Discovering Paradise: A Travel Guide to La Fortuna, Costa Rica

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Advisor - Mary Mays
Curated By

Mary Mays

  • Costa Rica

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Couples Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Coast

  • Outdoors

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Curator’s statement

La Fortuna is a dream destination for couples seeking to explore the natural wonders of Costa Rica. From hiking through the lush rainforests to indulging in a romantic soak in the hot springs, there's plenty of adventure and relaxation to be had. The town's picturesque setting, delicious local cuisine and laid-back atmosphere create a perfect ambiance for couples looking to reconnect and make lasting memories. With its unique blend of natural beauty and adventure, La Fortuna offers a romantic experience that couples will treasure forever.

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Where to stay In La Fortuna, Costa Rica

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Things to do In La Fortuna, Costa Rica

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La Fortuna

Hot Springs: La Fortuna is known for its hot springs, where you can relax and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the warm, mineral-rich waters. Pro tip: Don't wear white! The minerals in the hot springs will turn your white clothing orange permanently.

La Fortuna Waterfall: One of the breathtaking sights in the area is La Fortuna waterfall. Hiking down to see it up close is a must. You can take a guided tour or go at it alone, but make sure to take water with you because it is one doozy of a hike back up the stairs!

Local Cuisine: Don't miss out on sampling the delicious local cuisine, such as gallo pinto (rice and beans,) casado (a traditional Costa Rican dish) and fresh tropical fruits. The plantains will be something you think about long after you have returned home.

Mystico Hanging Bridges: The Mystico Hanging Bridges is a popular attraction in La Fortuna that offers a unique perspective of the rainforest and its inhabitants. The guided tour takes you through 15 suspension bridges and hiking trails, allowing you to explore the forest floor and spot wildlife such as monkeys, birds and butterflies.

Horseback Riding: Enjoy a leisurely horseback ride through the scenic countryside, taking in the stunning views of the Arenal Volcano and surrounding areas.

Arenal Volcano National Park: The Arenal Volcano National Park is a must-see destination in La Fortuna, offering stunning views of the iconic Arenal Volcano and its surrounding landscape. The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, hiking trails and hot springs, providing a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Costa Rica.

Whitewater Rafting and Ziplining: If adventure is what you seek, experience the thrill of whitewater rafting on the Rio Balsa, with Class II and III rapids suitable for beginners and experienced rafters. Or try out a thrilling zipline adventure through the canopy of the rainforest, taking in breathtaking views of the landscape.

Couples' Massage and Spa: Indulge in a couples' massage or spa treatment, rejuvenating your body and mind together among the sounds of the jungle. Relax and reconnect!

Stroll through La Fortuna: Take a stroll through the picturesque streets of La Fortuna, admiring the quaint shops, cafes and art galleries.

Places to eat & drink In La Fortuna, Costa Rica

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Arabigos Coffee House: Arabigos is a coffee farm and roastery in La Fortuna, which also has a cafe offering delicious breakfast options made with locally sourced ingredients. Along with the food, you can learn about coffee-making on a farm and roastery tour, which includes a coffee tasting of their signature Arabica coffee. Try the French toast or Pancakes!

Red Frog Coffee Roastery & Cafe: This cafe is known for its delicious breakfast options made with locally sourced ingredients, such as homemade pastries, sandwiches, and fresh fruit bowls. The cafe's award-winning coffee is also roasted in-house, making it the perfect place to start your day off with a great cup of coffee and a delicious breakfast. This is the place to get your coffee to take home!

Soda Viquez: This traditional Costa Rican restaurant is famous for its delicious breakfast plates, including gallo pinto, eggs, fried plantains and more. Sodas are a great way to get a good meal and not break the bank.


Lava Lounge: This restaurant in the heart of La Fortuna is known for its tasty lunch options, such as burgers, sandwiches, salads and pizzas, as well as a range of vegetarian and vegan options. Check out their craft beer offerings!

Restaurante Nanku: This open-air restaurant offers a laid-back lunch experience in La Fortuna, where you can enjoy their delicious fusion of Costa Rican and Japanese cuisine in a casual atmosphere. Their lunch menu features a range of options, including sushi rolls and other tasty dishes, all made with high-quality ingredients.


Pollo Fortuneño: This popular spot in La Fortuna is great for dinner, serving up delicious grilled and rotisserie chicken, as well as other traditional Costa Rican dishes. The restaurant's cozy atmosphere and friendly service make it a great place to enjoy a casual dinner with friends or family. There are some great Insta opportunities in this fun restaurant.

La Parrilla de Maria Bonita's: This intimate and cozy atmosphere, coupled with its delectable grilled meats, fresh seafood, and other traditional Costa Rican dishes, make it an excellent option for a romantic dinner with your significant other. The personalized attention and attentive service of the family that owns the restaurant make for a unique and unforgettable dining experience.

Restaurante Don Rufino: This unique dining experience in La Fortuna features locally sourced ingredients and a fusion of international and traditional Costa Rican flavors. The restaurant's upscale atmosphere and attention to detail, such as its elegant presentation of dishes, make it a memorable spot for a special occasion or romantic dinner. Don't pass on their famous tres leches cake for dessert!

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Isabelle Newcomb’s guide 7-Day Itinerary for Exploring La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

Advisor - Mary Mays

Travel Advisor

Mary Mays

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Central America.