Thanks to the very active Arenal volcano, La Fortuna is a popular stop on any travelers journey in Costa Rica. If you are looking for a wealth of outdoor activities and don’t mind putting up with loads of tourists, La Fortuna is a great place to spend a few days.
La Fortuna is a great place to spend a few days. There are a lot of things to do and something for every budget. the two most popular things that bring people to La Fortuna are the Arenal Volcano and the hot springs. Aside from those activities, you can also ride horses, hike the waterfall, go four wheeling, and much more.
The town doesn’t exactly have a budget backpacker atmosphere, but if you are a seasoned traveler you can find the deals around a town. The key is to wait later in the day, when the smaller tour operators are an hour or so from closing. These guys can’t pass up a buck, so if you wait till the last minute, you will have a lot more barging power. I once got a tour of the volcano and a trip to the hot springs for US$10 when it usually cost US$35.
Money Exchange – There are plenty of banks and money exchange places in La Fortuna. Many places in town also take credit and debit cards as a form of payment.
La Fortuna is located about 3 to 4 hours North of San Jose in the Central Valley area.
How to Get to La Fortuna
How to get here all depends on where you are coming from. Many independent travelers make there way here via included transportation from a tour such as whitewater rafting or canopy tour. For the best means of transportation to the area, ask your hotels front desk. La Fortuna is a popular destination and they should be able to tell you the best way to get there.
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Because of the overall location of La Fortuna and the Arenal volcano, weather here can be quite unpredictable. One things for sure though, expect it to be cloudy and overcast most of the time. Since you are closer to the mountains, it can get a little chilly at night. Mist and light rain come and go at an irregular rate.
What To Do
Top Things to Do in La Fortuna
There is certainly no shortage of activities to do here. The only catch is that just about all of them cost money. But, if you will only be in Costa Rica for a few days, this is a great place to experience a ton of activities in one area.
Next to the volcano, the hot springs are one of the most popular attractions in the area. There are three main companies that offer access to the hot springs. Each one has its own price range and feel to it.
Arenal Volcano is the main attraction here because on clear nights you are almost guaranteed to see some lava exploding from the volcano.
The Arenal Waterfall is another cool place to visit. Cold is actually a better word to describe it, as the water from the waterfall is freezing. At US$8 a person, this is one of the cheapest things to do in the area.
If you want to do some nature travel, there are a number of tours to the Cano Negro Reserve.
Where to Stay
There is a newer hostel in the La Fortuna area that has become the first choice for any backpacker heading to La Fortuna. this hostel is call Arenal Backpackers.
Arenal Backpackers advertises its self as a five star hostel and it truly lives up to that promise. It might not be the equal to a three star hotel, but it is damn nice by hostel standards. Some things the regular backpacker will appreciate about this place include the air conditioning, a hot water shower in every room (including dorm rooms), and key card entry into the rooms.
The hostel also has a tour desk that can help you arrange all of your tours and activities for the day. the desk is run by one of the most respected tour operators in the country, Exporadores Outdoors. the guys here are nice and aren’t just after a commission.
>>>To hear more bout the hostel, be sure to check out our review of Arenal Backpackers
Average Costs of Accommodation in La Fortuna
- Private Droms US$25+
- Shared Dorms US$10+
- Hotels US$50+
Top Places to Stay in La Fortuna