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15 things to do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Updated: Apr 24

You have to visit La Fortuna when in Costa Rica. It is an absolute traveler paradise as it offers incredible nature and so many things to do for adventure seekers, as well as, those who like more relaxed travels.

Short on time? Here are 15 things to do in La Fortuna:

  1. Hike around Arenal Volcano

  2. Visit La Fortuna Waterfall

  3. Hanging Bridges

  4. Canyoning

  5. Rafting

  6. Ziplining

  7. Relax in Hot Springs

  8. Enjoy Lake Arenal

  9. Have fun at the local swimming spot with a rope swing

  10. Try local Costa Rican Cuisine

  11. Go on a chocolate tour

  12. Or a coffee tour

  13. See wildlife during a night expedition

  14. Birdwatching

  15. Do a day trip to Rio Celeste or to Monteverde

Hike around the Arenal Volcano


Although you do not need to make any special effort as the volcano is just there - you can see it from anywhere in town, one of the most popular things to do in La Fortuna is to go on a hike around it. There are several hiking routes that offer different viewpoints of the volcano. The most popular one is route 1968, named after the year when the volcano first erupted. It has actually been active since then. However, in the past 10 years there has been no activity. The entrance fee into the park to do the hike is around $15.

There are also several different treks that are cheaper. I did the Senderos trail that goes through the rainforest, then the volcanic rocks and you end up at this amazing viewpoint. Unfortunately, on the day when I went, the weather was quite bad and I couldn't see the volcano that well but I can see how on a clearer day this is a great spot!

Visit La Fortuna Waterfall

A must-do is a visit to the La Fortuna waterfall. Also, be ready for some fitness because to reach the waterfall you need to go 500 steps down and then 500 steps back up!

Usually, you can swim there but there can be days when it is forbidden due to the strong currents. Of course on the day I went there, the weather was horrible and it was impossible to swim there. So, I can't tell evaluate the swimming experience. The entrance fee to the waterfall is $18.

Hanging Bridges

A unique walk you must embrace is the one via hanging bridges. The best place for it is Mistico Park which offers 6 different lengths and height hanging bridges. They are quite shaky so it is definitely a fun thing to do but also you get amazing views of the rainforest and on a clear day you also see the volcano. The park entrance fee is $28 but it is definitely worth it!

We did all three events in one day thanks to EcoTerra who planned and organized the day for us. The team of guides was great and the organization was excellent. I highly recommend them!

Embrace yourself for extreme adventures

La Fortuna is an excellent place to do rafting, offering level 3 and 4 rapids. The route is fun but safe. I found it quite chill compared to other rafting tours I have done as you get a lot of calm sections. This is not a bad thing because the wildlife around the river is amazing and on my trip, during the calm moments I spotted sloths, iguanas, and various birds. There are several companies in the town organizing tours daily.

Also, a rainforest full of waterfalls offers amazing canyoning routes. The whole route is full of bigger and smaller waterfalls so you are constantly on an adventure. For me, this was personally the best canyoning route I have done so far! I can highly recommend Maquique Adventure as the team was excellent, and it was such a fun day!

La Fortuna also has several big ziplining parks offering some of the longest ziplines in the world. While ziplining on a clear day, you can see the volcano and beautiful views of the rainforest.

Relax in the hot springs


Where there is a volcano and a river, there will probably be hot springs. And in La Fortuna, you have loads to choose from!

The choices really are a lot, starting from luxury hot spring resorts with a big list of added treatments, to free ones. Yes, there are places on the river where you can just enjoy a proper natural hot spring.

Free Spot: El Chollin

Highly recommended: Baldi Hot Springs

The one I went to and recommend: Termalitas del Arenal (only $10.00 per person)

Enjoy Lake Arenal

The whole area is lovely and you can enjoy the lake by having a boat ride, kayaking, or paddle boarding. A place I know, where you can do all that is: Arenal Boat Rental Association.

We enjoyed the lake from the side as we rented a motorbike and took the main road around it. We had no plan, just to enjoy the rainforest and amazing views of the lake. To our surprise, we accidentally discovered this lovely restaurant 'Le Bistro' which is also a hotel with incredible views. My life goal is to stay in that hotel one day!

Have fun at the local swimming spot with a rope swing

A really cool free spot I recommend is El Salto! It is a place on the river, where you can go for a swim and also leap into the water on a Tarzan-like swing. You can be the brave one or simply watch others doing backflips and jumping in.

Try local Costa Rican Cuisine

My absolute favorite dish that I highly recommend is called Casado. It consists of rice, beans, vegetable stew, salad, plantains, tortilla, and sometimes cheese. The main component of the dish is fish or meat which you can usually choose from.


In La Fortuna town there isn't too much to do, but there are loads of good food places. Some of my favorite ones were a bit outside the town though. Here are my top 4 food places:

  • Luna Grill (part of Casa Luna Hotel)

  • Cafeto Chill Out

  • Kappa Sushi

  • Italianissimo

Where to stay in La Fortuna?

If you want to have everything near you then the best choice is to stay in the La Fortuna center or 5 minutes walk away from it. I have put together a quick explanatory map that shows different areas so you can understand better where to pick your hotel or Airbnb. Airbnb's are mostly a bit outside the center but do not worry, everything is literally 5 or 10 minute walk away from each other.


La Fortuna area also offers several amazing spa hotels outside the center. I am sure they are amazing as you have only a rainforest around you. It definitely is a great experience but all those places are more expensive and also you will need to order an Uber or shuttle to get anywhere.

A few things you should know before going to La Fortuna

One thing I want to prepare you for is the weather! Firstly you are going into a rainforest where it rains half of the time. Then you also have a volcano that has its own microclimate. So you probably will get rain and clouds on your trip. I personally didn't see the volcano for the first 3 days. Also, even if you catch a good sunny morning be prepared that in an hour or so the weather can change drastically and it can pour. I would say it rains around 3 times per day. The weather constantly goes from rainy to sunny to cloudy and so on.

There is nothing you can do about it. We timed our visit during the dry season and still got loads of rain. Invest in a good rain jacket and you will be completely fine because it is warm most of the time.

Costa Rica in general is quite expensive so La Fortuna is not an exception.

Uber is illegal in most places in Costa Rica but the app does work everywhere and everybody is using it. We got Uber everywhere but the driver can get in trouble for that, so please keep that in mind.

Here is a video of my time in La Fortuna!


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