From zip-lining through the jungle and relaxing in natural hot springs, to hiking along lava trails, swimming in waterfall pools, and spotting sloths in the wild, there are endless fun and adventurous things to do in La Fortuna!
Which makes sense… La Fortuna is Costa Rica’s adventure capital, after all!
After living in Costa Rica as a digital nomad, and taking a few road trips to La Fortuna, I can say for sure: You can’t visit Costa Rica and not spend a few days in La Fortuna, surrounded by rainforests, at the foot of the majestic Arenal Volcano.
Whether you want to hike, ATV, kayak, zip-line, or simply relax and watch the wildlife, I’ve got you covered.
In this guide, I’m sharing all of my recommendations for what to do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica.
Plus, you’ll find the best restaurants and bars, the best hotels in La Fortuna, must-know travel tips, and much more!
Table of Contents
- 20 Best Things to Do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
- Getting Around La Fortuna
- 2. Kayak on the Peñas Blancas River
- 3. Relax at a Natural Hot Springs Resort
- 4. Go Zip-Lining Above the Jungle Canopy
- 5. Eat Costa Rican Cuisine at a Traditional Soda
- 6. Learn About Chocolate on a Chocolate Tour
- 7. See Lazy Sloths (Take a Sloth Tour)
- 8. Swim in the La Fortuna Waterfall
- 9. Swing on the El Salto Rope Swing (Free!)
- 10. Go on a Wildlife Night Tour
- 11. Visit the (Free!) El Choyin Hot Springs
- 12. Drink Local Craft Beers at La Fortuna Pub
- 13. Visit the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge (Day Trip!)
- 14. Nature Walk in the Arenal Volcano National Park
- 15. Hike at the Arenal 1968 Volcano View and Lava Trails
- 16. Go White Water Rafting
- 17. Hike to the Rio Celeste Waterfall (Day Trip!)
- 18. Go Horseback Riding in the Jungle
- 19. Go Canyoning & Waterfall Rappelling
- 20. Roam Around Downtown La Fortuna
- Where to Stay in La Fortuna
- Guided Tours to Book in La Fortuna & Arenal
- What to Pack for La Fortuna, Costa Rica
- La Fortuna & Arenal Quick Tips
- La Fortuna, Costa Rica Travel FAQs
*This guide contains affiliate links.
20 Best Things to Do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Ready to get into the best things to do in La Fortuna? Let’s do it.
But first, a quick note… Many of the top adventure activities in La Fortuna involve guided tours. My experience has been that these tours sell out (yes, even in Costa Rica’s rainy season). So you don’t miss out on the things you really want to do, I recommend booking things in advance.
To make it easy for you, I’ve shared links to book all of the tours I loved and recommend below!
Getting Around La Fortuna
But first, a quick piece of important advice!
So that you can experience all of the best things to do in and around La Fortuna with ease, you need to rent a car. Some of the guided tours you book will come with transportation, but there are so many things to do on your own too. Renting a car will make your life so much easier – and save you a lot of money on taxis.
And don’t worry: The roads in, around, and on the way to La Fortuna are (mostly) paved. The traffic is pretty calm too. So you shouldn’t run into any issues. (Trust me, if I can do it, you can too!)
This website is the best place to book your Costa Rica rental car. Whether you land at San José Airport or Liberia Airport, you can pick your car up there. (Both San Jose and Liberia are about 2.5 hours from La Fortuna.) Click here to book your rental car now.
1. Explore the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
I’ll venture a guess that exploring the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park will be your favorite thing you do in La Fortuna!
I love this park so much that I’ve visited it three times. And every time, Mother Nature has put on a show!
Walking along the rainforest trails and across the jungle canopy bridges, I’ve spotted acrobatic spider monkeys at play, plenty of howler monkeys, snakes slithering, lizards and iguanas basking in the sun, birds feathered in every color of the rainbow, and some of the biggest bugs ever! Just to name a few.
The views of Arenal Volcano don’t disappoint either!
If you opt for the guided tour, I guarantee, you’ll see many more creatures than you’d notice on your own (these guides are like hawks spotting their prey!) and you’ll learn so much about the rainforest ecosystem. If you do want to hire a guide, you should book your Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park experience in advance, as there’s limited availability. Click here to book your tour!
This walking track at Mistico is about 2 miles long, and takes 1-2 hours to complete.
Must-Know Tips for Visiting Mistico
- Tip #1: The park opens at 6 AM. Go right when it opens! You’ll have the place to yourself and a much better shot at seeing tons of wildlife! Plus, you’ll beat the heat.
- Tip #2: Don’t rush this experience. The slower you go, the more wildlife you’ll spot! Keep your eyes and ears open, and your voice down!
- Tip #3: Rainy day? No problem! The treetops in Mistico will shield you from intense downpours, and obviously, you should bring your rain gear. You probably won’t see amazing views of the volcano, but some wildlife (i.e. monkeys!) are very active in the rain.
- Tip #4: It’s best to wear closed-toe shoes. And watch where you walk – there could be snakes!
2. Kayak on the Peñas Blancas River
On this Kayak Float Safari Tour from La Fortuna, you’ll paddle down the Peñas Blancas River, in search of wildlife.
When I went, I saw capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, lots of lizards and iguanas, owls, beautiful birds, and more. We didn’t see any crocodiles, though our guides said that they often do!
After kayaking downriver for about 90 minutes, through some fun (but not too crazy) rapids – and mostly under shady trees – we arrived at a ranch and enjoyed a traditional snack and coffee… Followed by a short but sweet explanation of how chocolate is made.
I absolutely loved this Kayak Float Safari Tour; it was one of the best things I did on my last trip to La Fortuna. I think you’ll love it too!
At only 4 hours long, you’ll have the rest of your day to do more activities. And unlike the absolutely epic Caño Negro Wildlife Canoeing Tour (see #15 below) which requires a 2-hour drive from La Fortuna, on this Kayak Float Safari Tour, you only have to drive 15 minutes to get to the Peñas Blancas River. For me, that’s a big perk. Even if you don’t see quite as much wildlife as you would in Caño Negro, you will likely still see a lot!
Must-Know Tips for Your Safari Float
- Tip #1: Wear an adventure sunhat! This is my go-to hat for activities like this.
- Tip #2: Bring eco-friendly sunscreen, natural bug spray, a water bottle, your camera, binoculars, and a waterproof dry bag to carry everything.
- Tip #3: Wear sandals so you can take ’em off easily. Your feet are going to get wet!
Note: If you’re traveling with young kids, or if you don’t feel comfortable captaining your own kayak, you’re better off to choose this Raft Safari Float Tour.
Your guide will do all the paddling for you as you simply kick back and watch the animals. Click here to book your Raft Safari Float Tour.
3. Relax at a Natural Hot Springs Resort
Situated on 900 acres of lush tropical reserve, Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa is home to the best naturally-flowing mineral hot springs in all of Costa Rica. Honestly, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better natural hot springs experience, the world over!
Relaxing in the various rivers and pools, and discovering the many cascading waterfalls (which are heated naturally by the volcano to temperatures ranging from 72 to 105 °F) is so dreamy! It’s a total immersion in stunning nature… But with a swim-up cocktail bar in reach.
While hotel guests at Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa visit for free, anyone can purchase a day pass for $80+ USD. There’s also a day pass option that includes a 3-course meal (this is what my friend and I chose, and it was delicious – such a treat!). Click here to book your Tabacon Hot Springs Day Pass.
Some other (more affordable) hot springs to choose from in La Fortuna include:
- Eco Termales Hot Springs
- Baldi Hot Springs
- Paradise Hot Springs
- The Springs Resort & Spa
- And many more.
Whichever hot springs resort you choose, relaxing in hot springs is one of the best things to do in La Fortuna!
P.S. On a budget? See #13 below for details about how to visit public hot springs for free.
4. Go Zip-Lining Above the Jungle Canopy
I have 3 words for you: So. Much. Fun.
There’s nothing like the adrenaline rush of zooming through the jungle canopy, with views of Lake Arenal and the Arenal Volcano in the distance. It’s inexplicably awesome. And you have to do it.
I’ve zip-lined in two other regions of Costa Rica, but nothing compares to the zip-line course at Sky Adventures. The scenery is just unreal. And apparently, this zip-lining experience is the longest, fastest, highest, and safest in all of Costa Rica. Or something like that.
This Sky Adventures combo tour includes the Sky Tram gondola up to the course, the zip-lining itself, and a hanging bridge walk (because you can never get enough hanging bridge action while in La Fortuna).
It’s 5 hours of adrenaline-rushing FUN. And you’re going to love it.
Click here to book your ziplining tour now. This one sells out!
5. Eat Costa Rican Cuisine at a Traditional Soda
If you haven’t tried a traditional Costa Rican casado yet, then you’re in for a treat!
Most typical Costa Rican platters (casados) usually consist of rice and beans, sweet plantains, fresh cheese, a protein (like garlicky shrimp, freshly caught fish, or chicken), salad, and maybe some veggies and tortillas.
In La Fortuna, many of the sodas (typical restaurants) serve fresh tilapia, caught at Lake Arenal – just down the road! If you’re a fan of fish, try a tilapia casado.
The three best sodas in La Fortuna are:
In that order! But if you have time, though, try ’em all.
I have to give a special shoutout to Soda Sabores Lulu. Not only is the experience super local and the food absolutely delicious, but Lulu herself is so welcoming and kind. So pura vida. Don’t miss this place!
6. Learn About Chocolate on a Chocolate Tour
Everyone loves chocolate. But so many people don’t know where chocolate actually comes from. Or what cacao pods even look like!
If that’s you, then you should definitely take this chocolate tour while in La Fortuna. You’ll walk through the rainforest, learn about the flora and fauna, see the chocolate-making process in action, and try (what may be) the best chocolate you’ve ever had!
Artisanal chocolate in Costa Rica is seriously good; take it from a self-professed dark chocolate connoisseur.
There are plenty of chocolate tours around La Fortuna, but this Rainforest Chocolate Tour is the best one! Trust me, I’ve done a couple of them.
7. See Lazy Sloths (Take a Sloth Tour)
One of the top La Fortuna attractions is not a place – but an animal! A main goal I always have in La Fortuna is seeing a sloth up close and in the wild. And I’m stoked to say, I have every time!
As you drive around La Fortuna in your rental car, you will probably see groups of people stopped on the road, looking up into the trees. 9 times out of 10, they’re looking at sloths! So pull over and join them.
If you’re not so lucky – or if want some more sloth “action” – then you can visit Sloth’s Territory. It’s hard to get enough of these cute, lazy animals. So go on, you know you want to!
On this Sloth Watching Tour, you’ll roam through a lush rainforest reserve, where you’re guaranteed to see sloths! But you’ll likely see other animals too – like toucans and porcupines. This tour is limited to 10 people and will sell out. Click here to book your Sloths Watching Tour through Sloth’s Territory.
Hot tip: If you have a pair of binoculars at home, make sure to bring them with you to La Fortuna! That way, you can really check out the sloths up close… They’re usually up high in trees. Plus, they’ll help you check out the toucans, monkeys, bats, birds, and so on!
8. Swim in the La Fortuna Waterfall
Visiting the beautiful La Fortuna Waterfall is one of the most popular things to do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. And from the photo above, you can see why. It’s an Instagrammer’s dream!
At the base of the dormant Chato volcano, the 70-meter La Fortuna Waterfall cascades into the most brilliant blue water pool and is surrounded by lush rainforest. Be warned, there are 500 steps to get down to the waterfall (and to get back up!).
You have to pay an $18 entrance fee to see the La Fortuna Waterfall… But what outdoor activity don’t you have to pay for in La Fortuna…?
Hot tip: It’s best not to visit between 10 AM and 3 PM. If you do, you will find the La Fortuna Waterfall overflowing with hordes of people visiting on tour buses. On my first visit, I went at 7 AM (right when it opened) and had the place to myself!
9. Swing on the El Salto Rope Swing (Free!)
Make like a spider monkey and swing from the El Salto Rope Swing into the Fortuna River!
This is another one of the few free things to do in La Fortuna, and it’s a must if you love rope swings and cliff jumping. This is also a popular hangout for locals, so it’s somewhat of a cultural experience too.
After you let go of the rope, the drop is approximately 20 feet! Eeeek. I’ll leave that to you!
I chose to sunbathe on a big boulder and watch the action… Hanging out here is such a fun and relaxed vibe.
10. Go on a Wildlife Night Tour
Costa Rica’s rainforests are home to all kinds of interesting critters – many of which only come out at night. To get the full La Fortuna experience, book this Wildlife Night Tour.
Some of the nocturnal/diurnal animals you can hope to see include frogs, bats, sloths, turtles, toucans, armadillos, snakes, and lizards. You may also see sleeping animals, like birds!
Well worth your time and hard-earned cash, you won’t regret booking a night tour in La Fortuna!
P.S. The boutique eco-lodge I always stay at (and recommend!), the Tifakara Boutique Hotel & Birding Oasis, offers all guests a free, guided night walk through their frog sanctuary. From vipers to red-eyed tree frogs, we saw lots of cool creatures that only come out at night.
11. Visit the (Free!) El Choyin Hot Springs
Right next to Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa, you will find a public (free!) thermal river where you can swim and soak!
The fact that the El Choyin hot springs are free obviously means it’s going to be crowded with locals and travelers alike. Especially on a nice day. And it can be a bit of a party vibe – with people drinking beers, having barbecues, etc.
But if you walk upriver far enough, you should be able to find a quiet little pool just for your crew.
Tip: Go to El Choyin first thing in the morning. That way, you’ll have a chance to enjoy the hot springs all to yourself.
Note: This experience is not as special or relaxing as getting a Day Pass at Tabacón, but it is free! So if Tabacón is out of your budget, or if you only have time for a quick dip in the hot springs, then don’t miss this! Also, you’ll have to pay the parking attendant about $5 USD to park on the road.
12. Drink Local Craft Beers at La Fortuna Pub
The craft beer scene is on the come-up in Costa Rica, and La Fortuna Pub is supporting it in full-force.
In the center La Fortuna town, you’ll find this (not-so-hidden) gem. They have it all: local craft beers, live music, a great happy hour, good vibes, and games! Who doesn’t love Jenga and beer? Apparently the food here is good too, but I can’t say for sure. If you try it, report back!
After a big day of adventuring, this pub is the perfect place to chill.
13. Visit the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge (Day Trip!)
A wildlife canoeing safari on the Río Frío, inside the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, is an activity you can’t miss while in La Fortuna!
As you silently paddle down the river, you’ll spot all kinds of wildlife in their natural habitat, unbothered by your presence.
During my tour, we saw 2 of the 3 orange howler monkeys in the world! We saw capuchin (white-face) monkeys. Spider monkeys. Caiman. Rare birds. Crocodiles. Prehistoric alligator garfish. And more. It was soooooo awesome.
I don’t know what’s more special (or relaxing) than drifting down the river, listening to the rainforest, and spotting amazing wildlife.
This canoe tour is a once-in-a-lifetime experience – and one of the best things to do in La Fortuna and Arenal. Click here to book your canoe adventure now. This tour is operated in small groups and sells out!
Hot tip: This canoeing tour is not very strenuous physically. But if, for whatever reason, you can’t/don’t want to canoe, you can opt for the Río Frío Boat Experience. Click here to book your boat safari now.
14. Nature Walk in the Arenal Volcano National Park
“National Park” may conjure images in your mind of epic and challenging hikes. This isn’t that.
But if you’re craving a quiet and easy nature walk, with a small incline (and a few stairs) up to the viewpoint of Arenal in all her majesty, then Arenal Volcano National Park is your place!
The “hike” to the Mirador (the lookout) takes about an hour roundtrip, and offers the most striking views of the volcano when you get to the end! This is just about as close up to the volcano as you can get.
The entrance fee to the national park is $15 per adult (and $5 per kid).
Fun fact: The volcano was formed around 7,000 years ago and is currently in its resting phase. But up until 2010, visitors could see ash, lava, and gas daily. It was considered extinct with no activity between 1500-1900, then in 1968 it erupted! Volcanologists consider the volcano as alive but sleeping.
15. Hike at the Arenal 1968 Volcano View and Lava Trails
If hiking at the Arenal Volcano National Park wasn’t enough, then I have another Arenal Volcano hike for you!
At the Arenal 1968 Volcano View and Lava Trails park, you can hike through the lava flow from the 1968 eruption (sometimes orchids grow through the lava!) and enjoy 360° views of the volcano.
There are a few different well-maintained trails to choose from with different difficulty levels. The park entrance fee is $19 per person.
16. Go White Water Rafting
Surprise, surprise. Another adrenaline-rushing adventure has made the list!
White water rafting is one of the most popular things to do in Costa Rica! I haven’t done it (yet) in La Fortuna, but there are all sorts of options to choose from:
- Balsa River White Water Rafting Class 2/3 in Costa Rica
- Upper Balsa River White Water Rafting Class 3/4 in Costa Rica
- Sarapiqui River White Water Rafting Class IV
17. Hike to the Rio Celeste Waterfall (Day Trip!)
Get your hiking boots ready! Because you’re not going to want to miss out on seeing Río Celeste’s brilliant blue water, marveling at the gorgeous Río Celeste Waterfall, and spending time in the Tenorio Volcano National Park.
As you hike through the national park, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for animals. And when you arrive triumphantly at the waterfall, you can enjoy soaking in the thermal river.
The roundtrip hike to the Río Celeste Waterfall takes about 3 hours and it’s well worth seeing!
- Tip #1: Ideally, you should rent a car at the airport and drive yourself to the Tenorio Volcano National Park. That way, you can hike to the beautiful Rio Celeste, see wildlife, and swim, all in your own time. But if that’s not an option, you can book this Full-Day Río Celeste Tour From La Fortuna.
- Tip #2: To make the most of your time in Costa Rica, it may be a good idea to visit Río Celeste on your way in or out of La Fortuna, since it’s on the way to/from the San Jose airport.
18. Go Horseback Riding in the Jungle
If you love horses, then why not take a horseback riding tour through the jungle?
On this Private and Customized Horseback Riding Adventure, you can trek along rainforest trails, through deep, rushing rivers, across open pastures, and in between hills… All while admiring the incredible views of the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal.
19. Go Canyoning & Waterfall Rappelling
On this Canyoning and Waterfall Rappelling Tour, you’ll explore a natural playground, completing a thrilling course with hiking, rock climbing, waterfall rappelling, river crossing, and more – in the most beautiful jungle scenery.
If you’re an adventure junkie, this La Fortuna activity is for you.
20. Roam Around Downtown La Fortuna
And last but not least – you can’t visit La Fortuna without actually roaming the town and visiting the central plaza!
With countless souvenir shops, local sodas, great restaurants, and bars, there’s plenty to keep you entertained for an evening. Plus, the La Fortuna locals are super friendly.
Surprisingly though, La Fortuna doesn’t have much of a party scene, so don’t expect to find anything too crazy! (If you’re looking for something else to do at nighttime, see the FAQs below.)
Where to Stay in La Fortuna
While in La Fortuna, I highly recommend booking an eco-lodge that immerses you fully into nature. That way, you’ll have a true Costa Rica experience.
There are plenty of options just outside of La Fortuna’s downtime. But want to know the best place I found? Tifakara Boutique Hotel & Birding Oasis. I love this place so much, I’ve stayed here on two different trips to La Fortuna!
Falling asleep (in a super comfy bed) to frogs ribbiting, and waking up to birds chirping and monkeys howling, is exactly what you need when in La Fortuna. At Tifakara, the rooms are lovely, the staff go out of their way to make you happy, and the pool and jacuzzis are perfect for relaxing after big days of adventure. Plus, breakfast is included… which is always a plus!
To top it off, every evening, Tifakara Boutique Hotel & Birding Oasis offers a free frog tour to guests. We saw green tree frogs, strawberry poison dart frogs, viper snakes, and more! So awesome.
Other Top La Fortuna Hotels
Some of the other amazing eco-lodges I checked out while in La Fortuna and would recommend include:
- Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa ($$$$): This place offers the most incredible natural on-site hot springs experience you’ll ever come across! It’s a Small Luxury Hotel property, so you know it’s going to be all-around fantastic. When only the best will do, this is your spot.
- Noah’s Forest Hotel by Tifakara ($$$): A true rainforest oasis, Noah’s offers the perfect mix of luxury, sustainability, tropical-chic design, and exceptional service – while immersing guests deep into nature.
- Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa ($$): Situated on 860 acres of private rainforest, this lodge boasts jaw-dropping views of the Arenal Volcano and an on-site bird sanctuary (with ~500 different bird species).
Guided Tours to Book in La Fortuna & Arenal
As you can tell, most of the top things to do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica revolve around guided tours. Whether we’re talking about zip-lining, canoeing, or horseback riding, you simply can’t do them without a guide.
To make it easy for you, I’ve listed all of the top La Fortuna experiences you should consider booking on Viator… In advance. Like, right now! Arenal is the most popular place to visit in all of Costa Rica, so these experiences will sell out.
- Mistico Park Hanging Bridges Guided Tour
- Wildlife Canoeing Safari on the Río Frío
- Río Frío Boat Experience in Caño Negro Wetland
- Sky Adventures Ziplining & Sky Tram Combo Tour
- Rainforest Chocolate Tour
- Craft Specialty Coffee and Chocolate Tour
- Sloth Watching Tour at Sloth’s Territory
- La Fortuna Wildlife Night Tour
- Full-Day Río Celeste Tour From La Fortuna
- Canyoning and Waterfall Rappelling Tour
- Private and Customized Horseback Riding Adventure
What to Pack for La Fortuna, Costa Rica
This is the rainforest so anything uncomfortable, overly stylish, or just impractical you should leave behind. Think easy, breezy, lightweight and simple.
Here are some of my essential items to bring to La Fortuna:
- Hiking shoes: It goes without saying, you will spend a lot of time exploring the incredible surroundings; pack comfortable hiking shoes so you can enjoy it without blisters.
- Swimsuit: If you’re going to soak in the hot springs you’re going to need a swimsuit!
- Quick-dry Turkish towel: You’re going to need a quick-dry towel for all of the waterfalls, rivers, and hot springs you’re going to visit!
- Organic bug spray: Keep those nasty chemicals out the rainforest and off your skin, pack a good deet-free organic bug spray to avoid becoming a feast for mosquitoes.
- Rain gear: The clue is in the name, rainforests are damp! Pack a good rain poncho or jacket and you’ll be fine.
- Binoculars: Don’t miss any of the incredible wildlife, bring travel binoculars, you won’t regret it!
- Reusable water bottle: All this activity is thirsty work, avoid buying plastic bottles and keep a reusable water bottle with you to stay hydrated.
- Sunscreen: Don’t risk sunburn and spoil the rest of your trip. Pack a good sunscreen to stay protected.
- Travel insurance: Speaking of protection, never go without travel insurance. Accidents happen (especially in intrepid places like Costa Rica!) so making sure you’re covered for health and travel emergencies is invaluable. Click here to purchase travel insurance.
MORE COSTA RICA TRAVEL INSPIRATION
La Fortuna & Arenal Quick Tips
- HOTEL: I use this website to score amazing deals on accommodation worldwide. I always stay at the Tifakara Boutique Hotel & Birding Oasis in La Fortuna; I love this hotel!
- HOSTELWORLD: If you’re traveling on a budget, this is the best website to score cheap hostel deals.
- VACATION RENTAL: I use this site to find the perfect vacation rental for an unforgettable getaway.
- TRAVEL INSURANCE: Never go on a trip without travel insurance! Accidents happen more often when you travel, especially in intrepid destinations like Costa Rica! SafetyWing has an awesome monthly subscription for digital nomad insurance (I currently use SafetyWing).
- GUIDED TOURS & EXCURSIONS: Many of the tours I recommend are hosted with Viator, which also works with local tour operators. This wildlife canoeing safari on the Río Frío is an unmissable tour in La Fortuna.
- CHEAP FLIGHTS: San José Airport or Liberia Airport are both around 2.5 hours from La Fortuna. Get great deals on flights using my favorite flight fare aggregator.
- TRAVEL GEAR: A collection of all of my must-have travel gear is listed here. But most important to remember is hiking boots, bug spray, and rain gear.
- CAR RENTAL: The best way to get around La Fortuna and Arenal is by car, the roads are fine and rental is reasonable so remember to book in advance here for the best deals.
La Fortuna, Costa Rica Travel FAQs
Yes, La Fortuna is a very safe place for travelers to visit! In fact, it’s one of the safest places in all of Costa Rica. It’s even considered safe to walk around downtown La Fortuna at night. The people in La Fortuna are (generally speaking) very friendly and helpful, and crime rates are very low.
The best way to get around La Fortuna is with a rental car. All of the best experiences and things to do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica are very spread out. Some of the guided tours you book will come with transportation included, but otherwise, you’re on your own. If you don’t book a car while in La Fortuna, you will surely regret it. Renting a car will make your life so much easier – and save you a lot of money too.
If you’re worried about driving in Costa Rica, know this: The roads in, around, and on the way to La Fortuna (from the airport) are paved. The traffic around town pretty calm too. So don’t worry! Pura vida. (Trust me, if I can successfully rent a car, you can too!)
Discover Cars is the best place to book your Costa Rica rental car. Whether you land at San José Airport or Liberia Airport, you can pick it up there! (Both San Jose and Liberia are about 2.5 hours from La Fortuna.) Click here to book your rental car now.
There are a few bars and restaurants in La Fortuna that stay open late, but the town really doesn’t have much of a nightlife scene.
If you’re looking for something to do at night, I would recommend taking a dip in one of the hot springs or going on a nighttime wildlife tour!
No, you don’t need to speak Spanish in La Fortuna. Most of the people working in the tourism industry there speak English, so you will be able to get by without speaking Spanish. However, locals always appreciate it when visitors try to speak a few words of Spanish! It shows respect!
There are so many incredible things to do here. Some of the top things to do include zip-lining, visiting the La Fortuna Waterfall, taking a dip in the hot springs, hiking in the Arenal National Park, walking in the treetops at the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park, canoeing in the Caño Negro wildlife reserve, taking a sloth tour, and taking a day trip to the Rio Celeste Waterfall. This article covers all of the most fun and exciting things to do in Arenal and La Fortuna – along with hot tips to make your Costa Rica trip absolutely amazing.
100% yes! La Fortuna is worth visiting if you get the chance. The La Fortuna and Arenal areas of Costa Rica are probably the most naturally stunning places you can visit. Between the views of Arenal Volcano, Lake Arenal, and the vast, lush rainforests, you will be blown away by the stunning vistas.
But not only that, La Fortuna and Arenal are absolutely packed with fun, adventurous things to do. Some of the adventure activities available include zip-lining, horseback riding, going on an ATV tour, hiking in the rain forest, relaxing in hot springs, swinging from rope swings, and going canoeing.
Not to mention, opportunities for wildlife viewing are endless! Especially if you go on a guided tour of the hanging bridges park! You can expect to see sloths, monkeys, snakes, frogs, and so much more.
If you have the opportunity to visit La Fortuna, Costa Rica, do it. Arenal and La Fortuna is definitely worth visiting.
Many say that the best time to visit La Fortuna is between December and April. This is the dry season in Costa Rica, so you can expect sunny days with little to no rain. But note that’s also hot and dry at this time! Many travelers will love this! But for some, the heat may not be ideal, considering all of the physically strenuous and adventurous outdoor activities you will do in La Fortuna.
If I were you, I would consider visiting between the months of May and September. Yes, there may be rain during your trip, but you are visiting the rainforest, after all!
During the rainy season, there will be less crowds and much cheaper prices. It won’t be as hot, the vegetation will be lush, green, and beautiful, and the rain will cool down the heat of the day – possibly giving way to some pretty cool nighttime thunderstorms.
I visited in June and it rained a bit, but it didn’t put a damper on my time at all. It was amazing and I would definitely visit in June again!
If you want to experience the best of La Fortuna, Costa Rica, then you should plan to spend between 3-5 full days there. From walking the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges, visiting La Fortuna’s most popular hot springs, and hiking to a gorgeous waterfall, to relaxing at the Club Rio Outdoor Center and going on a rafting trip, there’s a lot to pack in! Or you can take it slowly, relax, and spend a bit more time soaking in the incredible surroundings.
You can pack plenty into 2 days visiting La Fortuna. Top things to do are visit the hot springs, walk the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges, hike in the lush rainforests, take trip to the Rio Celeste waterfall, and explore the Arenal Volcano National Park.
20 Amazing Things to Do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
(and the Arenal Volcano Area)
A Costa Rica trip would not be complete without spending a few days exploring the incredible nature of La Fortuna. From relaxing in natural hot springs, walking in the treetops on hanging bridges, and marveling at Arenal Volcano, to horseback riding through the jungle, canoeing in a nature reserve, and zip-lining… There are endless amazing things to do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica!
If you’re lucky enough to visit La Fortuna, all I can say is… Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime – in the most incredible nature setting you can possibly imagine!
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