Encounter Arenal & La Fortuna

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The small town of La Fortuna is located a short (but safe!) distance from the Arenal Volcano.

After lying dormant for around 400 years, the Arenal Volcano erupted spectacularly in 1968. Still, since its last eruption in 2010, the Arenal Volcano has been quietly sleeping and is, in fact, not classed as dormant! The town of La Fortuna has been steadily growing as more and more visitors come to the region to see Arenal’s perfectly conical peak and explore the area’s natural beauty.

The presence of the impressive Arenal Volcano is everywhere. Whether you are strolling around La Fortuna village looking for souvenirs, trying some canopy rappelling in the forest, boating on the beautiful Lake Arenal, horseback riding, or hiking through the countryside – the impressive Arenal Volcano is always there on the horizon.

JUNGLE TRAILS MEET A TROPICAL BEACH PARADISE

In the evenings, the sunset turns the once active side of the volcano a glowing pink, and the beautiful green pastures and forests surrounding it light up in the sunshine.

The region’s wildlife is also fascinating, and with most of Costa Rica’s wildlife coming out after the sun goes down, nighttime nature-spotting excursions are extremely popular here. You’ll have the chance to see sloths, howler monkeys, night herons, spectacled owls, and American crocodiles. There are all sorts of adventure activities during the day, from horseback riding and hiking to canoeing and rappelling.

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WHAT NOT TO MISS IN
Arenal & La Fortuna

Arenal Volcano

Go horse riding. Tango Mar has its own quality horses and stables. You can ride into the jungle, across rivers and valleys, to see places and experience nature not accessible by foot or opt for a tour on horseback along the beach; some of the best beach horseback riding available anywhere!

Mistico Hanging Bridges Park

Snorkeling off the beaten path, Playa Cuevas, also known as the Secret Beach (although not so secret anymore), has a small white-sand cove, surrounded by a rocky outcrop and is known as one of the best snorkeling spots in Mal País.

Caño Negro Wetlands

Go horse riding through the backlands of Mal País to see places and experience nature not accessible by foot or opt for a tour on horseback along the beach, combining cantering on the sand with the romance of the sunset.

Sky Adventures Park

Go horse riding through the backlands of Mal País to see places and experience nature not accessible by foot or opt for a tour on horseback along the beach, combining cantering on the sand with the romance of the sunset.

Hotsprings

Snorkeling off the beaten path, Playa Cuevas, also known as the Secret Beach (although not so secret anymore), has a small white-sand cove, surrounded by a rocky outcrop and is known as one of the best snorkeling spots in Mal País.

Wildlife Rescue

An association committed to the protection of biodiversity, the prjoect encourages cultural exchanges through training and service. It acts as a rescue facility for animals, a Spanish school and a voluntary centre.

destination map

Title Address Description
San José
San José, Costa RicaSprawling and chaotic at first sight, San José is nonetheless a vibrant capital with plenty to see and do. There are still pockets of colonial gems around San José and some very fine museums and green spaces, as well as a lively cultural life.Read more…
Manuel Antonio
Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Provincia de Puntarenas, Quepos, Costa RicaIn the Manuel Antonio National Park you’ll find sloths, iguanas and the rare squirrel monkey among many other species. In the pristine waters around the perfect bays there is a flurry of marine life from dolphins and turtles to whales and colorful tropical fish.Read more…
Arenal & La Fortuna
Volcán Arenal, Provincia de Alajuela, San Carlos, Costa RicaThe presence of the impressive Arenal Volcano is everywhere. Whether strolling around La Fortuna village, canopy rappelling in the forest, boating along Lake Arenal, horseback riding or hiking the countryside…adventure lies around every corner.Read more…
Monteverde
Provincia de Puntarenas, Monteverde, Costa RicaHome to Costa Rica’s most stunning and pristine Cloud Forest where you can find birds, monkeys and people (zip-lining of course) flying through the trees! There are plenty of adventures from the Sky Walk to horseback riding and hiking.Read more…
Tortuguero
Tortuguero, Limón, Costa RicaOn Costa Rica’s northern Caribbean Coast,, Tortuguero is a water world made up of canals, lagoons, streams and dense rainforest. Known as the ‘Land of Turtles’, Tortuguero is one of the world’s most important turtle nesting sites!
Read more…
Puerto Viejo
Limón, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa RicaThe laid-back pace of this Caribbean beach town is bound to win you over. Here you’ll get a taste of Costa Rica’s Creole culture and enjoy the adventures of the nearby Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Reserve as well as relaxing in its calm Caribbean waters. Read more…
Tamarindo
Provincia de Guanacaste, Tamarindo, Costa RicaThis once small, unassuming fishing village on the Pacific Coast has become the center of Costa Rica’s high-end beach scene. Tamarindo offers designer shopping, incredible restaurants and plenty of nightlife for those seeking a not so quiet beach setting.
Nicoya Peninsula
Península de Nicoya, Costa RicaJutting out out into the Pacific, this tropical peninsula is a mountainous and sparsely populated area with an abundance of wildlife. The stunning coastline is dramatic and unspoiled with long stretches of sandy beaches backed by jungle.Read more…
Rincon de la Vieja
Volcan Rincon de la Vieja, Provincia de Guanacaste, Costa RicaThere are many ways to experience the area ranging from hiking, rappelling, rock-climbing and canopying to relaxing horseback rides and soaking in the volcanic hot springs flowing from the mountain – one of the major draws of the region.Read more…
Central Highlands
Cordillera Central, San José, Costa RicaThis region has some of the highest mountains in Costa Rica with cool, misty cloud forests and rushing rivers. It runs from Nicaragua to Panama and separates Costa Rica’s Caribbean and Pacific Coasts, creating two very different climatic regions. Read more…
Osa Peninsula
Peninsula de Osa, Provincia de Puntarenas, Costa RicaThe Osa Peninsula is an untouched natural wonderland with wildlife-filled rainforests and palm-backed Pacific beaches. Visit the Osa Peninsula’s Corcovado National Park where almost one-tenth of all the mammals found in the Americas live! Read more…
Sarapiqui
Heredia, Sarapiquí, Costa RicaPuerto Viejo de Sarapiqui in the lush Caribbean lowlands is known for its natural environment filled with tropical flora, and for the broad Sarapiqui River that flows through it. Read more…

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Best times to
visit Arenal & La Fortuna

Arenal and La Fortuna can be visited any time of year, and there is always plenty to do. If you want to see the Arenal Volcano peak free of low-hanging cloud against a backdrop of blue skies, then certain times of the year are better than others. December through to February are the rainiest and cloudiest months. From March to the beginning of August, the weather is hit and miss. It changes fast due to the competing weather fronts from the rainier Caribbean and Guanacaste’s drier region. From June to mid-November, the warm and humid rainy season, also known as the green season, is a great time to see the area in full blossom. From May to June, the shoulder months to the wet and dry season often have a little precipitation providing an evident freshness to the countryside air of La Fortuna and Arenal.

practical information

HOW TO GET THERE

The town of La Fortuna is just 10 miles (16 km) from the Arenal Volcano National Park and is about 3-4 hours’ drive from San Jose’s International Airport and approximately 2.5 hours’ drive from Liberia’s International Airport. If you would rather fly to La Fortuna, taking advantage of spectacular aerial views of the Costa Rica landscape, Nature Air provides daily flights from San Jose with the flight time taking just over 20 minutes.

The bus terminal in La Fortuna is on the river road. Keep an eye on your bags, particularly on the weekend San José run.

Hiring a car is a unique travel experience as you experience driving on some of Costa Rica’s smoothest highways and some traditional bumpy Costa Rican roads while being treated to views of the rich, lush terrain of northern Costa Rica.

GETTING AROUND

You can use a bicycle to get around La Fortuna and reach some of the top tourist attractions. The challenging 4.3 miles (7km) ride from town to La Catarata is a classic.

La Fortuna is easy to access by public transportation but the nearby attractions such as the hot springs and Arenal National Park require a car or organized tour to reach. If you’re thinking of doing a day trip to Rio Celeste, Caño Negro or Venado Caves, as well as going on an organized tour you might also consider renting a car for the day.

WHERE TO STAY

There are plenty of places to stay in and around La Fortuna. Many of the lodges on the outskirts of La Fortuna and near to the Arenal National Park have hiking trails, hot springs and volcano views right on the property. Keep in mind that these more remote accommodation options are further from the town of La Fortuna, its restaurant and other facilities but you will be able to enjoy the beauty, peace and serenity of your surroundings.

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