Fortuna

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10.471122 -84.645862
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Points of Interest in Fortuna

  • Arenal Volcano The photos at right are views from the village of El Castillo, on the southwest side of the Volcano, about 25 km west of La Fortuna and about 4km up the road from the Arenal National Park entrance. Additionally, there are great views of Lake Arenal and the Monteverde Cloud Forest from road up above El Castillo. In October 2010, the volcano ceased its activity and the famous flowing lava has been gone since. Seeing some smoke during the day is possible, however, do not expect to see lava/eruptions in the night, regardless of clouds. This could obviously change at any time. Tours to the National Park usually start out in the early afternoon and include walking for about an hour through lava rocks before reaching El Mirador, the best place to view the eruption of the volcano. There are also possibilities of skipping the lava rock walking and go straight to El Mirador. Most tours state that they will stay for a hour/hour and half at this place, but if there is nothing to be seen probably a lot less. Also be aware that it might be chilly, so bring a jacket. The tours come in a variety of options: with buffet dinner and entrance to the Tabacon hot spa $64, with entrance to Baldi hot spa $30, just the tour $25. There is also a possibility of a no frills tour by mini-bus to El Mirador and back to Fortuna for $10.

NOTE:

  • Fortuna waterfall by horse $25. Stone steps lead to the bottom. Take a swimsuit for the pool in the lovely stream below. The entrance is accessible by road, so a cab works fine too. The entrance to the waterfall is about $10 and the ticket booth closes at 5pm. However, once you pay to go in, you are free to stay as long as you'd like. It's about a 10 minute hike down to the waterfall and 20 minutes back up.
  • Lake Arenal is just west of the Arenal Volcano and can be seen as you drive over the dam on the main highway to Tilaran. Much better views of the lake and volcano can be seen from the hills above the village of El Castillo, which is located 9 km from the main highway on the Arenal National Park road. Activities on lake include boat tours, fishing, kayaking, and wind surfing.

La Fortuna Waterfall

Tabacon Hot Springs

Baldi Hot Springs

Ecotermales Fortuna

Los Lagos Hot Springs

Mount Chato

Termales Los Laureles

Arenal Natura Ecological Park

Ecoglide Arenal Park

Arenal Eco Zoo

Miravalles Volcano

panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners

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About Fortuna

Activities

  •    Arenal Butterfly Conservatory, El Castillo Village - Arenal Volcano (20 km west of La Fortuna, turn left at the Arenal Volcano National Park Road and follow the signs. The Butterfly Conservatory is 9 km from main highway.),  (506) 2479-1149. 8:30AM-4:30PM. A visit to the Butterfly Conservatory offers a practical educational experience about nature with diversified exhibits of how butterflies, frogs, insects, and plants are reproduced in this natural environment. There are six large atrium habitats that provide representation of the plants, trees, butterflies, and frogs that live within the four micro-climates surrounding Lake Arenal; the lowland habitat, highland habitat, edge of forest habitat, and inside of forest habitat. You will also see laboratories, reproduction greenhouses, the exotic frog habit, host plant gardens and orchid atrium. If you want more adventure, then take the Rainforest River Walk along Quebrada Mariposa, the creek running through the primary forest on the property, where it’s often possible to spot animals such as sloth’s, tayra’s and monkeys; or toucans and parrots. Or, just take time to reflect at the Volcano View Gazebo, overlooking the botanical gardens, with views to the Arenal lake and volcano beyond. $12.
  • Cano Negro Wild Life Refuge. Rio Frío are biological humid areas considered to be one of the richest in biological diversity in Costa Rica. Here you can find a great variety of resident and migratory birds plus three different species of monkeys, also iguanas, sloths, turtles and caymans. Along the river you can see many birds, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, white-faced monkeys, also the three-toed sloth and some reptiles like caimans, Jesus Christ lizard and turtles.
  • Canyoneering (Waterfall-Rappelling). In the Lost Canyon.
  • Horseback ride to Monteverde. Travel the old fashioned way by horse $75. This is a gorgeous 2-1/2 hour horseback ride along the beautiful Lake Arenal on wonderful, healthy horses.
  • Rio Celeste. Two hours away from La Fortuna in Guanacaste province is the turquoise blue Rio Celeste. The turquoise colour is the result of mineral deposits in one stream mixing with the sulphurous water in another. There are tour companies in La Fortuna which organise day trips to Rio Celeste - this involves a two-hour drive followed by a 1-hour hike through a rain-forest to the picturesque waterfall. There are plenty of birds and insects to see, including toucans. Do carry a rain-jacket with you! $75.
  • Rain Goddess fishing boat. For entertainment the boat navigates around the Arenal lake, so that you can appreciate the unparalleled views. They have kayaks and other water activities you can do at the lake. Of course the main attraction is the fishing. The lake has many species of fish but the "Guapote" Bass is most prevalent; this fish is a close relative of the peacock bass and is just as strong. Other fish like the Mojara are also prevalent, think 'kin to the piranha but fruit eaters'. Using the fish you catch, Clifford, the amiable chef will cook them for you. Enjoy the fruits of your day's fun along with his many special recipes!
  • River cruises. On the Peña Blancas river costs around $45.
  • White water rafting. On the Mighty Río Toro (Class 3-4), with over 45 exciting and continuous rapids that move through 16 kilometers of deep-canyon gorges passing waterfalls in a tropical canyon. Another option is the Beautiful Río Balsa (Class 2-3).
  • FlyZone Wakeboard Center on Lake Arenal, Lake Arenal (Puerto San Luis),  (00506) 8339-5876. Lake Arenal is starting to develop into the wakeboard center of Costa Rica. Here you can learn how to wakeboard while the monkeys are watching you from the shore; an unforgettable experience. 4 People can wakeboard per hour (costing $95) making it an affordable adventure. Always calm water to be found, and year round good air- and water temperatures. $95.
  • Arenal Mundo Aventura (2km S of downtown Fortuna.),  +506 2479-9762. This guide company leads amazing zipline tours as well as horseback riding excursions. Price varies by activity.

Hot springs

  • Baldi hot springs 16 hot springs of various temperatures. Like Tabacon Hot Springs, this too is often included in volcano viewing packages.
  • Ecothermales Hot Springs, On main road between La Fortuna & Arenal Lake (across from Baldi hot springs). More relaxing and a bit more discrete than either Baldi & Tabacon. Reservations definitely recommended as they limit to 100 guests. Good dinner and drinks. Friendly service and feels like you're a guest of the family rather than a customer.
  • Tabacon Hot Springs Entrance fee $65. The fee includes modern changing rooms with locks, towels, and access to the multi-level hot spring with a slide, artificial waterfalls, view of the volcano, and bars for drinks without leaving the water. For a higher price, there is a magnificent buffet. Many hotels will arrange packages including a guided hike to the volcano followed by a trip to the hot springs for a much lower price.
  • Tabaconcito Hot Springs Free Entrance - Across the road from Tabacon Springs used to be Tabaconcito Hot Springs. It was administered by the Tabacon Hotel, but after losing a lawsuit they had to leave the complex and is now free to enter. There are no facilities except for some ranches and tables. This is a great place to enjoy a natural river, with even some waterfalls and places to relax within it. Since no one controls the site, you can take inside any food or drinks. Beware that after sunset there is no electricity in that place, so if you are planning on staying late at night bring with you a good flash light.

Hikes

  • Arenal Volcano Night Hike. Around a two hours hike through secondary rainforest which contains lots of habitat of monkeys, spiders, congos, some cariblancos and not leaving behind the tucans, turkeys, and the big quantity of different flora that's in the outskirts of the volcano. There are some emerald green hot springs, colored from copper deposits.
  • Cerro Chato Hike (La Fortuna Costa Rica). This hike takes you through very dense primary forest toward the Cerro Chato. There is a crater lake where you can swim, take pictures and explore the surroundings. After that you continue the descent through the rainforest with occasional views over the San Carlos Valley as well as the Arenal Volcano. The trek ends at La Fortuna Waterfalls, where you can take a swim

Food

  • Que Rico Arenal 2479-1020. Is located next 6.4 kilometers toward the lake from the Catholic Church of La Fortuna. Italian and International menu. Great location for viewing the volcano with an excellent meal!
  • La Choza de Laurel is located next to Burger King. Fantastic menu selection. Tasty food, cheerful service, open to the breeze. Low prices! (10000 colones for two).
  • Kioro is located at El Mirador and is the restaurant closest to the Arenal volcano. You can sit in the restaurant and watch the erupting volcano or the red lava glow from the top. Specializes in meat. A steak will set you back 4500-5000 Colones. Tel 461-1700.
  • Los Nenes, not a very attractive setting one block from the main street and two blocks from the park (when entering from east), but reasonably priced food (but not as good or big portions as Rocas de Lava). 2000-3200 for a dinner. The nachos with everything (1200 C) is really good.
  • Rocas de Lava (Lava Rocks Café), e-mail: lavarocks@racsa.co.cr.. On the main street, just after the park. Tel 479-8039, Good food, generous portions. Try the Casado de pollo (2950 Colones).
  • Lava Lounge is on main street just getting into town before the park. Good food, a break from typical Tico food.

Shopping

Standard souvenirs, photos of the erupting volcano, machetes at the hardware store, Costa Rican coffee.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Fortuna on Wikivoyage.

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