La Fortuna is a small town in northern Costa Rica, known for being close to the Arenal Volcano, one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
Beyond lava and ash, La Fortuna also serves as a gateway to some fantastic natural attractions and outdoor activities.
Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, wildlife, or culture, La Fortuna almost definitely has something for you.
Here are 5 unique things to do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica.
Table of Contents
Top 5 things to do in La Fortuna
From hiking the base of the Arenal Volcano to soaking in thermal hot springs, here are the best things to do in La Fortuna.
1. Hike Around Arenal Volcano National Park
No trip to La Fortuna is complete without witnessing the grand Arenal Volcano. Hiking around its base and marveling at its enormous stature from different angles is the best way to experience it.
There are several trails catering to various fitness levels and time constraints, such as:
Ensure you wear comfy shoes, bring water and snacks, apply sunscreen and insect repellent, and check the weather before going.
TOP TIP: The park entrance fee is $15 USD per person.
2. Soak in Hot Springs
Nothing beats soaking in hot springs after a long day hiking around Arenal Volcano National Park.
La Fortuna offers hot spring options found at luxurious resorts with manicured gardens and pools to rustic thermal pools surrounded by jungle.
Some of my favorite hot springs in La Fortuna are:
- Baldi Hot Springs: A large complex with 25 pools of different temperatures, water slides, bars, restaurants, and spa services.
- Eco Termales Hot Springs: A smaller, more intimate resort with 6 pools of varying temperatures, a waterfall pool, a cold pool, and a restaurant serving traditional Costa Rican food.
- Free Public Hot Springs: Located next to the Tabocan hot springs, you can access the same water completely for free! Just get a local taxi to drop you at the bridge and walk down.
Prices for a full-day package usually range from $30 USD to $85 USD per person, depending on whether meals or other services are included.
3. Explore La Fortuna Waterfall
For a refreshing dip in clear water, visit the stunning La Fortuna Waterfall, which cascades 200 feet (60 meters) into a pool below
Reach the waterfall by car or horseback, then hike down about 500 steps.
You can swim, take photos, or admire nature’s beauty, but be cautious around the waterfall’s edge.
TOP TIP: The entrance fee is $18 USD per person.
4. Visit Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
Experience La Fortuna’s rainforest beauty by visiting Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park, a private reserve with 16 bridges spanning 2 miles (3 kilometers) of trails.
Walk above the canopy and see the forest from a different perspective, and spot various plants and animals.
You can visit on your own or join a guided tour.
TOP TIP: The park is open daily, and the entrance fee is $26 USD per person.
5. Go Whitewater Rafting At Rio Balsa
For adrenaline-pumping fun, try whitewater rafting at Rio Balsa. The river has class II-III rapids suitable for beginners and intermediate rafters.
Along the way, enjoy beautiful scenery and wildlife. Several companies offer whitewater rafting tours, usually including transportation, equipment, guides, lunch, and photos.
TOP TIP: Tours last about 4 hours and cost around $65 USD per person.
What is The Best Thing to Do In La Fortuna?
In my humble opinion, the absolute best thing you can do in La Fortuna is… everything!
It’s a place where there is so much to do, that it would be a crime to pick just one thing. Embrace the spirit of Costa Rica’s Pura Vida lifestyle and try a few things outside of your comfort zone.
It’s an old travel cliche, but there is truly something new for everyone in La Fortuna.
Top Travel Tips For La Fortuna
To make the most of your visit to La Fortuna, keep these tips in mind:
With these tips in mind, you’re all set to have an unforgettable adventure in La Fortuna, Costa Rica!
How Do I Get to La Fortuna?
Options include bus, car, shuttle, or plane. Buses are the cheapest, taking about 4 hours from San Jose and costing around $5 USD per person.
Renting a car from San Jose or Liberia airports provides flexibility and freedom.
Check out Discover Cars to find the best rental deal.
The quickest option is flying, taking about 20 minutes from San Jose and costing around $100 USD per person. Popular airlines include Sansa Airlines and Skyway CR.
Where Should I stay in La Fortuna?
There are plenty of accommodation options in La Fortuna, ranging from budget hostels to luxury resorts.
Some of our top recommendations are:
Arenal Backpackers Resort
Ideal for backpackers looking to socialize and enjoy a pool, bar, restaurant, and hammocks.
It has dorms and private rooms with AC, hot water, and free breakfast.
Prices start from $15 USD per night.
Arenal Springs Resort
A beautiful resort with spacious rooms featuring balconies overlooking Arenal Volcano.
It also has hot springs pools, a spa, a yoga studio, a restaurant, and a bar.
Prices start from $150 USD per night.
One of the most luxurious resorts in La Fortuna, with stunning bungalows featuring jacuzzis and outdoor showers surrounded by tropical gardens.
It also has hot springs pools, a spa, a gym, a wine bar, a sushi bar, a restaurant, and a coffee bar.
Prices start from $400 USD per night.
Thinking of staying longer? Check out our Costa Rica Digital Nomad Guide
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, La Fortuna is generally safe for tourists, but use common sense and take standard precautions, like you would anywhere else.
Costa Rican colón (CRC) is the local currency, but US dollars are widely accepted. Just don’t expect to pay with a $100 bill at the local fruit stand!
Many locals speak English, particularly in the tourism industry, but learning a few Spanish phrases will always be appreciated.
Si, señor! You’ll find ATMs in town, but it’s wise to have some cash on hand for smaller vendors and remote areas.
Public buses, shared shuttles, and rental cars are popular options. Hitching a ride on a volcano-bound sloth is, unfortunately, not an option.
Yes, tap water is generally safe to drink, but if in doubt, stick to bottled water. Your stomach will thank you later.