Discovering La Fortuna in Costa Rica

By Brett Stadelmann

The tropical paradise of Costa Rica offers a versatile traveling experience for tourists from all over the world. If you are considering traveling off-beat, exploring the quaint town of La Fortuna will surely be a one-of-a-kind experience.

Getting to witness the lush rainforests paired with the breathtaking landscapes makes this town an option that you wouldn’t regret indulging in. As you figure out how to get from San Jose to La Fortuna, there’s a lot that’s awaiting you on the other side.

5 Highlights to Visit in La Fortuna

To give you a complete rundown about La Fortuna and what you can explore while there, we have sorted all the relevant information in this guide.

Arenal Volcano

La Fortuna’s skyline is dominated by the majestic Arenal Volcano, an active stratovolcano that stands tall at 1,670 meters (5,480 feet). This is hands down one of the most iconic landmarks in the town, one that defines the place’s history and landscape too.

You will find several hiking trails around this volcano, which makes the experience quite fun and adventurous too. If you have the choice, there are guided hikes where you can set out to explore the lava fields as well.

Looking up at Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica
Credit: Leonora (Ellie) Enking –

Hot Springs Oasis

The next thing that you have to explore while in La Fortuna is the hot springs oasis. The Arenal region is renowned for its natural hot springs, a result of the geothermal activity beneath the Earth’s surface.

You can go up to these spots, unwind, and relax in the warm, mineral-rich waters while surrounded by the lush tropical rainforest. Also, there are multiple spots like Tabacon Thermal Resort and Spa, Baldi Hot Springs, and EcoTermales, where you can stop and experience the oasis.

Adventurous Pursuits

If you aren’t afraid of piquing your adrenaline a bit, there are a variety of adventurous activities that you can indulge in in real-time. Zip-lining through the rainforest canopy, rappelling down waterfalls, and white-water rafting on the Balsa River are just a few options that cater to thrill-seekers.

Also, the combination of the rugged terrain paired with the diverse ecosystem makes this a perfect spot for adventure enthusiasts.

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The Great kiskadee, in Alajuela Province, La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Photo by Hongbin on Unsplash

Wildlife Encounters

Now, before you set things in stone, we’d recommend that you keep realistic expectations. Wildlife encounters are quite common but they aren’t available all the time. So, if luck is on your side, there are chances that you might get to witness some in the passing.

The Arenal Hanging Bridges provide a unique opportunity to observe the region’s flora and fauna from elevated vantage points. Also, there are several suspended bridges where you can spot howler monkeys, toucans, and colorful butterflies. La fortuna is a mecca for birding enthusiasts headed to Costa Rica.

142, Provincia de Alajuela, La Fortuna, Costa Rica
142, Provincia de Alajuela, La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Photo by Rafal Wilinski on Unsplash

Cultural Immersion

Not just the adventure and wildlife, La Fortuna offers some of the most unique and exquisite cultural experiences. The central plaza, adorned with colorful flowers and surrounded by charming shops and cafes, is a great place to soak in the local atmosphere.

You can step aside and visit the nearby Church of La Fortuna, a quaint and picturesque structure that holds historical significance. We’d also recommend checking out the local shops and eateries because this is where you will get to befriend the locals and get better recommendations about exploring the quaint town.


La Fortuna is one of those hidden gems in Costa Rica that you can visit for a multifaceted travel experience. From simple nature strolls to exciting adventure rides, there is a lot that this place offers. So, if you are planning your next trip to La Fortuna, the key is to ensure that you prioritize your focus on the individual adventure rides and the experiences that follow. Sometimes, it is okay to explore the untapped spots for a unique travel experience.