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Stand Up Paddling on Lake Arenal

Stand Up Paddling on Lake Arenal

Destination: Arenal


  • Relaxing and easy to learn
  • Transportation and snack included
  • Beautiful scenery


  • Location : Arenal
  • Hours : 8:30 a.m. daily
  • Time length : about 4 hours
  • Price : $65 per person, with snack

Stand Up Paddling (SUP), isn't a new sport – although you may have never heard of it. Designed back in the '60s by Hawaiian surf instructors, stand up paddlers use long surfboards, wider and more stable than the average surfboard, paired with large canoe-size paddles twisted to one side to keep balance.

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Lake Arenal's scenic beauty and calm waters make it one of the Costa Rica's most ideal locations for learning the art of Stand Up Paddling.

Note* Make sure to bring your swimsuit, a change of clothes and sunscreen.

Walking on Water

At 8 a.m. the water in the northeast inlet of the Lake Arenal is as smooth as glass. Waves pulse against the shore in shallow spells. Sit down on the board with your knees spread wide against the soft, foam pad under the instruction of friendly guides. Using the long wooden paddle, push off the bank toward deeper water.

Your guides explain it all. Stand with your shoulders squared to the board, your feet planted wide, close to the sides to help keep balance. Following their advice, put your hands down on the board and move from your knees to the balls of your feet until you're standing.

Once on your feet, it's time to practice maneuvering around the inlet. To move forward, you simply run the paddle slowly against either side of the board. And that's it. After ten minutes, set off across the lake moving together in a large group as a boat trails behind carrying the gear.

Toward the middle of the lake the wind picks up. Pull a little harder and learn to work with the breeze and in rhythm with the waves.

Once you make it to the far side of the lake, guides will put out a snack of fresh pineapple, watermelon, water and beer while you relax along the shore.

Paddling back around the lake, you can't help but feel the tranquility that emanates from Stand Up Paddling; maybe it's the sound of water, or standing in the center of a lake. Either way, rolling with the motion of the lake while taking in clear views of Arenal Volcano, everything else is forgotten.

Departure & Return

  • Departure point : Tour departs from all major hotels in San Jose and La Fortuna
  • Departure time : Hotel pickup is between 20 and 50 minutes before tour start time depending on hotel location. In San Jose pick up is three hours before tour start time.
  • Return details : Tour returns to original departure point between three and four hours after tour start time. For San Jose, the return is expected to be at 9 p.m.

Stand Up Paddling on Lake Arenal in Pictures

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