Arenal Volcano, in Spanish Volcán Arenal, is an active volcano in north-western Costa Rica around 90 km northwest ofSan José, in the province of Alajuela, canton of San Carlos, and district ofLa Fortuna. The Arenal volcano measures at least 1,633 metres (5,358 ft),.It is conically shaped with a crater spanning 140 metres (460 ft). Geologically, Arenal is considered a young volcano and the age is estimated to be less than 7,500 years.It is also known as “Pan de Azúcar”, “Canaste”, “Volcan Costa Rica”, “Volcan Río Frío” or “Guatusos Peak”.
The volcano was dormant for hundreds of years and exhibited a single crater at its summit, with minor fumaroles activity, covered by dense vegetation. In 1968 it erupted unexpectedly, destroying the small town of Tabacón. Due to the eruption three more craters were created on the western flanks but only one of them still exists today. Since October 2010, Arenal’s volcanic activity appears to be decreasing and explosions have become rare with no explosions reported between December 2010 and October 2012.
Arenal was Costa Rica’s most active volcano until 2010, and one of the ten most active volcanoes in the world. It has been studied by seismologists for many years.
The volcano is located at the center of Arenal Volcano National Park in the northern zone of the country, 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) southwest of the La Fortuna district in San Carlos (canton), Costa Rica. The temperature varies from 9 °C (48 °F) in the high areas to 89 °C (192 °F) in the low areas and the annual rainfall is around 349 centimetres (137 in).
Arenal Volcano area is an important watershed for the Arenal Lake Reservoir. The reservoir’s water is used for hydroelectric power. It is also connected to the national system.
July 29, 1968
On Monday, July 29, 1968 at 7:30 AM, the Arenal Volcano suddenly and violently erupted. The eruptions continued unabated for several days, burying over 15 square kilometers with rocks, lava and ash. When it was finally over, the eruptions had killed 87 people and buried 3 small villages – Tabacón, Pueblo Nuevo and San Luís – and affected more than 232 square kilometers of land. Crops were spoiled, property was ruined, and livestock was killed. It was a difficult time for the people of Arenal.
At the height of its ferocious activity, the volcano flung giant rocks – some weighing several tons – more than a kilometer away at a rate of 600 meters per second. These explosions would go on to form three new active crater