In the shadow of the towering Arenal Volcano is La Fortuna, one of the major cities of Costa Rica. La Fortuna is jumping off point for tourists who want to explore the Alajuela province of northern Costa Rica. Dams, bridges, Tabacon Hot springs, waterfalls, and the classic Costa Rica canopy tour all lie within easy reach of this town.
There are things to do within the town itself, so its worth exploring for a couple days before you set off to the adventures further west and to the south, such as the Nicoya Peninsula and the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Next to the bullring, there is a farmers market every Friday afternoon. This indoor salon is where locals come to buy herbs, meat, cheeses, baked goods and fresh fruits and vegetables. Overall, La Fortuna Costa Rica a relaxed friendly town, a place where the locals will flag you down as you drive past to let you know the road ahead is washed out, and where the main events are the religious processions and a two week festival that takes place every February.
To the north and east of La Fortuna Costa Rica is an observatory at Los Lagos where you can see the red glow of the Arenal Volcano clearly. Crater C is the most active on Arenal, so at this lookout point to the north of the volcano it looks like the lava is headed right towards you. Further to the west is the Arenal National park, which is on the edge of Lake Arenal. Hanging bridges, the Arenal Dam, the sky tram, and the botanical garden are all other sights that make La Fortuna what it is.
You will likely see nighttime lava flows and smoke rising from nearby Arenal, inspiring you to find a company that can arrange an excursion for you. Guided Costa Rica tours are an informative and relaxed way to learn about this country rich in natural treasures.
Being set at a high elevation, other geological wonders can be found around La Fortuna, like the waterfall, which is just a few miles south of the city and can be easily reached on foot.
La Fortuna, Costa Rica
The Venado caves, also south of La Fortuna, Costa Rica should always be explored with a guide, even though you are free to enter them alone. The cool temperatures are created by the lack of sunlight combined with the ever-present water that flows through them. Bats and spiders live in the caves, but these are negligible hazards compared to the high waters that fills the caves during the rainy season, when visitors should avoid the caves altogether. Take a one-hour drive south of Fortuna and you will reach the small village of Venado, about 7km south of La Fortuna. Follow the signs to the caves, which are located on private property. Obtain permission and pay a small entrance free to be admitted to the caves.
La Fortuna is at the heart of some of Costa Rica’s most rugged and scenic terrain. You could easily arrive with no plans yet suddenly find yourself overwhelmed at the possibilities, which lie in every direction. You’ll see just what makes this one of the major cities of Costa Rica.