The area around La Fortuna, Costa Rica is a “must see” for any visitor. Home to lush jungle, active volcanoes, waterfalls, and hundreds of sloths, it is a tropical (humid) paradise! Plus, it’s named “fortune”, but sits at the base of an active volcano- you have to love that optimism!
Whether you want to go hiking, rafting, and kayaking- or just relax in natural volcanic hot springs, you will definitely find something you love. Read my tips for the best things to do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica:
I have visited La Fortuna on four separate occasions over a span of five years. This is what I recommend most:
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Natural Hot Springs– Easily one of my favorite activities in the whole country, this is something unique to the area and definitely very memorable! Several springs here are naturally heated from underground volcanic activity, and so some resorts have taken advantage by building beautiful spas and hotels around them.
For a fancy more expensive experience, I highly recommend Tabacón Hot Springs. You can buy day passes to swim there if the hotel is out of your budget (like it was for me)! For a more affordable experience that’s still great, I have been to Baldí Hot Springs several times using their hotel day pass, and always loved it.
⇒Read my suggested 7-10 day itinerary in Costa Rica
Kayaking– Many visitors go out on Lake Arenal for views of the active Arenal volcano hovering above. The weather here is unpredictable though, and there is often cloud cover and rain. Keep this in mind, but maybe you will get lucky and still see the volcano on a clear day! There are options to rent kayaks on your own, or take part in a guided tour around the lake.
Click for more Arenal day trip options and activities
Hiking– Arenal National Park is the area immediately surrounding the volcano. The main hiking trail in the park is called “Arenal 1968“, named after the year this volcano last erupted, sadly killing 87 people in the town below.
This hiking trail has lots of overlooks, but it is hilly and can take a full day. If you love hiking, I would recommend it, but it honestly wasn’t super rewarding in terms of views, especially if you go on a cloudy day.
Waterfalls– One of the most popular hikes is the hike down to the seriously impressive La Fortuna waterfall (Catarata Río Fortuna).You hike down 400 wooden steps into a gorgeous jungle, and can enjoy incredible views and even swim in the rock pools at the bottom. The only negative about visiting here is hiking the 400+ steps back up to the top!