Costa Rica

Best outdoor activities in La Fortuna | Costa Rica

December 26, 2019 5 min read


Best outdoor activities in La Fortuna | Costa Rica

9 min read
Reading Time: 5 minutes

La Fortuna is one of the most popular towns in Costa Rica. Here in the Northern Highlands lies the country’s most active volcano. With plenty of activities around we spent there three nights,  an ultimate time for this location in our opinion. 

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La Fortuna is approximately 4 hours drive from San Jose and 2,5 hours from Liberia by public buses. Another option is to take a shuttle if you don’t mind paying more 50$(~39£). We arrived in La Fortuna via bus from Upala and before that we had to take a bus from Bijagua. For more info about Bijagua and Tenorio National Park (read our experience here).

If you are looking for volcanoes, waterfalls, lakes, hot springs, caves, jungle and lush valleys La Fortuna has it all. Arenal Volcano National Park features scenic hikes through the astonishing surrounds. Unfortunately, there is no public transport to the main attractions located outside of town. You have a few options – rent a car, scooter, get a taxi or like us just try to hitchhike! 


Hike your way through the National Park with several different trials. It’s definitely worth a visit, however entry fee of 15$ (~12£) seemed a bit pricey for fairly easy hikes. After some hours in the park, we ended up with thousands of photos of Costa Rican flora. The types of plants you can’t find in Europe!


Give it a go if you have wanted to swim in the waterfall! We still can’t decide if 15$(~12£) entry fee is a tourist trap or not. We tried to avoid crowds and arrived in the early morning. If you follow the signs there is a river stream nearby where you can take a dip. Less hassle as there are no rocks at the bottom. 

Down To Earth Cafe is a gem for any coffee lover! We had a pleasure to meet the owner Matias and taste his phenomenal coffee. Matias is extremely passionate about his craft and will get you through the whole process of growing and roasting. Definitely the highlight of our visit to La Fortuna! 

Our coffee tour finished in the late afternoon so we headed to thermal baths. This place gets extremely crowded by the end of the day when all tours and locals arrive. Don’t leave your belongings unattended. Alternative option look for Tabacon Hot Springs but you will have to pay the entry. 


  • Eat like a local and go to Sodas! Try Casado or Gallo Pinto with rice, beans, salad, plantain, yuka (our favourite!) and tortillas. Our no.1 was Soda located in the red building across the La Fortuna Park.

Sushi boat with 40 delicious pieces is a must! The place is not entirely vegan but we found lots of options. After getting that massive sushi boat we were pretty much stuffed for the rest of the day!

We only passed this one but menu clearly states vegan options. Veggie burger, hummus and falafel could be a good alternative to everyday rice and beans routine. 


  • SELINA, LA FORTUNA: tipi style tents, modern and funky, free breakfast included,
  • HOTEL LAS COLINAS; one of the cheapest in the area, free breakfast and perfect location,
  • ARENAL XILOPALO: outstanding hospitality, fast wifi, quiet neighbourhood,
  • HOTEL LA CHOZA INN: the best deal about this hostel you have a shuttle, for 15$ which goes to main attractions including Arenal Volcano National Park and La Fortuna Waterfall,
  • There are lots of Airbnb listings in the area, ours was for 18£ a night,

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