La Fortuna, Costa Rica Attractions and Recommendations

Arenal Volcano Main Gingy

Getting to La Fortuna

Bus Ridefrom San Jose to La Fortuna

  • La Fortuna, a small town located 4 miles from the active Arenal Volcano, is about a 3 hour drive or 5 hour public bus ride from San José. The public bus ride is scenic, passing fields of sugar cane, pineapples, fruit trees, and cattle. Be advised, there is no air conditioning, no bathroom, and frequent stops to pick up and drop off other passengers along the narrow, winding mountain road.


Arenal Volcano

arenal volcano la fortuna

arenal volcano la fortuna costa rica

  • Costa Rica’s most active volcano until 2010, La Fortuna, is now the third most active. There are many activities and hikes offered at the Arenal Volcano by Desafio Adventure Company. Unfortunately, due to unsafe conditions near the volcano these excursions are off limits during our visit to La Fortuna.

Los Lagos Hot Springs

Los Largos Hot Spring Main pool 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 10 swimming and Jacuzzi pools varying in size and temperature. 

Traveling Gingerbread Tip: Purchase tickets in advance. A day pass purchased through Desafio Adventure Company to Los Logos Hot Springs includes a buffet dinner and free transportation for groups of 6 or more. The cost of a day pass purchased at the resort depends on the amount the employee decides to charge at that time. 

Los Lagos Hot Spring La Fortuna

  • Lemnos Wet Bar and a large water slide are located at the main pool. It is overcast during our visit, but on a sunny day there is a great view of Arenal Volcano while enjoying an ice-cold drink in the 90 degree Fahrenheit spring water.

Traveling Gingerbread Note: Another popular hot spring is: Baldi Hot Springs Resort and Spa. Our guide advised us Los Largos is less crowded, slightly cheaper, and has the same tropical vibes.

La Fortuna Waterfall

La Fortuna rainforest costa rica

us in front of the La Fortuna Waterfall

  • More touristy than expected, we receive a wrist band after paying a $15 USD admission fee. Walking across a hanging bridge into the rain forest is a breath-taking view of La Fortuna Waterfall and the beginning of the trail to the orchid garden. Visiting in April there are only 3 orchids are in bloom. 

Yuki 55 karaoke Bar

us swimming at la fortuna waterfall costa rica

swimming pool at la forunta waterfall costa rica

  • Visitors must walk down 500 stairs to reach the base of the waterfall. Follow the path at the bottom of the stairs to a rocky area at the edge of the falls scattered with swimmers’ belongings. The rocks are very slippery on the way to the waterfall and the water is cold. Use caution, the undercurrent is strong making it difficult to tread water in one place. 

Explore the Colorful Streets of La Fortuna

Streets of La Fortuna Costa Rica

  • La Fortuna has streets of spas, stores, and hostels with elaborate entrances to alley ways, island themed restaurants, and colorful souvenir shops.

Be on the Lookout for Sloths

sloths in la fortuna

  • Our taxi driver to Los Lagos Hot Spring asks if we saw a sloth yet. He pulls over, points to a mother and baby sloth in a nearby tree and allows us to take our time snapping photos and enjoying the moment. A more likely opportunity to spot a sloth other than luck is hiking the Bogarin Wildlife Trail

Go on an Adventure

g adventures lost canyon adventure


Restaurante Nanku

Nanku Restaurant La Fortuna

nanku dinner entrees
Pollo al Limón, Filete de tilapia Nanku, and Filete de tilapia plancha
eating dinner at nanku
Celebrating Mitch’s 30th birthday!
  • The open air restaurant offers a menu prepared with locally grown vegetables and purchased meats paired with local Costa Rica craft beer options. Restaurante Nanku was one of our favorite meals while in Costa Rica.

Lava Lounge Bar ‘n Grill

Lava Lounge

  • Lava Lounge Bar ‘n Grill, has open air seating, great people watching, and fun reggae vibes. There is a great cocktail menu and selections of sandwiches, salads, appetizers, pizza, and pasta. 

The Corner

  • A short walk from Desafio Adventure Company, is the open air restaurant, The Corner. The menu consists of tacos, quesadillas, sushi, and wood fired pizzas.


Hotel Las Cabanitas

Las Cabanitas La Fortuna

gardens at las cabinas la fortuna

  • Hotel Las Cabanitas has a stunning view of the Arenal Volcano, an outdoor pool, and fresh breakfast options of fruit and granola. Most cabins comfortably fit 3-4 people. House geckos and a peccary can be found roaming the gardens.

Traveling Gingerbread Tip: If traveling with a larger group, there is limited hot water so shower early.

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

April 2018

Author: The Traveling Gingerbread

The Traveling Gingerbread is a place for us to share budget travel tips for people with full time jobs, fun facts, itineraries, and where to find the best craft beer. We have been traveling together since 2013. Living and working full-time in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we travel as much as our vacation days and finances allow. We cram each adventure with activities, tours, experiences, and local breweries. We can't walk by an Irish pub without stopping in for a pint of Guinness. In 2019, we brewed our first beer and were hooked, although, we have no intentions of brewing more than small batches. We'll continue our self appointed roles of professional testers and creating craft beer trails.

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