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It has been producing lava and pyroclastic flows almost continuously since 1968; this activity has been both a hazard to people living near the volcano and a draw for thousands of tourists over the years. A trip to the volcano features highly on most visitors’ lists and this is one of the few locations where it is possible to view an active volcano. The central American country of Costa Rica must rank as one of the greatest holiday destinations for any nature lover and this mountainous, forested land has an incredible range of biodiversity being the home to no fewer than 52 species of hummingbirds and 500 types of orchids. These range from inexpensive hostel style premises to top luxury hotels with plenty of choice in between. Costa Rica is part of the Central American isthmus, which connects the North and South American continents. The most well-known active volcano in Costa Rica is surrounded by the Arenal Volcano National Park and Lake Arenal. She also writes the Magma Cum Laude blog, and in what spare time she has left, she enjoys rock climbing and playing various stringed instruments. Map by Geology.com and MapResources. Another rather charming fact is that, due to previous periods of runaway inflation, the notes are of very high denominations. Before 1968, the most recent eruption occurred 520 years BP, although it does not appear in any recorded or oral histories, and people assumed that the volcano was extinct. Operators offering Costa Rican holidays will invariably have many suitable premises close to the Arenal Volcano. Visitors to the park will certainly see many birds and hear monkeys and other animals but should not expect to come across jaguars and ocelots. Red lines are plate boundaries. Plate tectonics of Arenal Volcano: Simplified plate tectonics cross-section for Costa Rica and Arenal Volcano. Because it experiences Strombolian and Vulcanian eruptions, tephra (including ash, scoria and ballistic blocks) are often thrown from the active vents, and can be deadly if large enough fragments strike people, animals or structures. We give you the best places to visit, maps, pictures, things to do, tour guide facts and best time to go information for the most beautiful places in the World. Much of Costa Rica’s land lies within specially protected reserves or nature parks and the Arenal Volcano is in the 29,692 acre Arenal Volcano National Park. The eruption began on July 29 when three vents opened on Arenal's west flank and began producing Vulcanian explosions. The best time of day to get a clear sighting of the volcano is said to be early in the morning but of course weather conditions are a major consideration. Arenal Volcano, the youngest stratovolcano in Costa Rica, is one of the most active volcanoes in that country and in the world. Located on the eastern shore of Lake Arenal in northwestern Costa Rica, Volcán Arenal was thought to be extinct prior to the eruptions of 1968, although it is now known that eruptions have occurred on and off for the last 7,000 years. For many years it had been considered as being a dormant volcano with no … Thankfully, malaria is not a problem in this part of the world. US Dollars are widely accepted throughout Costa Rica, especially in tourist areas, but change will usually be given in Colones. The volcanic arc of Costa Rica, where Arenal is located, is a chain of mountains resulting from the subduction of the Cocos tectonic plate under the Caribbean Plate. Arenal is Costa Rica’s best-known volcano. Image copyright iStockphoto / H. Gossmann. et al., 2006, The 1968 andesitic lateral blast eruption at Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica. Fumaroles on the summit and flanks continue to emit gases, and there are numerous hot springs ringing the base of the volcano. 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