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  • Writer's pictureKatrina Julia

Top 10 Things to Do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Who hasn't dreamed of the Pura Vida and Costa Rica! I know I did for years before I came to Costa Rica for the first time in 2016 for our transformational retreat. In 2016, I knew I would be back to Costa Rica to explore more of the beautiful country.

Someone pinch me. I am spending three months in Costa Rica in 2021! I just finished spending a month in La Fortuna, Costa Rica so I thought I would put together a list of Top Things to Do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

On my journey, many entrepreneurs and brands helped me like My Tan Feet, Two Weeks in Costa Rica, and Visit Costa Rica. I thought I would return the favor for you and others who are thinking about visiting La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

In putting together the Top 10 Things to Do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, I thought of adventurers, foodies, and unique experiences for you to have.

Pura Vida!

Shot on my Sony A330

La Fortuna, Costa Rica Stays & Transportation

I arrived in La Fortuna, Costa Rica on December 31, 2020 at Dragon Fly Hideaway via Airbnb. I originally thought i would stay from December 31, 2020 - January 11, 2020. I decided to extend my stay for more reasons than one to January 27, 2020. I an so grateful I did!

I chose the Airbnb both for a solo stay and to explore for having one of our retreats coming up in August 2020. I am so glad I did!

Dragon Fly Hideaway Airbnb near La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Dragon Fly Hideaway Airbnb near La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Dragon Fly Hideaway Airbnb near La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Dragon Fly Hideaway Airbnb near La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Dragon Fly Hideaway Airbnb near La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Dragon Fly Hideaway Airbnb near La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Dragon Fly Hideaway Airbnb near La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Dragon Fly Hideaway Airbnb near La Fortuna, Costa Rica

All shots are my own on Canon EOSM100, Sony A330, and/or my iPhone 12 Mini.

For transportation, I either took Uber to town for exploring, groceries, and eating or the tour operators picked me up and dropped me off at my Airbnb. I spent a total of about $50 on Ubers the entire month. As a result, I don't think having a rental here makes sense if you stay a week to a month at all.

If you are coming to La Fortuna, Costa Rica for a short stay, I recommend you check out my One Day in La Fortuna, Costa Rica guide too!

Top 10 in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

You will find adventures, exploration, relaxation along with foodie favorites including waterfalls, rappelling, hot springs, farms, and much more!

1 La Fortuna Waterfall

I knew I wanted to visit La Fortuna Waterfall this time. I went on my first Sunday in Costa Rica.

The 70 meters, or 230 feet high La Fortuna Waterfall is absolutely the 1,000+ steps round trip climb.

La Fortuna Waterfall is about 5 minutes from my Dragon Fly Hideaway Airbnb.

Once you get your ticket (currently $18) and past the entrance, you go over a hanging bridge.

La Fortuna Waterfall
La Fortuna Waterfall

Shot on my Canon A330 in Sports Action

La Fortuna Waterfall
La Fortuna Waterfall

I visited in January 2021 on a Sunday, andI saw about 5-10 people buying tickets, and about 30-40 people total climbing up and down and at the waterfall to give you an idea.

You may take numerous pictures all along the climb, at La Fortuna Waterfall, and swim in Rio Fortuna. The water is somewhat of a challenge to get to by climbing over rocks.

I love the sound of water and waterfalls. I could have sat here for hours. It is relatively easy to visit La Fortuna Waterfall within an hour comfortably including the climb up and down the stairs. I did it in right at an hour and didn't feel rushed at all for the climb, photos, videos, and swimming.

2 Arenal Volcano & Lake Arenal Views

Arenal Observatory Lodge and Spa provides an option to enter with paying an entrance fee to enter the park for Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal Views. At the time, I paid $12 and Jason (the Airbnb Experience Driver) left me upfront for me to go explore in the national park for two hours.

Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa

Photo Credit: Arenal Observatory Lodge

I went straight to the deck right behind the restaurant you see above to take some photos. I then went to the Saino Trail to the right of the reception. The Saino Trail will lead you to the Spider Bridge. You will find the paths are marked very well along the way.

Once you cross the Spider Bridge, keep heading on the Saino Trail to climb the observatory tower,

Shot on my Canon EOSM100

Shot on my Canon EOSM100

From there you will keep walking past a building and another observatory that will be on the right. Keep walking past it until you arrive at the Nest tower.

This is one of the best viewpoints for both Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal!

Lake Arenal in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Lake Arenal in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Lake Arenal in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Lake Arenal in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano

Shot on Sony A330

Lake Arenal
Lake Arenal

Shot on Canon EOSm100

3 Danta Waterfall

Since you are close by, why not go visit Danta Waterfall?

After climbing down from the tower, I headed to the Danta Waterfall. The walk to the waterfall is about 20-30 minutes depending on your pace and how many pictures and videos you take.

The La Fortuna Waterfall is long and thin. In comparison, the Danta Waterfall is short and wide and it doesn't require 500+ steps each way.

It is another beautiful waterfall to see while experiencing Pura Vida.

Danta Waterfall
Danta Waterfall

4 Canyoning and Waterfall Rappelling in Lost Canyon

Why simply view waterfalls or swim in the water, when you can rappel on them? I love seeking out new adventures everywhere I go. I have gone skydiving, parasailing, and am certified in Scuba Diving. So, when I learned about Canyoning in Lost Canyon with Desafio, I got excited!

It is non-stop adventure and adrenaline with canyoning and waterfall rappelling across four canyons ranging from 10 meters (30 feet) all the way to 70 meters (210+ feet)! In between each rappeling experience, there is non stop adventure in between too! The adventure included pick-up and drop off, as well as lunch at Desafio headquarters!

Canyoning with Desafio Adventure Company

5 Rio Celeste Waterfall and Hike

For years, I have seen pictures of Rio Celeste Waterfall. Let me tell you the images do not do the Rio Celeste Waterfall and Hike justice.

The drive to the waterfall is about an hour and a half from La Fortuna. I checked Uber prices and compared to tours and it made sense from both having an expert guide as well as the cost to have a tour booked.

I booked an Airbnb experience via 7 Tours to visit Rio Celeste including pickup and drop off, lunch, and swimming in Rio Celeste outside Volcan Tenorio.

Rio Celeste Waterfall

Borbollones / Hot Springs on Rio Celeste Hike

Two Rivers Converging

Swimming in Rio Celeste Outside Volcan Tenorio Park

6 Farm Visit with Villas Blessed

I learned about Villas Blessed Farm from Jason who drove me around to La Fortuna Waterfall and Arenal Observatory via Airbnb Experiences. I definitely wanted to have a Farm Experience while in Costa Rica.

I spent a half day learning about plants, flowers, sugar cane, cocoa, coffee, chocolate with Villas Blessed! The breakfast and all the tastings were amazing! I loved it! The $20 tour (subject to change) included pickup, drop off, tour, tastings, and breakfast! \

Villas Blessed Farm

Villas Blessed Farm

Villas Blessed Farm

Villas Blessed Farm

7 Hot Springs in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

A great activity to do for a few hours, half or full day in La Fortuna, Costa Rica is definitely Hot Springs! There are over 20 options resulting from the nearby volcanic activity.

My favorite is Rio Chollin - the natural and free Hot Springs. I went twice - once with friends and once by taking an Uber for about $3 each way. It's super easy to get here - it is right behind Tabacon Resort. Try putting in Rio Chollin in your Uber or GPS, and simply let the driver know to drop you off at Rio Chollin. I went both during the day and during the night!

This is a definite one of a kind experience!

During the day with friends - Athina, Peter, and Sandi!

Rio Chollin Free Hot Springs

I visited two other Hot Springs in La Fortuna, Paradise Hot Springs and Baldi Hot Springs.

Paradise Hot Springs

I went to Paradise Hot Springs on a Wednesday and love the small intimate feel, healthy food options, and pricing. I took an Uber each way easily.

Paradise Hot Springs

Paradise Hot Springs

Protein Shake at Paradise Hot Springs

Ceviche at Paradise Hot Springs

Baldi Hot Springs

The owners of my Airbnb and numerous guests raved about Baldi Hot Springs. I loved the feel, options, and ambiance of various pools. My favorite is the pool by the waterfalls and I spent most of my time there in the middle. It is great for solo travelers, families and groups.

Upper Hot Springs Area furthest from the reception is where I started.

Baldi Hot Springs

One of the middle pools by the Waterfall - my favorite - quietest and most private.

Baldi Hot Springs

Baldi Hot Springs

8 Sloth's Territory

Another first I experienced this time included Sloth's Territory Tour next door to my Airbnb.

I did the day tour and saw six sloths including a baby, an iguana, porcupine, and red frog! I booked the tour via Airbnb Experiences for $25 currently.

Kaylor, the guide, is super knowledgeable and spotted animals in far off places I never could have!

Highly recommend!

Sloth's Territory

Sloth's Territory

Sloth's Territory

Sloth's Territory

9 La Fortuna Downtown & El Salto

La Fortuna Downtown is not to be missed with the beautiful church, park, and nearby El Salto (Tarzan Swing) by Desafio Adventure Company. Not to mention for grocery store shopping and fave foodie places!

La Fortuna Church

El Salto by Rio Fortuna by Desafio Adventure Company

Note the rope on the tree or the swing! Yes, I did the Tarzan Swing and shared on my IG @katrinajuliafit

10 Food: Nenes, Tierra Mia & Organico Fortuna

If you know anything about me, you know I love healthy eating and travel! I especially love ceviche and fresh fruit juices!

I loved going to Nenes and Tierra Mia for Ceviche and Juices.

You'll find my reviews on Trip Advisor for them too at Five Stars!

Tierra Mia

Tierra Mia Sea Bass

Organico Fortuna is a super cute organic food spot where I enjoyed coffee and volcano sandwiches too!

Loved my "Out of This World Coffee" - Brown Monkey & Green Volcano Sandwich

Top 10: La Fortuna, Costa Rica

La Fortuna, Costa Rica has limitless options for adventure, relaxation, and foodies!. You will love the Pura Vida!

What activity here interests you the most to do in One Day in La Fortuna, Costa Rica?

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