L A | F O R T U N A
C O S T A | R I C A
If you are headed to Costa Rica, I encourage you to visit the town of La Fortuna, Arenal. Whether you are visiting for one day or multiple, there are a variety of places to see and explore.
Getting to La Fortuna:
I flew into the Lima airport and chose to rent a car to get to La Fortuna. The three hour drive is beautiful; it brings you up into the mountains around Lake Arenal. The road is narrow at times, which can be intimidating, but the view is worth it.
The lush green layers of rainforest lining the road are dense. Look for monkeys jumping from tree to tree or sloths tucked up high during the drive. On a clear day, the volcano will be visible from miles away.
Where I Stayed:
There are several large resorts on the base of the volcano.
Most of them also feature natural hot springs in their own backyards.
I, however, stayed at a small and serene hotel called Roca Negra del Arenal tucked into the country side at the base of the volcano.
There is a bird sanctuary on the property as well as several house pets roaming around. It is not uncommon to meet chickens on the sidewalk outside of your room. The gardens are spectacular; you can’t help but be inspired by the colors and fragrances emanating from the property.
What To Do:
La Fortuna Waterfall:
Located at the base of the dormant Chato Volcano, this waterfall can be seen from the viewing outlook above. If you are up for it, I highly recommend hiking down to the base of the waterfall to swim in the pool. Bring comfortable shoes; the steep steps will test your endurance!
Some of the country’s best zip lining takes place on the side of Volcano Arenal. We booked through Sky Trek. The seven zip line tour lasted two-and-a-half hours.
The drive to the tour will take longer than the GPS will predict on the rough dirt road, plan ahead if you are on a timeline!
Natural Hot Springs:
There are natural hot springs all over La Fortuna. If you are willing to hike, there are free hot springs off the side of the road. The locals can give you directions to these.
Otherwise, many of the resorts feature pools inside their establishments. Day passes are available and may even be discounted if you purchase through your own hotel. I spent a day at the amazing Baldi resort just down the road from our hotel. Baldi has 25 mineral pools at all different temperatures, rich in natural minerals and healing properties. Definitely a neat place to check out if you are looking for something fun to do.
Don’t forget you are headed to the rainforest. I was surprised how humid it was throughout the entire stay. Expect mini rain showers multiple times throughout the day. It seems silly, but for some reason I wasn’t expecting the rainforest to be so…..rainy!
The volcano is a sight to be seen on a clear day. However, don’t be surprised if most days are cloudy and somewhat overcast. Plan ahead of time and research the season and timing of your visit. In La Fortuna, the rainy season occurs from mid November to April.
Hopefully this inspires you to visit Costa Rica!
Feel free to leave a comment or question below about La Fortuna.