Costa Rica

8 Best things to do in La Fortuna Costa Rica

Couple standing in front of La Fortuna Waterfall Costa Rica

La Fortuna is probably the most popular place in Costa Rica amongst visitors. When thinking of its lush green landscapes and volcano view, we can totally understand why. Besides, there are lots of activities you can do in La Fortuna Costa Rica. There is something to do for everyone, from ziplining and white water rafting to relaxing at a hot spring or making your own chocolate. In this blog post, we share the best things to do in La Fortuna and places to stay, and the best place to eat in town.


8 Best things to do in La Fortuna Costa Rica

Enjoy the Hot Springs

One of the most popular things to do in La Fortuna is to spend a relaxing day in one of the many hot springs. This area is so famous for the hot springs because they are naturally heated by the Arenal Volcano close by. You can choose from hot springs in all different price ranges, and depend on the accommodation you choose; you might have access to their hot springs included.

Tabacon Resort

We stayed at the exceptional Tabacon Resort for two nights and had access to their famous and gorgeous hot springs included in our stay. You don’t have to stay at their Resort to visit their hot springs. You can get a day pass to enter the hot springs, and you will have food included. But the prices for day passes are relatively high, so we found staying at the hotel is the better option compared.  Also, as guests from the resort, we had earlier access to the springs at 8 am, while with a day pass, you can enter at 10 am. The price for a day pass with one meal starts at 85 USD per person. 

Eco Termales Fortuna – Budget Option 1

If you look for a cheaper option to relax at a hot spring, you can have a similar experience at Eco Termales Fortuna for about half the price.

Titoku Hot Springs – Budget Option 2

Titoku Hot Springs is a lesser known hot spring in La Fortuna Costa Rica offering 8 different pools. The entrance fee is 33 USD per person. 

Free Hot Springs in La Fortuna

Close to the entrance of Tabacon Resort you find the completely free Hot Springs of La Fortuna called El Choyin. We loved this place and the vibe there as it’s for our taste the most authentic and natural experience. But of course without all the “convenience” of the paid hot springs like changing rooms, toilets, restaurant etc.

Have fun at El Salto Rope Swing

One of our favourite places in La Fortuna Costa Rica is El Salto Rope Swing. Here you can swim and refresh in the natural river and swing from a rope in the tree. It’s located next to the road and you can park your car at the side of the road. A fun place for refreshing stop while exploring La Fortuna.

Refresh at La Fortuna Waterfall

La Fortuna Waterfall is a must-see when in La Fortuna. It’s a spectacular and powerful waterfall just about 8 min drive from town. It opens at 8 am, and we recommend going early because it’s quite popular. The entrance fee is 20 USD per person, and the walk down 480 steps to the waterfall is about 10 min.

It’s not the most natural waterfall experience we had in Costa Rica because paths and stairs are all paved. But still, the waterfall itself is worth seeing. The water is quite cold and perfect for a refreshing dip. You can swim at the bottom of La Fortuna Waterfall.

La Fortuna waterfall from above

Go Hiking along with Arenal Volcano

There are several different options of hiking trails in La Fortuna Costa Rica that you can choose from. We highly recommend hiking in this area because you get to enjoy spectacular views onto the Arenal Volcano, the lake, and maybe even spot some Wildlife.

Arenal 1968 Trail

We decided to take the Arenal 1968 trail the first time we visited La Fortuna. It has two parts you can choose from. One is a bit more challenging and longer than the other. The entrance fee is 15 USD per person, no matter what trail you choose. The path has its name from the unexpected volcano eruption that happened in 1968 in La Fortuna. The volcano was considered inactive before that eruption. The hike takes you through the lava field, where you can still see lots of these black rocks of the eruption. It’s a beautiful contrast between the green surroundings and the black rocks. We found the hike was very scenic.

On our way back, we were lucky to meet a family of cute Coatis along the way. They were looking for food and did not really mind having us around so we could sit there and watch them for about an hour.

Tipp for the hike: bring bug spray because it has a lot of mosquitos.

View of Arenal lake La Fortuna

Arenal Volcano Nationalpark

Another great option for hiking in La Fortuna Costa Rica is Arenal Volcano Nationalpark. You have several walking trails you can choose from. We did the number 2 trail and added the number 3 part to see the 400 years old ceiba tree which is incredibly impressive. It was at total hike of around 5 km with lots of beautiful jungly trails, wildlife spotting and stunning volcano views. The entrance fee was 17 USD per person.

Arenal Volcano is hiding in clouds

Go Ziplining over the Jungle 

A very popular and fun thing to do in Costa Rica is to go ziplining. You can do this in pretty much every part of the country, but we recommend doing it in the northern region because you will get the best views over the jungle. 

We went ziplining in Monteverde with Sky Adventures. They offer it in La Fortuna Costa Rica too. It was very well organized, and the staff was so lovely. You could really see they have so much fun in their job. Well, why wouldn’t you love zipping above the jungle every day? You get to the highest point of the zipline with a sky tram from where you start to zip back down to the bottom. The views were breathtaking, to say the least. This package is called Sky Trek and costs 84 USD per person.

Sky Adventures offer river rafting as well if that is something you would like to do.

Walk above the forest at Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park

If you looked at photos from the northern region of Costa Rica you must have stumbled across pictures from hanging bridges in the jungle. If that is something you’d like to experience you must go to Mistico Arenal hanging bridges park where you get to hike on a trail with several different hanging bridges. General admission for a self-guided tour is 24 USD per person.

Visit the stunning Rio Celeste Waterfall

One hour drive from La Fortuna Costa Rica, you find the most famous and very stunning waterfall, called Rio Celeste. It is located in the Tenorio Volcano Nationalpark. It is a fun adventure to make from La Fortuna; if you travel in a car, make sure to rent a 4×4 because many streets in Costa Rica are unpaved.

What makes this place unique is that the water of the Celeste River and also from the waterfall is very blue. Unfortunately, it is not allowed to swim inside the Nationalpark, not in the waterfalls, and not in the river. There is a spot outside of the Nationalpark next to the bridge where you get access to the blue river and can go for a swim.

Besides the waterfall, you can walk a beautiful and jungly trail along with the Rio Celeste for about 1.5 hours. The entrance fee is 12 USD per person. If you come by car, you will have to pay an additional 2 USD to park the car.

Learn how to make your own Chocolate

A very unique and interesting experience is to make your own chocolate, especially if you are a chocolate lover just like us!

Several places offer this experience around La Fortuna. We chose to do it at La Finca Amistad, which is located a 10 min drive from Rio Celeste Waterfall. It was perfect to combine those two experiences and allowed us to be at the waterfall early.

La Finca Amistad offers beautiful accommodation and delicious food, as well as tours on their organic chocolate plantation and chocolate making courses. It was fascinating to learn everything about the process of making chocolate, from the fruit to the final product. The chocolate we made was Dark 70%, and it was so delicious. The course costs 35 USD per person, and you get to make around 1 kg of chocolate that you can take with you. 

Grounding roasted cacao beans into cacao powder

Best place to eat in La Fortuna Costa Rica

Organic Fortuna

Our favorite restaurant in La Fortuna Costa Rica is Organico Fortuna. They offer super delicious organic food with a big choice of Vegan and Gluten-Free options. Besides, the restaurant is cozy and lovely furnished and located in town.

El Chante Verde

Our other favourite Restaurant in La Fortuna is El Chante Verde, a lovely restaurant with an indoor and outdoor seating area, delishious and healthy food like salad bowls. As well as lovely staff

The Green Spoon & Jungle Bowls

Those two lovely restaurants are connected to each other, while Jungle Bowls offers the most amazing smoothie bowls in town, you can also order delicious local food and international food at The Green Spoon including Casado, or Pita with Falafel & Hummus. They even offer a special vegan & vegetarian menu. 

El Jardin de Frida

Another new place we like is called El Jardin de Frida. They offer good vegan options with falafel and hummus and dishes with cashew parmesan.

Kappa Sushi

A great dinner spot for those who like Sushi and Asian food is Kappa Sushi. They offer a great selection of Vegan Sushi too and you can order Sushi boats to share.

Where to stay in La Fortuna Costa Rica

If you want to treat yourself to a nice hotel and hot springs spa, we can recommend Tabacon Resort. The staff at Tabacon was amazing, and we loved our room with a volcano view. Their exceptional springs are complimentary for all guests of the resort, and breakfast is included too. Another very nice place to stay is Naya Resorts.

Our favorite place to stay close to La Fortuna is at Finca Luna Nueva, a beautiful permaculture farm about 30 min drive from town. They have their own restaurant with delicious food, a beautiful garden with a pool and hot tub, and you can do farm tours and chocolate tours at the Finca.

In general, we can highly recommend using Airbnb for accommodations in Costa Rica. We stayed at this lovely place near La Fortuna Waterfall, and the hosts were super friendly.

La Fortuna Arenal Volcano

How to get around

For individual travelers, it’s best to explore the area in a rental car. We rented ours using the platform Discover Cars. There is always parking available, and you are free to go earlier than tours. But there is a shuttle to every attraction you’d like to see from La Fortuna town if you don’t want to drive yourself. If you stay in a hotel, they usually offer to arrange shuttles and tours for you.


La Fortuna is one of the most touristy areas of Costa Rica, especially because of all the hot springs. But it’s still well worth a visit if you either like to relax and treat yourself with some spa days or if you want to go on an adventure like ziplining or swimming in the powerful La Fortuna Waterfall. Also, La Fortuna Costa Rica has some kind of magic because it’s located very close to the impressive Arenal Volcano. Even though it seems like the volcano can rarely be fully seen because it’s mostly covered by clouds.

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Join the discussion
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Show comments Hide comments
Read next
Costa Rica

9 Best things to do in Santa Teresa – The Ultimate Guide

Santa Teresa is one of the most popular beach towns in Costa Rica. It offers stunning beaches, fantastic surf & yoga.
Playa Hermosa Santa Teresa Costa Rica Two Surfers
A woman standing under a palm tree on a beach in Montezuma, Costa Rica.
Costa Rica

8 Best things to do in Montezuma Costa Rica

Montezuma Costa Rica, a laid-back beach town with lots of pristine wild beaches, a stunning waterfall, beautiful nature reserves, and hiking trails.
nice to meet you

We are Lea & Stefan traveling and discovering the World together. We both care much about nature and health what accompanies us on all our adventures.

Safe Travels

Nomad Insurance is a global travel medical insurance that covers people from all over the world while outside their home country. You can buy it even if you are already abroad.

Related topics

Pin It on Pinterest

French polynesia private travel guide.

French Polynesia Travel Guide

We’re thrilled as we just released our French Polynesia Travel Guide with all our tips that help you plan your dream trip.