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.


Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
29 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2012

Over the past 8 winters I have spent allot of time in LaFortuna. It is a small, tourist town with wall to wall tourist agencies and gift shops. Generally it is safe to walk the main street well into the late evening. There are a couple of annoying things about the town. One is traffic noise which can be excessive, mainly because a few young guys with motorcycles and ATVs that are withouit proper mufflers, etc. The second thing is that it is the short-change capital of the world. Even the clerks in the supermarkets will short change you by a few 100 colonies if you look like a tourist. If you deal in American dollars, you are even more likely to end up a few dollars short.

The main attraction that has drawn tourists to this little town has been The Arenal Volcano. It is a huge imposing land mark at one end of the town. On a clear day, it affords a super photo Op - especially since you can line the church and the park up with a view of the volcano. Unfortunately Burger King as seen fit to move into a spot so that it's sign is now plastered against the volcano in many shots. But that can be clones out with almost any photoshop program.

The other unfortunate thing is that Arenal has been sleeping for over a year. Until 2011, it was possible to take a night tour around to the active side and watch the natural fireworks. I was there once when there was also an impressive thunder and lightening storm in progress. Magnificent!

There are many other tours though and lots to do and see in the area. I would suggest that you go from agent to agent before booking a tour. Many will give you discounts, especially if you book more than one tour with them. The same applies to buying gifts. An item that is $15 on one end of town is often $10 on the other. There are lots of nice places to eat; hotels run the whole scale from backpackers to elaborate. Bus and transfer service to and from is excellent.

Thank Snowbirdincostarica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level 6 Contributor
85 reviews
42 helpful votes
“A more up-scale place with hot springs and resorts”
Reviewed 3 February 2012

This was a wonderful place to indulge in natural therapeutic luxuries such as Baldi Hot springs and El Tabacon Hot Springs. I would recommend to go when the wet season is completely over with. It was overcast and rained for the majority of time we were there which made some traveling around miserable. In light of that, I highly recommend visiting this lovely place.

Thank TravelingLady86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cahuita, Costa Rica
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 November 2011

Dear travelers

Sorry about my english, is not my motherlanguage

I just wanted toWARNING you about two people.

I lived 3 months in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. There are two people (men) which tourists respond immediatelyto the bus station for a room and / or a tour. The room you get for sure the tour will only be sold with the same receipt, but the tour will never happen. I see the two people at the tourist police in La Fortuna. But thepolice can not do much except drive these people from the bus station but what happens is not large. I have booked a tour that has never taken place. I learned about the police then I'm not the only one. The two people speak very bad English, have no office, do your business on the road. Name: Victor Manuel HerreraPorras and his father. Victor is 43 years old, his father about 70 years old. I just want to give this letter by a warning that tourists book in any case at a hostel or a tour bus. Bookings should be made solely through atour agency on the main road from La Fortuna and of which there are more than enough in La Fortuna.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You are approached by several men at the bus station for tours and hostels, do not gowith those. Find your hostel or hotel online, book a night and if you do not like you can search over one of the many Toureagenturen one other place to sleep. The correct and honest tour companies can be found on the main road from La Fortuna.

AVOID anything near the bus station, sleep with and what has to do tours, I know from there.

You will enjoy La Fortuna and remember well when you book your tours, etc. on the main road from LaFortuna.

Enjoy your travels

2 Thank Gibsy38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
207 reviews
86 helpful votes
“Great Little Town- VolcanoHike/ Rainforest/ Waterfall/ HotSprings/ ZipLine”
Reviewed 14 June 2011

Had a great trip over the Memorial Weekend to the Arenal Area. It was our 1st trip to Costa Rica and we loved the experience!

This was for our 20th anniversary and we enjoyed every minute!
The attractions we visited and recommend include:

1) Hanging Bridges - this is a must see for all - you hike into the rainforest and the wildlife and views are breathtaking. Take a guide

2) The Waterfall - the hike down to the waterfall is worth it - do get in the water - its very refreshing

3) Volcano Hike - get a guide to walk you through the National Park and explain the history of the La Fortuna and the impact of the volcano

4) Hot Springs - If you do take the day tour and end up in the hot springs at night , its amazing. We went to the Tabacon and it was very nice. Would recommend visiting it during the day to have a better view

5) Zip Lining - we took the EcoGlide tours and for being a 1st time zip liner - thoroughly enjoyed it. My wife was afraid to try it, once she got the hang of it - she loved it. Highly recommend the Tarzan Swing

Thank triphopper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbus, OH
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
48 helpful votes
“Cost You Less Tips for La Fortuna”
Reviewed 24 March 2011


Rent a vehicle from Mapache car rental. Marco is great and will not only set you up easily with a car, but will tell you the ins and outs of where to go and what to see in the area. Taxi's will cost you a fortune because all of the attractions are so far spread apart.

Eat at Nene's. The food is outstanding and so is the service. This is a hidden gem that only locals know about.

Eat at Lava Lounge. Live music, good atmosphere, the prices are reasonable and so is the food. A younger crowd appreciates this joint.

Don't pay for tours! Drive to the suspension bridges, admission is $22. Only worth it if you visit early in the morning and have a chance to see wildlife. When the crowds arrive, the animals/birds disappear.

Drive to the park gates, pay $10 admission and follow the trail to the volcano. The viewpoint is up close and personal, the animals and birds abundant if you take your time, be silent and stay away from the crowds and tours.

Drive to the falls, take a bathing suit and swim at the base or a bit further downstream where the water is quieter.

Las Lagos is a good place to stay, but there are many. If you want to use natural springs, book a hotel that has them on their grounds or you'll pay a fortune to visit them elsewhere.

Thank Patricia V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Been to La Fortuna de San Carlos? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos