period of most recent volcanic activity of Arenal began with a big lateral explosive eruption which thrown its destructive power towards the west in the morning of 29 July 1968; unfortunately there were two little settlements into the scope of the 15 km² of devastated area, "Tabacón" and "Pueblo Nuevo" (as an ironic unfortunate fact, both communities were located at the very boundaries of that area).

                     Costa Rica 21, Information & Travel with Sustainability     -|-     Heredia, Costa Rica     -|-     Contact Us                     
Fill out any of our hotel or tour reservation forms for your Costa Rica vacations, and you will help us in doing
Costa Rica nature conservancy by restoring and protecting its environment with sustainability,
and will support its authentic people and culture as well!


Costa Rica Provinces
Heredia  San José  Alajuela  Puntarenas  Guanacaste  Limón  Cartago

Main Menu
Costa Rica   Map   Nature   Travel   Weather   Pictures  Culture   History   Academia   Directory  
(Costa Rica Nature Attractions)
Arenal Volcano ||  Natural Hot Springs ||  Tropical Waterfalls ||  Tropical Rainforest ||  Tropical Dry Forest ||  Bird Watching ||  Canopy Tours 
(Costa Rica Tropical Rainforest Animals)
 Butterfly Garden  ||  Leaf Cutter Ants  ||  Tree Frogs  ||  Rainforest Frogs  ||  American Crocodile || Exotic Birds || Monkeys 
Home  ||  Site Map  ||  Contact Us   ||  Privacy Policy   ||  Terms of Use

En Español (Animales del Bosque Tropical)
 Mariposas de Costa Rica  ||  Mariposa Morfo Azul  ||  Ranas Venenosas  ||  Cocodrilos || Aves Silvestres || Monos 
(Atractivos Naturales de Costa Rica)
 Volcán Arenal || Aguas Termales || Cascadas Tropicales || Bosque Tropical Lluvioso  ||  Bosque Tropical Seco  ||  Pájaros Exóticos  ||  Canopy Tours 


©1997-2012 Costa Rica 21 S.A.
(All Rights Reserved - Todos los Derechos reservados)

Costa Rica 21