La Fortuna, Costa Rica

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What to See

Arenal Volcano National Park

Parque Nacional Volcan Arenal
by Kj39 about 9 years ago

If I could do my Fortuna visit over again, I wouldn't waste my money on an entrance fee to the park. It is ten dollars and the trails don't take you all that close to the volcano, which is unsafe and illegal to climb. The views of Arenal from all over the area are just as scenic and beautiful - and free!

What to Do


Rafting Rio Balsa
by Emilywestonawesomesasser about 9 years ago
Rafting Rio Balsa

As you might have seen there is a recommendation for Rio Toro with Desafino. I'm sure it is awesome but just wanted to provide another option. I rafted down Rio Balsa with Wave Expeditions and had a fantastic time. It's rated a 2/3 but I would say the 3 part is closer to a 4. This adventure includes an initial rough and tumble ride, a fresh fruit snack on a beach, time for swimming in the river, great take home photographs and a delicious typical meal at the end. I recommend the pescada (fish)! Guides all speak English or Spanish - whatever your pleasure - we felt really safe and after a week of different activities (ziplining, canyoning, hiking) this was the most fun.

Rafting the Mighty Toro; A MUST In Costa Rica
by Maddy of about 9 years ago

I have rafted all over the world from the Grand Canyon to India to Honduras and I don't hesitate in saying that the Rio Toro has been the best. Around Volcan Arenal you have the choice to do either the 2/3 class Rio Balsa or the 3/4 class Rio Toro. Chose the Toro. The actual time in the water was 2 hours and you hit rapid after rapid with almost no frog water. Talk about adventure! If you go with the Desafio company, which I HIGHLY recommend, you get fruit at the halfway point and a full Tico meal afterwards. Desafio was a well oiled machine that knew how to handle any situation. I never felt like I was in danger. For this company the price is 85 dollars and worth every penny!

What to Eat

Worth The Splurge

Treat yourself - Don Rufino's, called the best food in Costa Rica
by Emilywestonawesomesasser about 9 years ago

Traveling around awhile? Exhausted and just want some damn good food and service? Look no further than Don Rufino's in La Fortuna. This restaurant is AMAZING! Best pina colada I've ever had. I can speak for the forest lasagna which was fantastic and my traveling friend reported the cajun pasta to be delicious but that's where my knowledge ends. A handy trick is to just ask the waiter for their recommendations and you can't go wrong. This is not a cheap place, I'm telling you now. But it's packed all the time, the food is great and sometimes you just need to treat yourself.

Where to Party

Drinking / Bars / Happy Hours

You know you love a little KARAOKE
by Emilywestonawesomesasser about 9 years ago

In my attempt to find salsa dancing in La Fortuna, I came across some rocking spanish Karaoke. If you are trying to improve your spanish visit El Establo, a local's bar, in La Fortuna on a Tuesday night for some entertainment and American Idol Spanish style. Karaoke goes until 11 at which point Salsa is supposed to take over. Unfortunately I can't speak to the Salsa in town cause I didn't last that late. Let me know if you find out!

Getting Around


Jeep-Boat-Jeep: The La Fortuna MonteVerde pipeline
by Emilywestonawesomesasser about 9 years ago

If you are in Costa Rica you've probably talked to someone who has been from La Fortuna (Arenal Volcano) to MonteVerde (Santa Elena, Cloud Rainforest) or vice versa. Most of them, including myself, took the Jeep-Boat-Jeep ride and YOU should too! From the La Fortuna side you take a quick trip on nicely paved roads, then you hop on a ferry boat of sorts (people only) and ride across a beautiful man made lake called Lago Arenal. Fun fact - most of Costa Rica's power comes from renewable sources like this lake. When you arrive on the other side, you'll hitch a ride (approximately 2.5 hrs) in a big ol' van up the mountain in MonteVerde. It's going to be a little bumpy so prepare yourself. But from what I understand this is the quickest way to go from one destination to the other. Otherwise you have to drive around the lake which adds about an hour to your trip.