Day 2: San José/La Fortuna

Today we travel from San Jose to the base of Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna, where we see our first sloth, relax in Los Lagos Hot Springs, and eat one of our favorite meals in Costa Rica at Nanku. 

After repacking our bags, we walk downstairs for breakfast. Waiting for our omelets and fruit, we check out of the Boutique Hotel Casa Las Orquideas. As the rest of our G Adventures group arrives in reception, we file into taxis and head to the public bus station.

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Views on the bus ride from San Jose to La Fortuna

We store our luggage in the back of the bus and settle in for the five hour ride from San José to La Fortuna, a small town located four miles from the active Arenal Volcano. The bus has no air conditioning, no bathroom, and makes frequent stops to pick up and drop off other passengers along the narrow, winding mountain road. Fields of sugar canes, pineapples, fruit trees, and cattle flash by through the small window.

Arenal Volcano

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Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna

Sweaty and hungry we arrive in La Fortuna. Exiting the bus, we walk along the road dragging our suitcases to Desafio Adventure Company. The majestic Arenal Volcano looms above us.

After dropping of our luggage, we walk down the street to The Corner for lunch. I order chicken tacos while Mitch chooses a quesadilla. As our food arrives, delicious looking wood fired pizzas are placed in front of our other group members. Returning to Desafio with more energy, we book activities for our remaining time in La Fortuna, then take a taxi to Hotel Las Cabanitas.

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Hotel Las Cabanitas, La Fortuna
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Hotel Las Cabanitas, La Fortuna

Los Lagos Hot Springs

To begin Mitch’s 30th birthday celebration, we ask for a taxi to Los Lagos Hot Springs. One of the activities we purchased through Desafio Adventure Company was a day pass to Los Logos. Included with each pass is a buffet dinner and free transportation for groups of six or more. Pam, our G Adventures CEO, advised us to purchase tickets in advance. The cost of a day pass purchased at the resort’s reception is determined by the amount the employee decides to charge at that time.

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A mother and baby sloth in La Fortuna

On the way to Los Lagos, our driver asks if we have seen a sloth. An item high on our list, we inform him we have not. He slowly pulls the taxi over to the side of the road and points to a tree where a mother and baby sloth slowly climb their way to the top. We excitedly join the small group of tourists along the edge of the forest. Grinning ear to ear, we return to the car to continue our route to Los Lagos.

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Los Lagos Hot Springs, La Fortuna

The resort pools are strategically placed for a continuous flow of water directly from the rain forest hot springs. Hidden throughout the tropical gardens, are water slides and more than ten swimming and Jacuzzi pools varying in size and temperature.

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The Lemnos Wet Bar and slide entrance to the pool in Los Lagos Hot Springs, La Fortuna

We spend the majority of our time in the main pool where Lemnos Wet Bar and a large water slide are located. If the thick clouds would scatter, we would have an amazing view of Arenal Volcano as we sip our mojitos in the ninety degree hot spring water.

Mitch’s 30th Birthday Celebration

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Mitch’s 30th birthday dinner at Restaurante Nanku, La Fortuna 

Looking forward to a nice dinner in La Fortuna for Mitch’s birthday, we opt out of the free dinner buffet. After soaking more than three hours in various temperatures of fresh mineral water, we return to the hotel to get ready, then ask reception for a taxi to Restaurante Nanku.

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Pollo al Limón, Filete de tilapia Nanku, and Filete de tilapia plancha at Nanku, La Fortuna 

The open air restaurant offers a menu prepared with locally grown vegetables and purchased meats paired with local Costa Rican craft beer options. Exhausted and sated from a delicious dinner and drinks, we all agree this was one of our favorite meals during our time in Costa Rica.


* For more information on our tour check out: G Adventures Costa Rica on a Shoestring.

  1. Day 1: Fly into San José
  2. Day 2: San José travel to La Fortuna
  3. Day 3: La Fortuna
  4. Day 4: La Fortuna travel to Montezuma
  5. Day 5: Montezuma
  6. Day 6: Montezuma
  7. Day 7: Montezuma travel to San José
  8. Day 8: Fly out of San José

April 2018