Lake Arenal

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Lake Arenal
A view from the southwest side looking across at the north depth = 30-60 m

Lake Arenal


Lake Arenal is situated in the northern highlands of Costa largest lake in Costa Rica at 85-square-kilometre (33 sq mi). Its depth varies between 30 and 60 meters (100–200 feet) season.[1]

The town of Arenal was relocated to higher ground when the lake was expanded in 1979. The old towns of Arenal and Tonadora now lie abandoned at the bottom of the lake, with the new town of Arenal existing to the northeast on the lake.


Lake Arenal was tripled in size with the construction of the Arenal dam in 1979, which exists at the eastern end of the lake. This hydroelectric project is hugely important to Costa Rica, initially generating 70% of the country's electricity, now closer to 17%, and was also a driving force behind Costa Rica's green energy policy.[2]


There are primarily two species of fish in Lake Arenal (el lago Arenal), the machaca fish (not to be confused 0 species of plants, 120 mammals, and 300 birds, and includes the jaguar, tapir, and quetzal.


From November through April the strong, dependable winds attract windsurfers and kite surfers to its western end.[3] Many consider Lake Arenal one of the world's foremost windsurfing and kite surfing areas. Wakeboarding is gaining popularity in Costa Rica, with Lake Arenal being the center of this activity. Fishing (primarily for rainbow bass) and kayaking are also popular recreational activities on this lake. The area surrounding the lake has good hiking, biking, bird watching, and horseback riding opportunities.[4]


Panorama of the area around Arenal Lake.
Lake Arenal windsurf and kite surf beach at the Tico Wind peninsula


  1. ^ Stater, Adam. "Lake Arenal Depth". 
  2. ^ Pérez, Carlos (2006-12-13). "Minutes of the Workshop on Adaptation to Climate Change in Costa Rica" (DOC). San José, Costa Rica: Trofcca Central America. Retrieved 2007-10-02.  |contribution= ignored (help)
  3. ^ "Lake Arenal Costa Rica Tico Wind Windsurf Center - Windsurfing Kiteboarding Rentals Lessons". Retrieved 2015-10-07. 
  4. ^ Stater, Adam. "Lake Arenal Activities". 

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