Home Adventure Travel Top 10 Things to Do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Top 10 Things to Do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

by Jane Sophia
Things to Do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

This is Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica. Did you notice the image is large and indicates it must have been shot from close quarters?  Yes, the view is taken from the downtown of La Fortuna town, part of San Carlos canton. A canton is a small territory in Spanish.

La Fortuna got its name due to:

  • It is fortunately unaffected from the eruptions of Arenal Volcano
  • It is blessed with spectacular natural attractions that include lovely mountains, waterfalls, hot springs, lush rainforests, incredible wildlife, and scenic landscape that are good for hiking.

Let us know its exact location in Costa Rica.

It is part of Aljuela province of this Central American country. And it occupies in the central part of the country, at the foot of Central Mountains, and Tilaran Mountains.

You can locate the Alajuela province clearly, marked just above San Jose (in bold).

Incidentally, San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica. Nonetheless, La Fortuna garners all the tourists’ attraction, thus justifying its name.

How to reach La Fortuna?

It seems road is the best option to visit this town. It is four hours drive away from San Jose.

The distance between the two points is 130 km. However, the drive takes more than two and a half hours due to mountainous terrain.

What is the mode of transportation within La Fortuna?

Public bus is operated, and it is naturally cheaper than taxis operated by Uber.

Is the road trip scenic from San Jose to La Fortuna?

Absolutely, yes. You can stop your taxi at your whims whenever you are awestruck at the wayside rainforests, waterfalls, volcano, natural sulphur springs, and even a Cloud Forest!

Where to stay in La Fortuna?

Hotel Secreta La Foruna, and Hotel Selina are affordable and the price is in mid-range.

For wealthy travelers, Cabanas del Rio, Arenal Manoa Hot Springs Resort, and Hotel Lomas del Volcan are highly recommended.

Costa Rica is a very beautiful country in Central America. It is advised to spend a bit more than your budget to enjoy the comfort, and scenery.

Top 10 Things to Do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

  1. Arenal Volcano

The volcano that sits right outside the town’s downtown is one of the foremost attractions.

Several hotels offer the view of the volcano from their rooms, and restaurants.

I think you are fortunate to eat, seeing the volcano, expressing a wish to see it erupt.

The distance from most of the hotels in La Fortuna to the Arenal Volcano is just 6 km, boss!

Hikers are always seen trekking up the mountain in groups. For them, the flora, fauna, the waterfalls, and the hot geysers, give memorable moments.

  1. La Fortuna Waterfall

So, it is a single straight drop from a height of 240 feet!

In order to go near the waterfall, you have to climb on another volcano called Chato Volcano. This is also located less than 6 km from town center.

Waterfall’s source of water is La Fortuna River. You can reach the top of the waterfall through a steep and long staircase.

Brace up to climb down as many as 500 steps!

The long canopy walk, and the breathtaking viewpoint before you start stepping down, will steal your heart.

The rainforest setting is absolutely lush. Bird watchers can snap up more than 50 birds in their camera if they are patient.

As you saw in the video, shops, and a restroom is available, just before, you go up to the viewpoint.

  1. Chato Volcano

What a lush atmosphere! The water body is the lake at the crater of Chato Volcano.

The Crater Lake is at an altitude of 3700 feet! I think the trek up to the crater will take more an hour. The effort will be energy sapping. I wonder whether the hiking trail is open now.

As far as the volcano’s eruption,

Do not fear. It erupted only twice in its lifetime. The first time was a mammoth, 38,000 years ago!

Chato volcano’s second eruption was 3500 years ago. It is declared a dead volcano.

  1. Whitewater Rafting

As I mentioned earlier, the attractions include more of adventure-based than just casual sightseeing.

Arenal River has enough force to lure rafters. The rapids are clearly visible while watching from the river’s shores.

To facilitate their wish, inflatables, and oars are offered for hire.

Whitewater rafting is one of the highly participated adventures.

  1. Lazy floating in other Rivers

Arena River has three companions. They are called:

  • Balsa River
  • Toro River
  • Penas Blancas

These three rivers lack rapids but still, one can row a boat for leisurely pleasures.

Plenas Blancas River:

The slow pace rafting facilitates wildlife watching too. I noticed some monkeys on a tree, a baby crocodile, and a cute bird.

The thick forest on either side of the river is teeming with birds, and animals. The atmosphere must be still, and silent. It’s a true, tropical rainforest.

This lazy boating is known as ‘safari float’, because, you can also watch wildlife while floating on the river.

  1. Hike through the Bogarin Trail

You saw the lush forest on the video above. Did you feel like walking through it, attracted by the myriad trees, and the diverse wildlife?

Ask your hotel receptionist and he will make arrangements for the hiking with a guide.

Alternatively, you can refuse the help of the guide, and let yourself loose on the Boganin Trail.

Did you spot the sloth bear on the tree, pointed out by one of the trekkers?

I fell in love with the thick, and dark, rainforest. I rate the hiking through the Bogarin Trail as the best thing to do in La Fortuna.

  1. Nocturnal Tour

How about a night walks through the same Bogarin Trail? Of course, this time, you must go with a guide; else, you will lose your way in the forest.

You can hear the croaking of exotic frogs at which the guide will focus his powerful torch. That also implies snakes are around.

Forests wear a different appearance when the night falls on them. The birds go silent. Crickets and frogs relentlessly break the silence of the rainforest.

Isn’t it a thrilling attraction of La Fortuna? At the end of around 3 km when the trail ends, you will surely have a long face.

  1. Monteverde Cloud Forest

We might have heard about ‘cloud forest; but would not have seen it in person-right?

Monteverde Cloud ForestThe much-talked about attraction in Costa Rica, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve is located about 120 km away from here.

I strongly advise you to make it as your first appointment during your tour.

The thick canopied area comprises a big 26,000 acres. Walking through a cloud forest is a lifetime experience.

Even a complete novice to botany would fall in love with the hundreds of varieties of trees, plants, ferns, mosses, and bushes that are fantastic habitats for not only birds, but numerous insects.

Your sight of the bird below will make your mouth drop open.

Its peculiar name is, “Green-crowned Brilliant”!

Yes, it belongs to the Hummingbird species whose only diet is the nectar of the flowers.

Another breathtaking bird is the ‘Resplendent Quetzal’

If only you are lucky, you can snap more than 100 birds in your camera out of over 400 species of birds that live in the cloud forest.

I give below a video clip showing how a walk through a thick, cloud forest will be?

The forest looks darker than the Amazon Rainforest to me.

  1. Arenal Jungle Visit

Here comes another jungle with the same flora, and fauna. Only this time, you will be exploring the area around the Arenal Volcano.

It’s a guided exploration, and its for two hours. This safari is a walking safari.

  1. Arenal Hanging Bridges Tour

Hikers to Arenal Volcano can spot these hanging bridges. Yes, there are several of them. They are canopy walks, suspended high above the earth.

Do you know how high? Hold your breath, boss, it is 600 meters!

The seres of hanging bridges, numbering 15, measure a total length of 3 km.

Beware of puma, tapir, and jaguar that also enjoy walking on the suspended bridges for a better aerial view of their prey.

La Fortuna in Costa Rica demands an exclusive trip for ardent nature and wildlife lovers.


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