How it works:
- Scam 1: at the bus station to board the 8am bus to Tilarán, there’s a tout who will intercept you by shouting “Parque Ecológico”. This is not the real place – Parque Nacional is the one.
- Scam 2: at the Arenal Observatory lodge, there are unofficial parking attendants who will direct you to a parking spot and then charge you an inflated fee. Next, they will direct you over a foot bridge and onto a longer, more treacherous path to the Cerro Chatto trail instead of through the observatory grounds.
Places to beware:
- Alajuela: Arenal Volcano
What to do:
- Do your research, or check with official staff if you have questions. Else, you can also engage a reputable tour operator:
- Offline operators: ask - is the operator licensed? Is there a website, office and working phone number? Are there real online reviews? What does the price cover - is it too cheap?
- Online platforms: GetYourGuide (leading day tour platform globally) also has some popular tours to Arenal Volcano.