We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

If you only have one full day in La Fortuna?

Weston, Connecticut
Level Contributor
2,066 posts
9 reviews
Save Topic
If you only have one full day in La Fortuna?

We're arriving in the evening, then have one full day, stay overnight and depart the next morning for MA, what would you do in La Fortuna if you only had one full day?

We're a family of 4 with 2 teenaged boys, ages 15 and 18. We'll already have gone whitewater rafting on the pacuare prior to our arrival in La Fortuna. Thanks.

Tampa, FL
Destination Expert
for San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
2,234 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: If you only have one full day in La Fortuna?

That's really more than one full day. Its one full day and two evenings. the reason I point that out is because obviously the most unique thing you could do in La Fortuna if you have limited time is to take advantage of the hot springs and other volcano related activities, but a lot of that could be done in the evening. What time do you get in that first "evening"? Do you really mean you arrive in the late afternoon around sundown? Usually most people do not like to drive in CR much after sunset and most of the various tours, flights and shuttles are typically scheduled to rerurn you or arrive at or before that time. If that is the case you could visit one of the hot springs that first night. at the very least you should be able to go somewhere that first night to enjoy your view of the glowing lava flow, if you can;t even see it from your hotel rooms. And if you aren't there in time to do a hot springs that first night and want to leave your full day open for something else there is always that second evening.

Another question I would ask you is where else you are going and what else do you plan to do at those locations? Okay we already know you plan to do the whitewater somewhere else and the Pacuare is one of the best places to do it. Did you know it is possible to do the Pacuare with an SJ pickup and a La Fortuna drop off if you go with Exploradores? That might be a good option for you if you don't already have your own transportation as it will kill 2 birds with one stone (your rafting day with your travel to La fortuna day). What about MA? A lot of the activities at La Fortuna can also be done there such as zip-lines, canyoning, horseback riding, viewing waterfalls, etc. Similarly, such things as aerial trams, ATV's and mountain biking can also be done at other places. About the most unique thing aside from the volcano related stuff that you can do in the Arenal area is a a visit to the Venado Bat Caves, which your boys might love (if they don't mind the smell of guano).

Personally, I could go to a hot springs over and over, IF I took some breaks in between soaks, but that would might be too much for many people. If you've already gone to a hot springs that first evening consider visiting a different one the next day or evening. You could just go to a different hot springs each evening but I think they're a somewhat different experience during the day that should also be experienced. Consider doing something that can be done as a half day or few hour activity and either visit the hot springs before and after or go for a morning activity and go in the early afternoon after lunch (if you don't also go for the lunch at the hot springs). I believe all the hotsprings use wrist bands that allow for multiple re-entry so you can leave and come back, but check their exact packages and prices.

Tabacon is arguably the nicest but it has gotten ridiculuously expensive and can seem somewhat overrun during the day. That said it is still something that should be experienced at least once. I recommend you do that in the evening when the prices are a little cheaper (and even that will cost you $40/ea W/O dinner) and the crowds a little lighter and go to one of the more reasonably priced alternatives during the day. Baldi opens a little earlier than the others at 9AM and has a $25 all-day drop-in-and-out pass or for $15 you can go for either their 9-4 or 5-10 pass with lunch or dinner respectively. Eco-Termales splits their options a little differently into morning 10-1 afternoon 1-5 or night 5-9 with prices about the same as Baldi. but they also limit the number of other people they let than the other places, allowing for a more private tranquil and relaxed experience (Tabacon is the most beautifully landscaped but can seem like Disneyland during the day. So you could try something like Tabacon evening one, Eco-Termales in the morning, maybe a zip-line or bridge tour after lunch and Baldi for dinner and the evening or just do Baldi for your full day and leave in the middle of it for lunch, an afternoon activity and/or dinner and return in the late afternoon or early evening.

One last possibility specifically designed for people with limited time such as yourselves is the 4-in-1 combo tour. It starts our with your choice of either the Hanging Bridges tour or a Penas Blancas float trip (a very different kind of river trip from your white-water one), followed by a hike to the Fortuna Waterfall, then lunch and a guided hike in the Arenal volcano park and capped off with dinner and soak at the hot springs of your choice.

Tampa, FL
Destination Expert
for San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
2,234 posts
1 review
Save Reply
2. Re: If you only have one full day in La Fortuna?

Damn, I should have proofread. For Baldi that should have read $15 MORE for the pass with a buffet or $40 total (still a heckuva lot cheaper than any of the Tabacon packages).

St. albert,Alberta
Level Contributor
919 posts
50 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: If you only have one full day in La Fortuna?

With 2 teenage boys, I'd do some ziplining. Our kids loved it. We went with Mundo Adventura out of Arenal. The scenery is beautiful. You get to zip past 2 waterfalls. I think there are a total of 15 lines and the longest is over 900 meters. We had a blast!

The ziplining was a half day so you'd still have time for some hiking or maybe the hotsprings. We did the hanging bridges which was a about a 2hr hike.

California
Level Contributor
53 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: If you only have one full day in La Fortuna?

We loved the Sky Tram/Sky Trek ziplining in Arenal. It has an incredible view of the volcano and lake as well as some amazingly long ziplines. Your teenage boys might really enjoy the rappelling through waterfalls with Pure Trek Canyoning. The hot springs are also a must.

PA
Level Contributor
399 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: If you only have one full day in La Fortuna?

My suggestion would be zip lining with Mundo Adventura. We had a blast - with 2 teenagers. Was a real highlight for us. I am not sure what we didn't see with the hot springs - very overrated in my opinion. We could have done without it. Overpriced and like siting in a jacuzzi. My kids never mentioned it again - wasn't even on their radar. I know alot of people like them, but with teenage boys and a time issue, I wouldn't even think of it. The hike to the waterfall was alot of fun as well. But the zipline was the highlight for us.

6. Re: If you only have one full day in La Fortuna?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 13 September 2009, 07:18