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Staying Active on the Water at Lake Arenal

Posted by Jovan Damjanac on August 23, 2015

When most people think of watersports in Costa Rica, their mind immediately whisks them away to the sunny coastline. Sure the country has rightfully earned a spot on the map with surfers, but overhead barreling waves aren’t the only draw when it comes to playing in the water in Costa Rica. Lake Arenal offers more than 33 square miles to get wet and stay fit, and many of the local expats take every opportunity to use the great outdoors as their own gym. Residents here participate in activities such as swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking—best of all, these sports can be done at the participant’s own pace.


Swimming in Lake Arenal is a great way to get a full body workout. With several home developments and public access points to the lake, finding a spot to dive in shouldn’t be too hard. The water temperature varies throughout the year dipping as low as 64 degrees F (18 C) and 78 degrees F (25 C). Take a dip in a swimsuit or if you get chilly, you may want to pick up a wetsuit. Some residents say Lake Arenal feels “refreshing”, and it’s ok for others to disagree.


Grab a paddle and go kayaking in Lake Arenal for a solid arm and core workout. Kayaking is a great sport for people wanting to be active but don’t want an intense full cardio workout. We’re not saying you won’t break a sweat kayaking—but if you want to go at a leisurely pace, take breaks and float along effortlessly, then this might be the way you enjoy your surroundings. Be on the lookout for birds and mammals. You’ll be sharing the lake with a variety of waterfowl, so don’t be surprised when you see monkeys and toucans in the canopy along the shoreline.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand up paddling boarding, or often referred to as SUPing, is one of the latest sports to arrive on Lake Arenal. While some like to SUP in ocean and catch waves, others prefer traveling long (or short) distances on a SUP to get a workout. Paddle boarding is a great way to strengthen your core, arms, and legs. Moreover, like kayaking, you’ll have time to take in the sights and wildlife. Unlike kayaking though, you get a solid leg and a more intense core workout from maintaining your balance on the board.

There is no shortage of activities for keeping busy and fit when living in the Lake Arenal area. If you’re interested in testing the waters on these watersports, contact us and we’ll put you in touch with area businesses that provide rental equipment, tours, and lessons.


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