Overview of the Park
Arenal Volcano National Park belongs to the Arenal Conservation Area Huétar North is located in the northwestern region of Costa Rica, between the foot of Monte de la Cordillera de Tilaran and the plains of San Carlos, has an area of 12.010.6 hectares, its territory includes the counties of San Carlos and San Ramon (Alajuela Province) and part of the province of Guanacaste
The park is considered a living laboratory given its rich ecological, geomorphological and complexity in the development of biological processes from pioneer vegetation to a primary forest. Also provides 70% of water containing the Arenal Reservoir Basin (RAMSAR site), the main source of hydropower in the country.
Arenal Volcano was formerly known as Cerro Arenal, Pan de Azucar volcano Canaste, or Hill of the Guatusos, is an imposing and beautiful in an almost conical stratovolcano, located at 17km. northwest of La Fortuna, its area is 33km ². Arenal its name from the fact that the lava flows to suffer dislocation physical-chemical effect, develop lithic and crystal sands that are deposited at the bottom of the cone on the plains of the channels, also contribute to pyroclastic flows. Arenal cone before 1968 showed a thick cover and had a single crater at its summit, which had fumarolic activity. On July 29, 1968 the volcano became active eruption at 7:20 am, local time, with an explosion type pelean that formed the crater A, about 1000m.snm, this gave glowing avalanches reached blocks that two villages at the foot of the volcano, killing about 87 people. The gas temperatures were so high that came to dehydrate and carbonize the vegetation from 29 to 31 July, three new craters were formed: the B 170m.snm some 1, the smallest and in 1974 the activity migrates to the crater 400m.snm C to 1, with intermediate size compared to the other two. Has grown by collapse of its walls at the expense of the west wall of crater D which gradually coalesce to form a crater compound. The fourth and final D is the crater, located at the top and above others. Currently there are craters C and D. The emission of pyroclastic flows is the biggest risk associated with the Arenal, since the materials column collapses and falls with high temperatures and average speeds of 120 km / h destroying everything that his step. The ash is carried away by the wind increased, mainly to the west and northwest. The larger, heavier materials such as blocks fall near the crater. The lava flows are observed constantly, leaving average temperatures of 1000 º C, lose as temperatures drop. When cooled, the building blocks of different sizes and leave a channel morphology. The Arenal Volcano is the youngest of a group of volcanoes aligned, in which the activity has been migrating from South to North or the Hill The Lost, a complex and eroded volcano, Cerro Chato, a truncated cone with a lake inside the crater, and the Arenal. Separated by less than 3 km. This tight alignment of volcanoes may be the result of a fracture following a similar path and is associated with Quaternary volcanism in the area.
The park area consists of Quaternary volcanic rocks with lesser amounts of Tertiary volcanic rocks, recent. The main responsibility of the geological constitution of the park are the volcanic complex-Arenal Volcano Chato and the Lost Volcano complex. For students of the geomorphology of the Arenal Volcano National Park is a huge laboratory, an area that is characterized by a varied topography, and deposits from areas fluviocoluviales flat to steep areas between 35% and 65%, which gives multiconforme relief. It highlights the deep valleys in the upper, unconsolidated materials and in many cases strongly weathered. In the middle of rivers and Caño Agua Caliente Black fans will recognize fluviocoluviales material mainly composed of blocks to ashes. Climate Arenal Volcano National Park is influenced by precipitation patterns in the Atlantic and Pacific. microclimate caused by the building trade winds, bringing heavy local rainfall. between 3000 - 4500 mm, with an average temperature ranging from 16 to 24 Celsius. Climate variations associated with the type of soil and altitude make the area of Arenal Volcano National Park has a variety of different altitudinal vegetation and vegetation, overhanging the bromeliad (Pitcairmia funkiae) endemic to the Arenal Volcano National Park.
Arenal Volcano National Park is named after the giant that stands majestically at more than 1,633 meters, with an almost perfect conical shape, so it shows the rest of others. Highlights the complex parallel Cerro Chato with an altitude of 1110 m. At the foot of Volcán Arenal Reservoir is located at an altitude of 500 m.
Weather and Temperature
Climatically the park system influences the Atlantic and Pacific, in addition to the local microclimate effect caused by volcanoes, which act as barriers to the trade winds, bringing heavy local rainfall. The average rainfall is between 3500 and 5000 meters per year, with an average temperature ranging from 16 to 24 degrees Celsius.
Presents a very diverse flora and fauna, including its four areas of life: • Tropical Wet Forest (transition) • • Montano Rain Forest Lower Montane Rain Forest (transition) • very humid forest (transition). The range in altitude from 500 m to 1633 m. majestically overhanging the Arenal Volcano with an almost perfect conical shape, so it shows the rest of the other volcanoes in the country.
For location, variety of climates and life zones, this park has a great biological diversity, among the species of flora are: Guayabo de Monte, Tabacon, Bait, Cirri, Laurel, Higuerones, Pilon Corteza Amarilla, Guarumo, Balsa, Cocobolo . Different species of palms, heliconia, orchids, ferns and bromeliads including endemic species: Peitcaimia funkiae. Among the species of fauna are outstanding: Deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Paca (Agouti paca), collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu), Pizote (nosed coati), Sloth (Bradypus variegatus), Tolomuco (Eira barbara), Feline (Jaguar (Pantera onca ) yaguarundi (Herpailurus yaguarondi), variety of monkeys ((Alouatta palliata), white-faced (Cebus capucinus), Colorado (Saimiri oerstedii), a variety of snakes: Velvet (Bothrops asper), Bocaracá (Bothriechis schlegelii), Coral (Micrurus spp), variety of birds such as: Trogon (Trogon Massena), flycatchers (Pitangus sulphuratus) Hummingbird (Amazilia rutila), Guan (Crax rubra), Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus), Woodpeckers (Dryocopus lineatus), parrots (Amazona farinosa) , oropendulas (Psarocolius montezuma), Magpie (Calocita Formosa) among others.