Hike up to El Arenal’s gray volcanic cone for a magnificent view of La Fortuna, one of Costa Rica’s most celebrated destinations. Locals and expats alike are mad for the area’s hot springs, fun locavore restaurants, irresistible bakeries (don’t miss testing the local favorite, a very volcanic chocolate cake), chic spas (volcanic mud treatments are the obvious choice), boutiques, galleries, and other delights. Excursions to surrounding places like Arenal Lake or the lush botanical garden, or to the famed hanging bridges through the region’s rain forests, merit a multiday stopover in this ecotourism hub. El Arenal is Costa Rica’s most active volcano. Though there hasn’t been any serious volcanic activity since 2010, the volcano regularly musters some steamy fumarole action.