Connecting with Nature in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

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Advisor - Laurel Utsman
Curated By

Laurel Utsman

  • Costa Rica

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Family Travel

  • Honeymoons

  • International Travel

  • Luxury Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Outdoors

  • Hiking

  • Waterfalls

waterfall in the trees during daytime
Curator’s statement

When Costa Rica comes to mind, most people envision a scene of bright blue water lined by sand and large leaning palms, but Costa Rica has and is so much more than just beautiful beaches. La Fortuna is one of those extraordinary locations that can offer many different things to many different types of travelers. If you are looking for adventure or just a place to recharge and unwind, La Fortuna has something for everyone.

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Insider knowledge

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Where to stay in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

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Things to do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

road with large volcano in the background

In La Fortuna, you can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, canyoning, relaxing at one of the many hot springs around La Fortuna and so much more.

  • Two Little Monkeys Chocolate Tour – The only chocolate tour and destination that should be on your list when in La Fortuna. They are an organic cocoa and spice farm that produces single-origin craft chocolate that is clean and ethically produced. Visit the farm for a tour, learn how to make chocolate from bean to bar and make your own delicious treats to take away.

  • Arenal Observatory Lodge + Spa – Don’t let the name fool you. This property isn't just for lodging. They allow guests staying outside of the property to experience their beautiful land. They have walking and hiking trails that go over rivers, hanging bridges and viewpoints, past waterfalls and mountains, and views of a Costa Rican ranch with horses and cows.

  • Arenal Volcano National Park - Enjoy beautiful views of the volcano and lava fields, and hike one of the most popular trails, Arenal 1968 Volcano Trail.

  • La Fortuna Waterfall – Visit one of the most iconic waterfalls in Costa Rica. The hike to the falls has many steps and can be steep at times, but the waterfall is spectacular, with access to swim and explore. My tip is to get there when they open because it gets busy.

    There are many tours in the area for whatever activity, so if you don't have a lot of time in La Fortuna, plan ahead and book them in advance.

Advisor - Laurel Utsman

A note from Laurel

Getting to & getting around:

The best way of getting around Costa Rica is by renting a car and driving. When driving, you will go through clouds and lush jungles with the sounds of monkeys and waterfalls in the distance.

A must-have app while in Costa Rica: Waze Navigation & Live Traffic app.

Places to eat & drink in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

person holding bowl with fruit and granola
  • Soda Víquez – Around Costa Rica, you will see a lot of restaurants with Soda in the name. Sodas are local restaurants serving up traditional Costa Rican dishes. I would 100% recommend this Soda, the food and drinks are simple but delicious.

  • El Chante Verde - They serve a variety of delicious dishes from across the globe with fresh ingredients.

  • Jungle Bowls – Refreshing smoothies and smoothie bowls with natural and flavorful fruit and toppings.

  • El Jardín de Frida - Fresh ingredients can always be found at all restaurants in Costa Rica. Here they have a great selection of menu items to choose from, all being tasty and enjoyable.

  • Travesía Restaurant- I have nothing poor to say about this restaurant. The food, the servers and the atmosphere are all outstanding.

  • Panadería La Principal La Fortuna – Treat yourself to traditional bakery treats while in town or grab some for the road.

  • Copos Pura Vida – Copos are Costa Rican shaved ice treats, but they are better than your typical snow cone. If you are ever at Parque de La Fortuna, the Square, in the middle of La Fortuna, look for a man that looks like an ice cream vendor with a sign saying Copos Pura Vida. He sells copos that are the perfect refreshing treat at any time of day.

Need to Know

La Fortuna is the perfect destination in Costa Rica to experience the Pura Vida lifestyle.
Pura Vida isn’t just a word you will hear around Costa Rica. It’s a lifestyle. However long your trip is, you'll leave with a little glimpse of the Pura Vida way of life.

For more travel tips, check out my Guide to Discovering Charm in Hoi An, Vietnam.

Advisor - Laurel Utsman

Travel Advisor

Laurel Utsman

Get in touch with Laurel

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Costa Rica, and our ongoing series on nature escapes.