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See below for our frequently asked questions.
Where Are You Located?
El Castillo is a small village located on Lake Arenal and the Arenal Volcano. We are the only village on the Fortuna side of the Lake, that is actually on the Lake and in the middle of the rainforest! The Volcano is here in our village, approximately 5 miles from the center of the village. Almost all of the activities that one would come to the Arenal area for, are located here in our village as well.
- River tubing
- Horseback riding to the waterfall
- Kayaking on the Lake
- The Butterfly Conservatory
- The Eco Zoo/Serpentarium
- The National Park
- Arenal 1968
- The Observatory
- Sky Trek Zipline
- Sky Walk Hanging Bridges
What is the travel time to other areas?
We are located 3 hours from San Jose or Liberia airports. We are 14 miles from La Fortuna on Lake Arenal and the Arenal Volcano. We are located 3 hours from Monteverde, five hours from Manuel Antonio, 2.5 to 3 hours from various other beaches on the Pacific side of the country. We are 5 hours from Cahuita and Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean side of the country.
Should I rent a car?
If you are renting a car, which we recommend if you'd like flexibility with your adventures, we highly suggest a 4x4 vehicle. It makes traveling here, and everywhere in Costa Rica, much easier! We are happy to get a quote and make the reservations for you, prior to your travels. *If you are staying at one of the homes at our Pie in the Sky property, then you will need to have 4 wheel drive.
How should I prepare financially?
American dollars and Colones (Costa Rican currency) are accepted almost everywhere. There is no need to exchange your money. Travelers checks are not accepted in most places. It is a good idea to have cash, as some small businesses or tours do not accept credit cards.
Where is there to dine in the area?
There are several restaurant options in the village for you to choose from.
Fusion Restaurant located in the village of El Castillo. Go one km and take a right at the school and continue until you go up a steep hill and the restaurant is on the right hand side of the road. It is located in the Hotel Cabinas El Castillo.
Mesa de Mama- a small typical “Soda” with great local food and good prices. Go one km and take a right and it is the first bldg. on your left.
Rancho Margot- Self sustained ranch with wonderful, fresh, food. Most everything they serve they raise or grow there. They have a beautiful all you can eat buffet for 15.00 per lunch and 20.00 per dinner. There is also a bar there, and it is 2 miles from the Majestic.
Chill Out – located in the Sky Trek Bldg. Good food, good view. Go right when leaving the Majestic toward the village of Castillo and go about 2 miles. Look for Sky Trek on your right.
The Observatory Lodge also serves lunch and dinner, but is best to call. If their hotel is full, they do not allow outside guests, as their restaurant cannot accommodate it. Go toward the village of Castillo and drive about 3 or 4 km and you will see the entrance to the Observatory on your right.
We have a small grocery store here in our village. The sell just about everything, fruit, veggies, meats, beer, wine, alcohol, snacks and toiletries. If you are renting a private rental home and are planning to do a lot of cooking, it may be best if you stop in La Fortuna to get groceries before you get here. If you are coming from the Tilaran side of the Lake, it is best for you to stop at the grocery store in Nuevo Arenal.
Do you offer concierge services?
Our onsite manager, Nancy is happy to concierge for all guests and make reservations for all of the local activities in the area. Simply ask us what you're looking to do and we'll help you find the best locations and value!
What is the pricing of all activities in the area?
See below for a breakdown per activity.
Kayaking: You can rent a kayak right next door and go for a paddle and view the Volcano in Costa Rica’s manmade Lake, Lake Arenal, which produces 80% of the country’s electricity - 20.00 per hour
Horseback riding: This is a great way to enjoy the nature and feel the “Pura Vida” while adventuring through the Jungle. There are several options for you to choose from. You can take a simple ride around the Lake which will last about 3 hours and take you through the primary rainforest, over the Cano Negro river, and down on the beach around the Lake. (You need to be in good shape for the hike down and you can not weigh over 200 lbs, or they will not allow you to ride the horses, as the horses in Costa rica are, in general, not very large.) - 45.00 per person.
Sky Trek Zip line, Sky Tram and the Hanging Bridges and Sky River Drift
Zipline on the coutry’s largest canopy tour,(about 2 hours and $77.00 pp) or for those of you that are not quite so adventurous, take the tram through the rainforest ($45.00 pp and about 1 hour) and experience the beauty of riding through the treetops. The hanging bridges experience is a walk over 13 hanging bridges and about a 3 hour hike through the Rainforest - $35.00. If you decide you would like to do all three events it takes 5 hours and they will discount the price to 93.00. Go toward El Castillo about 2 miles and you will see it on the right.
Rappelling/Canyoning - 98.00 1/2 day with lunch. Go toward La Fortuna and take a right where the dirt road and paved road meet. You will go about 6 or 7 miles and you will see the entrance to Volcano Lodge and some signs on the left that say PURE TREK CANYONING. Take a left and go about 100 mtrs and you will see the bldg..
White Water Rafting - 65.00 to 120.00... Full day with lunch. For this tour you must go into La Fortuna. When you get to Alamo you will take a left. Go to your next street and take a right. Go to the second street and take a right at Banco Nacional. Go to the next street and take a right. You will be heading back toward the Volcano. Go a few blocks and across from the Church you will see Hotel Bromeliad. The sign for Aqua Bravos rafting is right there. Their office is in the hotel.
There are numerous places to hike around the village. There are paths to the left of the Majestic, (when facing the Volcano) and about a ¼ mile down the road, which will take you to the Lakeside if the Lake is low.
Observatory Lodge Hike-This is a beautiful flat hike that takes you to a small waterfall and you will usually see a lot of nature. Good for all ages.
Cerro Chato hike – an incredible, 4-5 hours hike up the side of a dormant volcano. After hiking through the primary rainforest, explore the depths of the lake in the crater at the top by taking a nice swim! You will go to the Observatory Lodge to start this hike. This is an intense hike. You must be in good shape. This hike is best with a guide and the rate is $75.00 per person. It includes the entrance fee, lunch, snacks, professional, bi-lingual guide, a view of the Arenal Volcano from the Observatory Lodge and to finish the day off, a trip to the local hot springs and a night cap of Cocique, a favorite local spirit! You will begin at 10 am, and finish around 8 pm.
National Park -$12.00 entrance fee and $20.00 pp for a private guide for two people, each extra person is 10.00. This hike is approximately 3 hours and an easy hike for all ages. You will go toward La Fortuna and when you take the last right before you get to the paved road, you will see the National park on the corner on the right just after you take the turn.
ATV tours - $85.00 pp and up 1/2 day includes lunch. You will go toward Fortuna and just before you enter La Fortuna you will see La Pradera Hotel on the left. You will normally see quite a few ATV’s out front. Take a left and go into the hotel to check in for this tour.
Paddle Boarding - approx. $10.00 per hour per person
Tabacon – $60.00 entrance fee and $25.00 per person for lunch or dinner. Go anytime between 10 am and 10 pm. $70.00 special for 6 – 10 pm with dinner. Approx. 4 miles on the left on the way to Fortuna.
Los Lagos – $15.00 pp. Go toward Fortuna and you will see it when you are about half way there, on your right. It is a resort with a large sign.
Baldi – 34.00 per person and 20.00 for lunch or dinner
Ecotermales- 34.00 per person, lunch or dinner is 17.00