23 Unforgettable Things to Do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica [2023]

Looking for the best, most exciting things to do in La Fortuna? I’ve got you covered – read on for our favorite activities and places to visit!

La Fortuna: the capital of adventure and outdoor activities in Costa Rica!

Many people come to Costa Rica (and La Fortuna specifically) for all of the fun activities to do! These range from white water rafting, to waterfall chasing, to even ziplining through the rainforest canopy.

I was expecting to have a good time, but MAN I really loved it. 

In addition to all the adventure activites, La Fortuna has friendly people, a lively town center, delicious food, the best smoothies, and gorgeous tropical flowers everywhere. If you’re considering if La Fortuna is worth visiting, I think it definitely lives up to the hype!

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23 Best Things to Do in La Fortuna

Allright, let’s jump into the list of what to do in La Fortuna, but make sure you read to the end of the article for a lot more helpful information about Arenal, including where to stay, what to bring, when to go, how long to stay, and more!

1. Go ATVing to a Secret Hot Spring

From Kelsea of Out of Office Mindset

Recommended Tour: Private Customized ATV Ride and Hot Springs
Average Rating:
5 of 5 stars – Read all reviews here

Costa Rica is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, and one of the best ways to explore the country’s stunning scenery is by ATV.

On an ATV tour, you’ll first be outfitted with boots, a helmet, and a bandana and taught how to drive the ATV. Once you’ve mastered driving, you’ll be taken onto private land and trails to explore La Fortuna’s beauty up close!

Driving the ATV itself is a thrilling experience – the rolling hills of La Fortuna make for an exhilarating course. It is not exactly a clean activity and the fantastic guides might take you through a few mud pits along the way. If you’re willing to get a bit dirty, commanding your ATV through the mud and hills is an electrifying experience!

The experience of navigating Costa Rica’s rough terrain is only eclipsed by the great wildlife and the views you get to see up close. Costa Rica is home to an incredible variety of animals, and you’re likely to see plenty of them while on an ATV excursion.

We came across plenty of horses and even a frog unique to the area. The guides go out of their way to point out wildlife and will even snap a photo for you!  

Depending on the tour you book, you’ll see waterfalls, rivers, and/or caves along the way. The beauty in these remote destinations is unmatched! While this particular excursion is sure to get your heart rate up, the guides go out of their way to make sure you always feel safe and in control!

👉Check rates and availability for ATVing here👈

2. Chocolate Tour with Don Olivio

Recommended Tour: Don Olivo Chocolate Tour
Average Rating:
5 of 5 stars – Read all reviews here

On this chocolate tour, in addition to chocolate, you also get to try all sorts of interesting tropical fruits as well. Come hungry because you will get stuffed – this experience is so much more than just some basic tour!

This is a family run farm grown just for tours and teaching tourists, but you get a really intimate, authentic-feeling experience. The son gave the whole tour while the dad cut the fruit and passed it out during the tour.  Other family members were there to sell handmade goods and freshly made cocoa powder from their farm. 

The most fresh, delicious fruits are presented for you to try. The selection includes a huge variety, including mango, guanabana, pineapple, apple bananas, starfruit, papayas, and fresh squeezed oranges. You also get to try cocoa beans in all stages of their preparation from raw bean to chocolate. Plus, you get to make your own chocolate from the cocoa beans that you press! 

At another point, you use a press to extract sugar cane juice. The sugar cane went in a press and you crank the hand crank to crush the stalk and extract the juice, which you then get to drink.

The family also grows, picks, and offers you their fresh coffee, vanilla, and cinnamon.

In addition, the guides will point out any cool plants and animals that are around: We saw a really weird caterpillar/slug, hummingbird babies, a large iguana, a tattoo plant, and pink (non-edible) bananas.

Note that when you are arriving, the last 50-100 meters of the drive up is unpaved and looks like a random residential road. You’re on the right track! Just follow Google maps and you’ll end up in the right spot.

👉Check availability for Don Olivio here👈

3. Ziplining Through the Canopy

A woman in black ziplines on a cable through the rainforest.

Recommended Tour: Canopy Tour with Superman & Tarzan Zipline Experience
Average Rating:
4.92 of 5 stars – Read all reviews here

Ziplining through and above the rainforest canopy is a super popular adventure activity in La Fortuna. And with good reason — the platforms where you launch and land are in the trees, but in the middle of the line you are zipping high above the canopy, and the views were incredible.

If you love views and an adrenaline rush, this is definitely a must do activity in La Fortuna.

The lines ranged from 100 to 400 meters. The guides are incredibly fun and playful (while of course making sure you’re perfectly safe!).

We highly recommend this tour package that includes 10 regular cables, plus a Superman cable and the Tarzen swing – which were super fun as well! (More info on the Superman and Tarzan components next!)

Superman Zip

The Superman Zip is one of the last zips you do in this zipline experience.

You put on a different harness entirely for the Superman zip (somehow all of our pictures doing the Superman disappeared, but there are good pictures in the link!) so that you are laying flat and face down as you launch – it TOTALLY feels like you are flying and was absolutely exhilarating.

It was probably my favorite part of the entire day. The only downside was that only one zip was Superman style – I wanted moooooore!

👉Check rates and availability for ziplining here👈

4. Tarzan Swing

The Tarzan swing is also a part of the zipline tour from #3 above, but it was different and unique enough to warrant its own mention here!

At first glance, the Tarzan swing looked really scary – like I honestly was pretty nervous at first, but it ended up being so fun, I did it twice. The guides took us up to a really high platform in a clearing in the forest and hooked us up to this giant rope tied up to a super high tree. You jump off the platform and then swing far out.

A woman in black, wearing a harness and a helmet, stands on a metal platform, hooked up to a rope.  She is in the middle of the jungle.
Getting hooked up to the rope…
A wider shot of a rainforest clearing, with a woman swinging out in the distance on a rope swing. This is one of the funnest things to do in La Fortuna.
…and swinging out!

The way the Tarzan swing is set up with this company is waaaaay better than some of the others in the area (my brother and sister-in-law did another zipline tour+Tarzan swing tour in a neighboring city before we met up with them and they confirmed the Tarzan swing in this tour in La Fortuna was much better!

I’m not a huge daredevil, and despite how freaky it looked at the beginning, we had THE BEST time swinging the Tarzan swing!

👉Book the Zipline + Tarzan Swing here👈

5. White Water Rafting

6 people sit on a white water raft, wearing life jackets and yellow helmets and smiling at the camera. You can see the rainforest behind them and the river in the background. Whitewater rafting is one of the funnest things to do in La Fortuna.
White water rafting: FOR SURE one of the best things to do in La Fortuna!

Recommended Tour: Morning Rafting or Afternoon Rafting Experience
Average Rating:
4.92 of 5 stars – Read all reviews here

White water rafting down the Balsa River (which incidentally means the “Raft River”) is another fun, high adrenaline activity in La Fortuna.  The route includes class 2 and class 3 rapids and lasts several hours. The rapids were really fun and very bouncy, but never got super scary, which I appreciated. 

If you haven’t been white water rafting before, there is a guide in the back of your raft that steers the boat and tells you when to paddle. They help keep everyone safe and make sure you’re just having a good time! He also pointed out a few sloths, a big iguana, and some interesting plants on the riverbanks, and we swam in the river during some calm sections of water.

This was just such a great experience and for many people in our group, one of the top activities we did in La Fortuna. 

👉Check rates and availability for whitewater rafting here👈

6. Canyoning

A woman in black is wearing a white helmet and a black harness and is hooked up to a rope, backing up down a rock with water streaming down it.

Recommended Tour: Canyoning in Arenal Tour
Average Rating:
5 of 5 stars – Read all reviews here

In La Fortuna, you have the opportunity to do some canyoning, which is essentially rappelling down and through waterfalls.

This is super fun rappelling, but no experience is needed, and you can go as fast or as slow as you want – the guides are really accommodating.

I will say that the guides we had in all of our tours in La Fortuna were just excellent! They really made the day fun and would joke around with us, be playful and make jokes, and accommodating to any requests we had, but were also very professional and made sure we were safe.

Canyoning in Arenal tour offers 4 rappels, 2 zip lines, and 3 pool jumps, plus showers and transportation from La Fortuna.

👉Check rates and availability here👈

7. The Ultimate Combo Tour of White Water Rafting, Canyoning, Ziplining, the Tarzan Swing, and the Superman Zip

Recommended Tour: Ultimate Combo Tour
Average Rating:
5 of 5 stars – Read all reviews here

This Ultimate Combo Tour is an unbeatable value for experiencing alllll the adventure activities listed above. You’ll start the day off going canyoning off a bridge and down through different canyons, going through waterfalls and beautiful ravines.

Then you’ll move onto an exciting 2 hours of white water rafting on class II/III rapids on the Balsa River, with a stop for fresh fruit along the way. Back at home base, tuck into a delicious lunch, and then head into the jungle canopy to experience exhilarating ziplining, the Tarzan swing, and finishing up your day with the Superman zip.

The guides are super helpful and friendly and willing to be flexible with requests. The whole day is very well-organized and you’ll have a personal driver picking you up and taking you from activity to activity!

👉Check rates and availability for this Combo tour here👈

8. Rio Celeste Waterfall

A woman in a flower dress stands on a stairway in the rainforest, looking at a bright blue waterfall, surrounded by thick green foliage.

Recommended Tour: Private Tour of the Rio Celeste
Average Rating:
4.8 of 5 stars – Read all reviews here

The goooooorgeous Rio Celeste waterfall was one of my top favorite places to visit in La Fortuna! This green-blue waterfall tumbles down into a circular pool of water, surrounded by lush rainforest. You can view the waterfall from a picturesque wooden stairwell that zigzags back and forth in the vegetation to the bottom of the falls – a truly swoon-worthy view.

When you go hiking on the Rio Celeste trail, you’ll see several points of interest: Catarata (the gorgeous blue waterfall), Mirador viewpoint, Laguna Azul, Borbollones, and Tenideros. All of these spots are interesting and very pretty, making the Rio Celeste a must-do activity when visiting La Fortuna.

The Rio Celeste waterfall is located in Tenorio National Park, which is about a 1.5 hour drive from La Fortuna.

  • Entrance Fee: $13.50
  • Hours: I would try to get there as soon as possible in the morning because they only let in 1200 people per day and only 400 people at a time. The park closes at 4pm and you have to be inside by 2pm.

👉Check rates and availability for the Rio Celeste here👈

9. Discover the Sloths on a Sloth Watching Tour

By Bailey from Costa Rica Travel Life

Recommended Tour: The Sloth Watching Trail
Average Rating:
4.86 of 5 stars – Read all reviews here

One activity that should be on your Costa Rica bucket list is seeing a sloth! I mean, when it comes to wildlife in Costa Rica, it doesn’t get more iconic than a sloth – am I right? Luckily, one of the best things to do in La Fortuna is going on a sloth-watching tour!

The thing about sloths is that they are almost impossible to see on your own in the wild. These guys are camouflage experts – did you know their fur even grows green moss on it so they blend in better?!

That, combined with the fact that they roll up into a small ball on tree branches high above your head, make them nearly impossible to spot for the untrained eye. 

On a sloth watching tour, an expert guide will take you on a walk through the jungle in search of wild sloths. Your guide knows what trees to look in, and oftentimes, will be helped by other guides in the area to spot them. The good thing about sloths is that they don’t move very fast, so a sloth from the morning will likely be in a similar spot. 

On top of all of that, your guide will also have a special scope to make it easier to see the sloths up close. Sometimes they are too far away to see with the naked eye, so this special equipment in necessary. 

👉Check rates and availability for the sloths here👈

10. Mistico Hanging Bridges Park

A woman in a white dress and a hat walks down a hanging suspension bridge in the rainforest - one of the best things to do in La Fortuna.
What to do in La Fortuna if you want incredible, high up views!

Recommended Tour: Mistico Hanging Bridges Park Tour
Average Rating:
4.5 of 5 stars – Read all reviews here

I loved visiting Mistico Hanging Bridges. Like the Rio Celeste, this involved a walk on a rainforest trail, but the multiple suspension bridges made the experience totally different.

They are all at different heights, and they go through the tops of the canopy and give gorgeous views out. If it’s a clear day, the very first hanging bridge gives a perfect view of the Arenal volcano. Walking high above the rainforest on a jiggling suspension bridge is just so dang fun.

Besides the 6 suspension bridges, you also get 12 “traditional bridges,” a waterfall, the potential to see tons of animals, and an incredible view of the Arenal Volcano.

Mistico Hanging Bridges is 30 minutes from La Fortuna. The hike takes about 2-3 hours. We spent almost 3 hours here because we stopped and watched animals a lot! 

👉Check rates and availability for Mistico tours here👈

👉If you don’t opt for a guided tour, you will need to book your tickets for a self-guided tour in advance. Booking ahead of time is essential because they do enforce timed entry (and tickets can sell out)

11. El Salto Costa Rica Rope Swing

things to do in La Fortuna rope swing

The El Salto Costa Rica rope swing is a fun, low-key thing to do in La Fortuna along the Fortuna River. There’s a pool-like area in the river with a rope swing from a cliff’s edge. We spent an hour or two here and it was really chill and relaxing! This is for sure one of the best free things to do in La Fortuna.

There’s a small pullout area on the side of the road where you can park – there’s room for maybe 6-7 cars. There was a parking attendant there watching the cars.

We had heard about these self-appointed parking attendants before we came to Costa Rica and were definitely giving the whole situation a bit of side eye, but it was actually really nice and helpful.

The parking area to the right, access to the rope swing on the left!

The parking area is right after a curve so there are some blind spots. The attendant watched and signaled when you were safe to pull out and in. He also made sure no one broke into your car AND he pointed out a sloth moving up in the trees above to my brother, Jonathan, who had gone back to the car for something. 

Actually, funny story about that: Jonathan came back to the rope swing where we were all at and said, “Hey there’s a sloth by the car, come look!”

This was our first real sloth encounter in Costa Rica and we were obviously very excited (although to be fair, I was just as excited about the last sloth we saw as the first. They’re just so cute!). We all started running to see the sloth and Jonathan was like “Guys, you don’t need to run – it’s a SLOTH. You have plenty of time.” Ha!

We tipped the parking attendant 2000 colones ($3) per car. 

👉Find exact directions to El Salto here

12. Tabacon Public Hot Spring

This free hot spring in a public river is a favorite with locals. When we went, there were a lot of people there hanging out and enjoying the warm water, which I would estimate was about 95-100 degrees F. The water was the Goldilocks temperature for relaxing on a hot day (not too hot, not too cold).

Our group was divided in our feelings on this spot. Some of us loved it! Some of us (me) were a little more un-impressed. There were a lot of people, including a lot of people drinking beer and smoking. There was also some trash along the entrance and banks and graffiti under the bridge. The riverbanks and river itself were pretty rocky so for sure wear good water footwear, even in the river. 

There was street parking here but it was a little tricky to get in and out. There were parking attendants as well, so plan to tip a little when you leave. Here are directions to the public access spot.

Although it wasn’t one of my personal favorite things to do in La Fortuna, it was free, was clearly a very popular local activity, and maybe you’ll disagree with me and love it!

Note that there is a resort called the Tabacon as well, and if you google Tabacon hot springs you will see some incredible, cascading hot springs. The public river is not that spot! That is part of the Tabacon resort and the public, free area is different.

13. Soak in Resort Hot Springs

Honestly, I can’t believe that I’m hesitant to recommend the local spot and instead recommending the fancy resort location, but here we are.

Recommended Location: Hot Springs in Los Lagos Resort
Average Rating:
9.2 of 10 stars – Read all reviews here

There are a lot of hot spring resorts in La Fortuna that range from nice to absolutely luxurious. Most of the resorts offer both accommodations and hot spring day passes.

Visiting the hot springs resorts is one of the most relaxing things to do in La Fortuna – you should for sure plan to visit at least one during your visit to Arenal!

Some of the best options are:

Day passes to these spots are great options – especially if you want to hop around hot springs.

However, we loved staying the Los Lagos resort because we spent each and every evening soaking in all the springs after our day’s activities. It had over ten pools and springs surrounded by lush, tropical foliage and flowers, plus waterslides, a wet bar, trails and paths on the grounds to explore, and an amazing view of the volcano.

We were 10000% satisfied with our stay, the cost was very reasonable, and I would stay here again in a heartbeat.

👉Check rates and availability for Los Lagos here👈

14. Biking Around La Fortuna

By Abi of I’m Going On An Adventure Travel Blog

If you are looking for a less extreme activity, doing a more relaxing bike ride around Arenal might be a good choice for you. That being said, even the most relaxing of bike rides can turn into a more exhilarating activity should you wish!

There are many cycle routes and options from full-day bike adventures where you can explore rainforests, cattle ranches and rivers to independent excursions where you can cycle around the town by yourself. 

If you’re feeling more adventurous there is the option to cycle to La Fortuna Waterfall. Visiting the waterfall is one of the top things to do in La Fortuna (it is beautiful) so why not head there on a bike; be ready for some uphill battles but the trip will be worth it and (talking from personal experience) the ride back will be a whole load of fun! 

La Fortuna town is well established to receive tourism and there are numerous rental shops dotted along the streets.

Alquiler de Motonetas La Fortuna (La Fortuna Rentals) is one of the best, with exceptional reviews and great customer service. Enjoying the beautiful scenery makes La Fortuna one of the best places to visit in Costa Rica for first-timers.

15. La Fortuna Waterfall

Like the Rio Celeste, the La Fortuna waterfall requires a long walk down 500 stairs to see the waterfall. It’s a short walk from the parking lot to the top of the stairs, and everything is paved – I actually did the hike in flip flops. At the top of the stairs, there is a viewpoint above the trees and includes the top of the waterfall.

When you get to the bottom, there are several angles and spots to relax and enjoy the falls.  You can even walk on the boulders to get closer to the falls, but you are not allowed to go in the water (and there is a lifeguard to call you back if you go too far out).

We were told we could swim in the river just to the side of the waterfall, but it was unfortunately closed the day we were there.

This is a beautiful and easy waterfall to visit, costs $18, and is within 10 minutes of downtown La Fortuna. There is a restaurant on-site and a butterfly garden and orchid garden to walk through. The orchids weren’t in bloom, but we did see monkeys!

This is a stunning and dramatic waterfall in the rainforest, and with it’s close proximity to town, the La Fortuna waterfall is definitely worth visiting!

👉Grab skip the line tickets for the La Fortuna Waterfall here👈

16. Arenal Volcano Hikes

By Erin of Wanderlust With Kids

Arenal Volcano is one of the most well-known volcanoes in Costa Rica. And while it’s not possible to hike right up to the crater, there are plenty of hiking opportunities around the volcano.

One of the popular trails around the volcano is the Arenal 1968 trail. This is a private trail that gets its name from the year that the Arenal Volcano erupted. The trail passes through some of the areas that were affected by the eruption and is right beside the entrance to the National Park. The lookoff on this trail offers one of the best views of the Arenal Volcano.

Nearby, the Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal offers some of the best spots to go hiking. There are several different trails to choose from, each with different levels of difficulty. 

Starting at the main gate, the first trail, Sendero Los Heliconias, passes by the site of the 1968 lava flow and another path, Las Coladas, branches off and leads to a lookoff, where it’s possible to walk on the lava fields. From here, there’s a loop that leads to El Ceibo, a 400 year old Ceiba tree, before continuing back to the start of the trail.

Two kilometres down the road from the main gate, there are two other trails. Los Miradores leads to the shores of a volcanic lake, where you’ll have a great view of the volcano. 

If you’re short on time, park at the Main Gate and hike the trails from there. With volcano views, lava fields and a giant ceiba tree, you’ll see the best that Arenal Volcano offers.

17. Horseback Riding

Photo credit: iStock.com/Esdelval

Recommended Tour: Arenal Volcano Horseback Riding
Average Rating:
4.8 of 5 stars – Read all reviews here

This horsebacking excursion takes you through pastures and the rainforest and up through the hilltops near the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal, giving fantastic views of both.

The horses are very well-trained and gentle, and the guides are playful and friendly, and very committed to the safety of everyone and the care of the horses.

You’ll have the chance to observe any wild animals that may be nearby, and the guides are good at taking plenty of pictures for you. This is a great activity to do in La Fortuna!

👉Check rates and availability for horseback riding here👈

18. Catarata del Toro Waterfall

By Jessica of Uprooted Traveler

Conveniently located between San Jose and La Fortuna, Catarata del Toro is one of the best hidden gems in the Central Valley.  This ecological reserve is home to lush rainforests; several waterfalls, including one of the tallest ones in Costa Rica; and stunning pools to cool off in. 

To reach the park, you’ll need to drive 1.5 hours southeast from La Fortuna. The road leading to the park is full of potholes so be sure to drive there slowly and carefully.

But once you make it to the park, your efforts will be well worth it. You can hike approximately 2 miles down to the base of the eponymous waterfall, which dramatically pours out of an ancient volcanic crater and cascades 300 feet below to a plunge pool.

The cliff surrounding the falls is streaked with vibrant colors of red and orange, due to the waterfall’s volcanic beginnings. Between the eye-popping colors of the cliffside and the lush ferns surrounding the bowl that the falls cascade into, the scene looks something straight out of Jurassic Park.

While Catarata del Toro is the main attraction in the park, there’s so much more to see, including the Blue Falls, a waterfall of robin’s egg blue water or Catarata Poza Azul, a brilliant blue pool with refreshing water you can swim in.

19. Tour a Coffee Plantation

From Catherine of Postcard Narrative

Recommended Tour: North Fields Coffee Tour
Average Review: 4.97 of 5 stars – Read all reviews here

One of the best ways to connect with locals and learn what “Pura Vida” is all about is to take an agricultural tour, most notably, a Coffee Tour.   Pura Vida: Enjoy the simple things in life, slow down and smell the richness of a coffee bean. 

Costa Rica is blessed with nutrient rich, volcanic soil and Ticas (Costa Ricans) wholly trust the terrain to provide for them.  When you step foot on a coffee farm, you’ll quickly understand their immense connection to the land and learn from an artisan what it takes to produce Costa Rica’s world famous Arabica beans.   

A popular and loved coffee tour is North Fields Coffee Tour.  Their staff is incredibly knowledgeable about the history of coffee in Costa Rica and the art of coffee farming and roasting.  Your coffee will be poured through a brewer called a chorreador, a coffee sock.  Their passion for their product is undeniable and you’ll leave excited to bring home beans for your friends and family, or perhaps a chorreador for your own kitchen. 

You’ll learn from crops to cup exactly how coffee is made and produced, and then how an artisan cup of coffee is prepared. You’ll also get the chance to enjoy lots of samples of the coffee, as well as other crops like chocolate and sugar cane.

👉Check rates and availability for North Fields here👈

Is Manuel Antonio on your family’s Costa Rica itinerary?  Here are 10 things to do on your drive between La Fortuna and Manuel Antonio

20. Relax at Lake Arenal

From Brodi Cole of Our Offbeat Life

Recommended Activity: Paddleboarding on Lake Arenal
Average Rating:
5 of 5 stars – Read all reviews here

Lake Arenal in Costa Rica is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the warm weather and water. What is there to do on Lake Arenal? There are many activities to do on the lake, including sailing, windsurfing, paddleboarding, fishing, and swimming. The safari flotilla is a relaxing way to see the lake and all it has to offer. 

The lake offers great sailing and windsurfing conditions with steady winds blowing across the water. You can rent a sailboat, take a sailing lessons, or go windsurfing to enjoy the scenery and fresh air. 

There are also a lot of powerboat tours that will drive you around the lake to see more of the sights. You can even take a water taxi across the lake from La Fortuna towards Monteverde, to cut your transit time between the two areas in half. 

Fishing is a popular activity on Lake Arenal. You can catch bass, which put up a fight when you reel them in. There are many guides available who can show you the best spots for fishing. They can also teach you how to properly reel in your catch. 

The lake’s water is warm and fine for swimming. However, there are not many beaches around the lake where you can swim. Most of the shoreline is rocky or has thick vegetation. You can find some beaches on the north side of the lake near Tilaran. 

I recommend the kayaking or paddleboarding experience at Lake Arenal. It offers a peaceful and enjoyable time on the water, with bilingual guides available to provide lessons and guidance.

👉Check rates and availability here👈

21. Enjoy the Local Cuisine

There are so many delicious foods to eat and restaurants to eat at in La Fortuna – we ate extremely well here in the Arenal region. Besides drinking smoothies non-stop (see #22, next), we ate a ton of casado, picadillo de papas, and patacones.

22. Drink Smoothies

things to do in La Fortuna smoothies
Heaven in a cup

We basically went crazy over the smoothies (batidos) in Costa Rica! They were all so smooth and creamy and bursting with fresh flavor. I drank 1-2 smoothies every day (it clearly was one of my favorite things to do in La Fortuna 😉).

My top favorite spot for smoothies in La Fortuna was at Frutas Y Verduras Hnos Lazo, a little fruit and vegetable stand in the downtown area of La Fortuna, right by Soda La Hormiga. I loved the mango pineapple smoothie (get it with milk!) and that it was only 1000 colones ($1.67) for a pretty large smoothie.

23. Admire the Arenal Volcano Viewpoint

I really wanted to find a great viewpoint of the Arenal volcano – that money shot of the volcano rising dramatically up out of the valley. Although the best view I found was at Mistico Hanging Bridges, which is already on the list above, I wanted to specifically call out the viewpoint here, since it was amazing! (I’ll note a couple other spots I liked as well below.)

One of the most gorgeous views of the volcano is from the Mistico Hanging Bridges Park:

Views from Mistico Park to the Arenal Volcano - a wide valley with the volcano rising dramatically up in the distance. This is one of the best things to see in La Fortuna.
Money shot!

Even if you don’t go to Mistico, there are a lot of locations that give you a good volcano view. We often got a beautiful view of the volcano early in the morning at Los Lagos resort, and anywhere between Los Lagos and downtown La Fortuna will also give you a beautiful view. You also get a great view of the volcano at Lake Arenal!

Tip: No matter how good your location is, if it is a cloudy, overcast, or rainy day, the volcano will be almost completely obscured. During the rainy season, the first hour after sunrise is often clear. Otherwise, pray for a clear day and take advantage of any clear skies you get! 

Practical Information for Visiting La Fortuna

Car Rental and Driving Tips

Renting a car is far and away the best way to get around Costa Rica. We leveled up and rented a 4-wheel drive vehicle from Avis, which was absolutely the right choice.

For everything you need to know about driving, navigating, rental car insurance, and parking in Costa Rica, plus a huge tip for bringing the rental cost down, check out our driving in Costa Rica post here.

👉Pro Tip: We like booking our rental cars with RentalCars.com – we found that they have the best prices and availability for Costa Rica!

Browse prices and availability on RentalCars.com in Costa Rica here!

How Many Days Do You Need in La Fortuna?

I would plan for around 4-6 days in La Fortuna to experience everything the region has to offer. There are plenty of things to do in La Fortuna to keep you busy for the better part of a week!

Final Thoughts on the Best Things to Do in La Fortuna

No matter where your interests lie, there is something for you in La Fortuna! If you like beautiful scenery, adventure activities, and delicious food, then La Fortuna is definitely worth visiting. Keep your eyes peeled for sloths and drink a smoothie for me!

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