The tiny pueblo of El Castillo is the polar opposite of La Fortuna. Lying along the southern shores of Lake Arenal, it’s delightfully remote and untouristy. In addition to the four essentials—school, church, pulpería, soccer field—there are a handful of nice hotels, most of which provide stunning views of Arenal Volcano’s charred western slope. If you’re looking to escape the crowds and get in touch with rural Costa Rica, this is the place to be. The downside: Because El Castillo is a roughly 40-minute drive from La Fortuna (half of which is on a bumpy, dirt road) you’ll need a car or taxi to get here.
= Good Value
= Rated 4 or 5 “Green Leaves” by Costa Rica’s Certification for Sustainable Tourism Program
El Castillo Hotels
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