Mirador El Silencio – Some of the Best Views of Arenal Volcano

Are you visiting Costa Rica? Do you want to walk around the Arenal Volcano and explore the base or lava fields? There are plenty of hiking trails to have the most exciting adventure!

All of these trails lead to the most important parts of the Arenal, offering incredible views of the country’s most impressive and best-known volcano. However, in my opinion, there’s one that really provides the best experience: Mirador El Silencio.

Simply put, Mirador El Silencio consists of a series of trails that lead to a high lookout. It gave me the best vantage point and an unmatched opportunity to appreciate one of the world’s magnificent volcanoes.

Mirador El Silencio

From Mirador El Silencio, I had a close-up of the Arenal’s cone-shaped peak, which is one of the most amazing things I’ve seen in my life.

Do you want to explore the El Silencio (Mirador) trails until you reach the best spot to take pictures or just appreciate the geological wonders of Arenal? I’ve written a detailed blog post with all the information you need to plan your next visit to this wonderful destination. Read on!

Location

Mirador El Silencio is located in La Fortuna, a town that has become a popular tourist destination for its natural hot springs, lush rainforest, exciting trail options, and breathtaking volcano views. It’s next to the world-famous Arenal Volcano.

La Fortuna is less than three hours from San Jose, the capital and largest city of Costa Rica.

If you want to visit Mirador El Silencio, you have to get to the entrance, which is just 3 miles from the Arenal Volcano National Park and 7.5 miles from the town’s central park. The popular 1968 Trail offers similar views and borders the area.

The Reserve

The Reserve

Besides offering stunning volcano views, Mirador El Silencio is visually beautiful. It has 550 acres of protected land, including 250 acres that are considered primary rainforest.

Those areas considered primary forests have very mature trees that have never been touched or cut down, making them some of the most dense and ecologically significant on Earth.

This tourist destination also has a secondary forest, which means there are many gardens and grassy fields. The El Silencio property has such a magnificent diversity of habitats that it’s home to amazing wildlife. Exotic birds and insects are so common.

Mirador El Silencio Hiking Trails

Mirador El Silencio has six hiking trails, stretching for 8.5 miles in total. They’re a mix of easy and moderate options, as some are rugged. People who prefer harder and more authentic hikes choose this destination because of that.

I traveled with some friends to La Fortuna. Although it wasn’t my first visit to Mirador El Silencio, a customer service team approached us as soon as we arrived at the reception area and offered their help in deciding the best trails for my group.

Since my friends love a challenge, we asked about a difficult trail. The employers told us that we should use Trail 2, which is also known as Sendero Los Sainos or Peccary Trail.

Although it was muddy, we really liked it because we had to make our way through the primary forest up the steep mountain. Plus, this trail was narrow, which added more challenges and excitement.

As its name suggests, some hikers can spot sainos or collared peccary, which are amazing wild-boar-like animals with a strong smell. However, we weren’t lucky enough to come across one.

Do you prefer an easier hike up to a high point to enjoy an amazing view? There are some trails to the right after the reception area that can be great options in these cases.

These are the ones that I know visitors can access because we used them to come back down:

  • Trail 1, also known as Sendero La Araña or Spider Trail
  • Trail 4, also known as Sendero Manantial or Source/Spring Trail

Although they weren’t as steep as we’d like, the surrounding forest was captivating!

There’s a third trail called Sendero El Tabacon or Tabacon Trail. It was an easy option, so we left it last and didn’t have the chance to check it out. However, I know you can enjoy an interesting hike there because you’ll see the area’s beautiful tabacon plants, which have long, broad, hard leaves.

Of course, our adventure doesn’t end here. Trails 5, 6, and 7 are at the top of the hill. I’ll share more details about them below. 

Fantastic Volcano Views

Fantastic Volcano Views

As we approached the top of the mountain, we started to get some of the most spectacular views I’ve ever had. At this point, we also discovered that there was a parking area up there, but my friends were happy that we didn’t pay admission because our hiking adventure was wonderful!

I won’t lie. We were really tired. However, our effort to get to the top paid off because we saw really cool wildlife and had a great time as a group.

Oh, and I almost forgot this, but there’s a grassy road left to the parking area that leads to another amazing viewing point. If it isn’t cloudy, you can see the volcano clearly and spot the flat northern plains that could take you to another country: Nicaragua.

Lava Fields Trail

Good news: we had the chance to explore the highlight of Mirador El Silencio. It was Trail 6, also known as Sendero o Colada de Lava de 1968 or Lava Fields Trail.

Trail 6 is a lava flow that starts just at the right side of the parking area and cuts through a farm field. After a rustic hike, we were able to reach a steep section, which had small rocks that were spat out of the volcano’s mouth some decades ago.

The vegetation started to disappear as we approached the end of the trail. This is the absolute highest viewpoint of the Mirador El Silencio. It made us feel like we were eye-to-eye with the massive volcano’s peak.

This spot also offers views of the old lava flows that resulted from the 1968 blast, which was the biggest of Arenal’s eruptions.

Other Interesting Features

After arriving at the parking area, we were able to check out Trail 7 right to the left, also known as Sendero Lago Verde or Green Lake Trail. The name is inspired by a peculiar thing.

This trail leads down a hill to a green lake that takes its colors from volcanic minerals. It’s just amazing!

There’s also a fifth trail, but it’s kind of a mystery. We couldn’t find it! Although the map says that Sendero Lago Verde is the route we should take to get to a point that offers views of the majestic Lake Arenal, we never saw a sign to get there.

Fortunately, we had a distant but nice view of the iconic Lake Arenal from Trail 6.

Wildlife and Surrounds

During our hiking adventure, we saw interesting vegetation. This area of ​​Costa Rica has beautiful forests!

Suddenly, one of my friends shouted: “Look!” and what we saw was amazing! There were some brown birds the size of a turkey but much skinnier. These fascinating animals, which usually stay up in the trees, emit a characteristic sound you can hear from almost anywhere in the forest.

While I think the jungle was just magical throughout the area, Trail 2 was different in a good way. We saw flowering and fruiting plants I’d love to have at home! Additionally, there were giant canopy trees, ferns, and other lush species.

Our group was lucky enough to spot intriguing wildlife, too. Colorful and unique insects were everywhere! Although we didn’t see one, we heard some howler monkeys in the distance. I really wanted to see one of those mammals!

Planning Your Visit

Do you need help planning your visit to Mirador El Silencio? Find all the information you need below:

Hours

You can visit Mirador El Silencio any day from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Cost

Admission costs 5,000 colones per person, which is about $8. However, children don’t have to pay admission if they’re younger than 7. Also, you can save your bracelet to regain access to the top parking area and enjoy the sunset or have a picnic after hiking.

Guided Tours

I’ll share more information later on.

What Should You Bring?

For my hike, I brought a hat and sunscreen since I know that some areas along Mirador El Silencio are sunny. As I mentioned, there are many insects, especially in those parts with dense forests, so I recommend bringing repellent.

Plus, it’s important to pack a snack and enough water because there are no amenities in this area.

Is Mirador El Silencio Accessible?

Although the trails aren’t wheelchair-friendly, the spot where we could get an impressive volcano view at the parking area was flat. The same is true for Trail 1, and this one has some beautiful flowers and tropical forests.

How to Book a Tour With a Guide

One of the best things about Mirador El Silencio is that trails can be explored self-guided because they’re well-marked. However, I recommend asking a guide for help, as we didn’t find any visitors’ center or information during our hike.

Also, it’s really amazing to hear the history of the volcano and learn about the fauna and flora from a knowledgeable local guide.

Below is more information about the company I chose for my hike:

Cost

  • Group tour: $58 per adult, $29 for children aged 4 or older, and free for children below that age (available for up to 12 people)
  • Private tour: $110 per adult, $55 per child aged 4 or older, and free for children under 3 (available for specific groups)

What’s Included?

  • Naturalist guide (bilingual)
  • Water
  • Transportation from and to the hotel or rental
  • Entrance fee

Times Offered

  • 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
  • 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Duration

  • Around three hours

Final Thoughts

Mirador El Silencio is home to interesting animals, beautiful vegetation, such as the magnificent Trumpet Tree, and amazing hot springs.

Plus, its close proximity to the country’s best-known volcano makes it ideal for the best vacations and explorations adventures, especially if you’re looking for the best views of the Arenal.

Many people wonder if it’s a high-risk zone but, from my experience, I can say that’s completely safe. Even if you visit this attraction during the rainy season, I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy it.

Rate this post

About 

Peter is a digital nomad who largely writes from Asia, Europe, and South America. Always following the "vibe," he sets up shop in hostels and AirBNB's and continues to entertain us with wild stories from life abroad.

Leave a Comment