La Fortuna is in San Carlos, in the province of Alajuela. It is the closest town to Arenal Volcano. Arenal Volcano is an active volcano that has been constantly erupting since 1968. It erupts on average 41 times a day. Both the town and the volcano are in northern Costa Rica and the area is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Costa Rica. The best time to view the erupting volcano is at night when the lava is glowing. There are a handful of relatively expensive hotels that offer direct views of the volcano. If you're desperate to see the eruption at night, these are the best places to stay.
Volcan Arenal, Costa Rica
Most people travel to La Fortuna to see Arenal Volcano. It is often cited by scientists as being one of the top ten or top twenty most active volcanoes in the world.
Other sites near La Fortuna include Fortuna Waterfall, which can be reached by either horse or car, and Lake Arenal. Head to the village of El Castillo for the best views of Lake Arenal and Arenal Volcano. The Arenal Butterfly Conservatory is also popular, as is canyoneering and whitewater rafting. There are also some nearby hot springs which are wonderfully relaxing. If you book a volcano viewing tour, it may include a visit to a hot springs spa. It is best to inquire about this ahead of time.
If you're looking to enjoy the natural river and a few nearby waterfalls, head to Tabaconcito Hot Springs. It's free to enter. Alternatively, there are several developed, spa like pools that take great advantage of the hot springs as well. The most popular are Tabacon Hot Springs, Ecothermales Hot Springs, and Baldi Hot Springs. Each facility includes several pools, some with water slides. You'll also find a poolside bar which livens up the atmosphere at night.
La Fortuna is a small town that sees many tourists. As such, there are a decent number of amenities available to visitors. The town has a medic station, but serious enjoys require evacuation from town. There is also a police station, gas station, three banks, three grocery stores, a decent number of restaurants, a post office, and a hardware store.
You'll also find no shortage of hostels and hotels in town. There is a dramatic range of prices and quality, so whatever your travel style, you can be assured you will find something to meet your needs in La Fortuna.
There is no shortage of adventure activities available around La Fortuna. Visitors enjoy white water rafting, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, mountain biking, ziplining, horseback riding, bungee jumping, and zip-lining. For those who wish to relax, there are several spas and hot springs in the area that are well worth a visit.
It's possible to book organized tours that take you to many places in the area. This can be an efficient way to explore the sights if you're on a tight schedule. Confirm what is included in your tour, including food and equipment, before finalizing arrangements.
Food and Dining
There are a handful of cheap places to eat in La Fortuna. These include Que Rico Arenal, which is Italian and offers views of the volcano, Kioro, also near the volcano, and Los Nenes, which is known for its cheap options.
The town has three small grocery stores where you can pick up snacks or food to carry with you on a hike. It's also possible to prepare your own meals if you're on a particularly tight budget.
There is an airport in La Fortuna. This is the closest airport to Arenal Volcano, but flying to the area is not common. Most visitors arrive via car or bus. The town is less than ten kilometers from the volcanoes peak and less than twenty kilometers from the entrance to Arenal Volcano National Park. It is helpful to have a vehicle to make the trip. Alternatively, it is possible to organize tours to most sights in the area. Many tours visit multiple sights in one day and often include activities such as spa visits, whitewater rafting, or zip-lining. Inquire at any of the area's tourist offices or within your hotel.
Arenal Butterfly Conservatory
By backpackguru on Oct 31, 2011 in Entertainment
If you have the time, it's worth checking out Arenal Butterfly Conservatory which is just outside of the town of Fortuna. It's a great way to learn about local species of butterflies as well as frog, insects and more. The facility consists of six atrium habitats that represent the four microclimates including the lowland habitat, highland habitat, edge of forest habitat, and inside of forest habitat. There's also a variety of greenhouses, laboratories, and a beautiful orchid atrium. There are also a few outdoor trails where you can experience the rainforst and see animals such as monkeys, toucans, and parrots. The conservatory costs $12.