Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful Muslim friendly places on Earth, famed for its nature and wildlife. And La Fortuna, Costa Rica, is no exception. Centred around its beating heart, the Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna has lots to offer for the adventurous and nature enthusiast alike.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the best things to do in La Fortuna, as well as where to stay and eat. And yes, your most common questions will be answered, and the recommendations here are also Muslim friendly.
The Layout Of La Fortuna Town
La Fortuna is a small town in Costa Rica, located in the province of Alajuela. As you can see from the map above, La Fortuna is centrally located, making it a great place to base yourself as you explore Costa Rica.
The town centre is relatively small, and most of La Fortuna’s hotels and restaurants are located along the main road, which runs through the town. So even if you don’t have Google Maps out here, your chances of getting lost are very slim.
La Fortuna is a great base to explore the Arenal Volcano National Park, as well as the hot springs in the area. The town centre is also home to a number of shops and ATMs, in case you need to stock up on supplies or cash.
The attractions in La Fortuna are easy to get to and can be reached either by foot or a taxi. If you book an activity with a tour company, chances are they’ll pick you up and drop you off as well.
How To Get To La Fortuna
Whether you’re hiring a car in Costa Rica or relying on the shuttle buses and boats to get you from one end to another, you’ll be more than catered for. Even as a solo traveller travelling around Costa Rica.
From San Jose
By Car: La Fortuna is about a 3.5 hour drive from San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. The drive is relatively easy and there are plenty of gas/petrol stations and rest stops along the way.
Just be sure to take it easy on the winding roads and keep your eyes peeled for potholes!
By Shuttle Bus: La Fortuna can also be reached by shuttle bus, which is a lot more convenient than driving if you’re not used to the roads here. The journey takes about 4 hours and there are a number of companies that operate this route.
The cost of a shuttle from San Jose to La Fortuna is around $57 per person and can easily be booked online.
By Car: La Fortuna is about a 1.5 hour drive from Liberia, the capital of Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province. The route takes you through some of Costa Rica’s stunning scenery, including the Rincon de la Vieja volcano.
By Shuttle Bus: La Fortuna can also be reached by shuttle bus from Liberia, which is much cheaper and more convenient option than renting a car. The journey takes around 2 hours.
La Fortuna is also located about 3 hours from Liberia Airport. You can take a direct shuttle from the airport to La Fortuna, which is a great option if you’re flying into Costa Rica and staying in La Fortuna.
The cost of a shuttle from Liberia Airport to La Fortuna is around $60 per person.
By Car: The drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna is about 2.5 hours. You’ll want to take the route that goes through Liberia since it will be the most direct route.
By Shuttle Bus: If you don’t want to drive, you can take a shuttle bus. The shuttle will take you directly from Monteverde to La Fortuna. The ride takes about 3 hours.
The cost of a shuttle from Monteverde to La Fortuna is $33 per person.
By Boat: La Fortuna is also accessible by boat from Monteverde. The ride takes about 4 hours and costs $55 per person.
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From Tortuguero National Park
By Car: The drive from Tortuguero National Park to La Fortuna is about 3 hours. The first part of the journey is a bit rough as the road is not in the best condition. However, once you get to La Fortuna, the roads are much better.
By Boat And Shuttle Bus: If you are coming from Tortuguero National Park, the best way to get to La Fortuna is by boat and shuttle bus. The journey takes about 3 hours, but it is a lot more comfortable than by car.
The Best Time To Visit La Fortuna Costa Rica
The best time to visit La Fortuna Costa Rica is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. During this time, the weather is perfect for exploring all that La Fortuna has to offer. The rainy season, however, from May to November, can see some days with heavy rains.
La Fortuna is located in the rainforest, after all! But don’t let the rain deter you, as there are still plenty of activities to enjoy in La Fortuna even on days when it’s raining.
Hotels And Resorts In La Fortuna, Costa Rica
When it comes to finding the perfect hotel or resort in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, you’ll be spoiled for choice. La Fortuna is home to some of the most luxurious hotels and resorts in the country, as well as more budget-friendly options.
5 Stars Luxury Hotels And Resorts
The Springs Resort & Spa at Arenal
If you’re looking for a 5-star luxury hotel or resort in La Fortuna, look no further than The Springs Resort & Spa at Arenal. This luxurious property is set on 24 acres of lush rainforest and boasts stunning views of Arenal Volcano.
The Springs Resort & Spa offers guests a wide range of amenities and services, including a world-class spa, eight restaurants and bars, five swimming pools, and a variety of outdoor activities.
Nayara Springs – Adults Only
Another 5-star luxury hotel in La Fortuna is Nayara Springs – Adults Only. This adults-only property is located in the heart of the rainforest and features its own natural thermal springs.
Nayara Springs – Adults Only offers guests a truly unique experience, with luxurious accommodations, world-class cuisine, and a wide range of outdoor activities to enjoy.
Amor Arenal (Adults Only)
For a truly unique and intimate experience, check out Amor Arenal (Adults Only). This adults-only hotel is located on a secluded property in the rainforest and features its own private hot springs.
Amor Arenal (Adults Only) offers guests a range of luxury accommodations and amenities, as well as access to a variety of outdoor activities.
Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa
One of La Fortuna’s most popular hotels is Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa. This 5-star resort is located at the base of Arenal Volcano and features its own private thermal springs.
Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa offers guests a wide range of amenities, including a world-class spa, nine restaurants and bars, five swimming pools, and a variety of outdoor activities.
4 Stars Mid Range Hotels
Arenal Manoa Resort & Hot Springs
If you’re looking for a 4-star hotel in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, look no further than Arenal Manoa Resort & Hot Springs. This family-friendly property is located just a short drive from Arenal Volcano and features its own private hot springs.
Arenal Manoa Resort & Hot Springs offers guests a wide range of amenities and services, including a restaurant, bar, swimming pool, and a variety of outdoor activities.
Hotel Lomas del Volcan
Another great option for a 4-star hotel in La Fortuna is Hotel Lomas del Volcan. This family-friendly property is located just a short drive from the Arenal Volcano National Park and features stunning views of the volcano.
Hotel Lomas del Volcan offers guests a variety of amenities, including an outdoor pool, a spa, and a restaurant. The hotel also has a tour desk where you can book excursions to the Arenal Volcano National Park and other nearby attractions.
Paradise Hot Springs
Paradise Hot Springs is one of La Fortuna’s most popular attractions. The hot springs are located in the rainforest and offer stunning views of the Arenal Volcano.
The water in the hot springs is heated by the volcano and is said to have therapeutic properties. There are a number of different pools to choose from, as well as a swim-up bar.
A stay at Paradise Hot Springs includes access to the hot springs, use of the pool, and a buffet breakfast.
Where To Eat In La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Halal Restaurants In La Fortuna Costa Rica: Whilst there aren’t any Halal restaurants in La Fortuna Costa Rica, the majority of restaurants offer vegetarian foods and seafood.
Some of the most popular Halal friendly restaurants in La Fortuna are:
Chifa La Familia Feliz – 702, Provincia de Alajuela, La Fortuna, Costa Rica – This restaurant is known for its seafood dishes.
Tierra Mía – 50 metros Sur de la iglesia, La Fortuna, 21007, Costa Rica – This restaurant offers a variety of vegetarian and seafood options.
Rain Forest – 125 metros sur del parque Alajuela Fortuna, 21007, Costa Rica – This restaurant offers a wide range of vegetarian and seafood dishes.
Snappers House – 21007 Alajuela La fortuna Frente al bac San Jose Alajuela fortuna, 21007, Costa Rica – This restaurant offers a variety of seafood dishes.
Rancho Perla – 21007, Provincia de Alajuela, La Fortuna, Costa Rica – This restaurant offers a wide range of vegetarian and seafood dishes.
The Best Things To Do In La Fortuna Costa Rica
1. Hike Around Arenal Volcano
La Fortuna is located just a short drive from Arenal Volcano, making it the perfect place to go for a hike. There are a number of different trails to choose from, depending on your fitness level. It is recommended to take a guided hike around Arenal Volcano.
The most popular trail is the La Fortuna Waterfall Trail, which takes you to a stunning waterfall at the base of the volcano. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also hike to the top of Arenal Volcano for amazing views of the surrounding area.
2. Soak In A Hot Springs
La Fortuna is home to a number of different hot springs, all of which are heated by the nearby Arenal Volcano. The most popular hot spring in La Fortuna is the Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa, which features a number of different pools, as well as a world-class spa.
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, you can also visit the Paradise Hot Springs, which are located in the rainforest. A personal tried and tested favourite of mine is Baldi Hot Springs.
3. La Fortuna Waterfall
La Fortuna Waterfall also known as Catarata La Fortuna in Spanish, is one of the most popular attractions in La Fortuna. The waterfall is located just a short drive from the town center, and there is a trail that leads you right to the base of the falls.
The waterfall is 75 meters (246 feet) high, and you can swim in the pool at the base of the falls. Just be sure to wear proper footwear, as there are 500 steps to reach the bottom.
4. Ziplining Through The Canopies
Costa Rica is well-known for its amazing zip lining, and La Fortuna is one of the best places to go for an adrenaline-pumping experience. There are a number of different companies that offer zip lining tours, but a popular option is Sky Trek.
Sky Trek offers a 5-hour tour that takes you through the rainforest canopy, with views of Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna Waterfall. The tour includes a total of 10 zip lines, as well as a sky bridge and rappelling.
5. Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park is a personal favourite of mine and is a must-visit for any nature lover. The park is located in the rainforest, and it features a system of suspension bridges that allow you to get up close and personal with the jungle canopy.
There are also a number of different trails to explore, as well as a butterfly garden and a hummingbird garden. Be sure to look out for the cheeky pack of monkeys near the last bridge.
6. Take a Safari Float Along The Peñas Blancas River
One of the best ways to see the wildlife in La Fortuna is by taking a safari float along the Peñas Blancas River. The river is located just outside of La Fortuna, and it is home to a number of different animals, including sloths, monkeys, and crocodiles.
There are a number of different tour companies that offer safari float tours, but a popular option is La Posa. The tour includes a stop at a sloth sanctuary, where you can learn about these amazing animals.
7. Go White Water Rafting On The Balsa River
La Fortuna is the perfect place to go for an adrenaline-pumping white water rafting adventure. The Balsa River is located just outside of La Fortuna, and it features Class III and IV rapids.
There are a number of different tour companies that offer white water rafting tours, but a popular option is Rios Tropicales. The tour includes all of the necessary equipment, as well as a safety briefing.
8. Jump From The Rope Swing At The El Salto Swimming Hole
If you’re looking for a fun and refreshing way to cool down in La Fortuna, head over to the El Salto Swimming Hole. This popular swimming spot is located just outside of La Fortuna, and it features a rope swing that is perfect for jumping into the river below.
It features a miniature waterfall, so you can kill two birds with one stone. Just remember to pack your water shoes, it can be quite rocky as you enter the swimming hole.
TOP TIP: Follow the route down until you’re past the jumpers and it seems like the path has ended. Then look up to your left, you’ll see the trail continues there. Follow it through until it brings you back down. You should end up behind the rocks that everyone will be sitting on and facing the waterfall.
9. Rappel Down Waterfalls On A Canyoning Tour
If you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure in La Fortuna, consider booking a canyoning tour. Canyoning involves climbing and abseiling down waterfalls, swimming through caves, and jumping off of cliffs.
There are a number of different canyoning companies that operate in La Fortuna, but a popular option is Canyon Explorer. The company offers a half-day tour that takes you to three different waterfalls, as well as a natural swimming pool.
10. Rainforest Walk At Night
One of the best ways to experience the rainforest is by taking a rainforest walk at night. This is a great way to see the nocturnal animals that call the rainforest home, and it’s an adventure that you won’t soon forget.
There are a number of different companies that offer rainforest night walks, but a popular option is Night Tour La Fortuna. The tour includes a guide who will take you on a hike through the rainforest and help you spot animals.
If you thought spotting animals during the day on your own was tough, well you’ll have an even harder time at night.
11. Stand Up Paddle Boarding And Kayaking On Lake Arenal
La Fortuna is the perfect place for anyone who loves to spend time on the water. There are a number of different options when it comes to stand up paddle boarding and kayaking. These include half-day tours and full-day tours.
Whichever option you choose, you’ll get to explore the waters of Lake Arenal with undisturbed views of Arenal Volcano in the background on a good day. If, like me, you have zero upper body strength, fret not. I promise you’ll find the strength to get back to shore in one piece.
12. Mountain Biking Around Arenal
Mountain biking is a great way to explore the Arenal area. And There are a number of different companies that offer mountain bike tours.
A popular option is to take a half day Mountain Bike Tour, which takes you through the rainforest and past waterfalls. The tour includes all the necessary equipment, as well as a guide.
13. Bogarin Trail La Fortuna
The Bogarin Trail is a great option for anyone looking for a moderate hike in La Fortuna. The trailhead is located just outside of La Fortuna, and the hike takes you through the rainforest with views of Arenal Volcano in the distance.
The trail is about 3 kilometres long, and it takes about 2-3 hours to complete. Chances are, along the way, you’ll see sloths and other wildlife in their natural habitat. If like me, seeing sloths in Costa Rica is at the top of your bucket list, then this is the best place to come to.
14. Horseback Riding Around Arenal Volcano
Horseback riding is one of the best ways to explore La Fortuna and its surrounding areas, and there are a number of different companies that offer horseback riding tours.
A popular option is to opt for a half-day or full-day horseback riding tours along beautiful trails with views of Arenal Volcano. The tour includes all of the necessary equipment, as well as a guide who will help show you around and point out the best sights along the way.
15. Day Trip To Caña Negro
If you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable experience in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, consider booking a day trip to Caña Negro Wildlife Refuge. This beautiful nature reserve is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including sloths, monkeys, crocodiles, caimans, and countless other animals.
There are a number of different companies that offer day trips to Caña Negro, but a popular option is Canoa Aventura. The tour includes a guide who will take you on a boat ride through the reserve and help you spot animals.
Shopping In La Fortuna, Costa Rica
La Fortuna is a great place to shop for souvenirs and gifts, and there are a number of different shops and markets to choose from. If you’re looking for clothes, be sure to check out Novedades Fortuna, Jose Paolo and Tienda Refleex.
These three stores seriously saved my behind when my luggage failed to arrive on my flight. And you’ll be able to find some modest pieces, swim tops and leggings. So if you happen to forget anything, you’ll more than likely find it in La Fortuna.
Is LA Fortuna Worth Visiting?
Hell yes. La Fortuna was by far my favourite destination during my entire two weeks trip to Costa Rica. It’s filled with nature, sloths, more wildlife, hot springs, adventurous activities and so much more. And not to forget the queen of the kingdom, Arenal Kingdom. With so much to see and do in Arenal, La Fortuna, Costa Rica, it is definitely worth visiting.
How Many Days Do You Need In La Fortuna, Costa Rica?
I would recommend at least 3 nights in La Fortuna at the bare minimum. That way, you’ll have at least two full days in La Fortuna to enjoy all the activities and sights. Four or five nights would be ideal if you plan to do a lot of activities and enjoy a day soaking in the hot springs.
Is La Fortuna, Costa Rica Safe?
Yes, La Fortuna is very safe. As a young Muslim woman wearing a hijab, I felt very safe exploring the town on my own during the day. Even when I was running around with bags and bags of shopping (to replace my delayed luggage) which screamed tourist with money, I felt very safe.
Although I didn’t walk around the town alone at night, I was with other girls and not once did we feel unsafe. You’ll find locals still sitting around the square late until the night, and everyone that we met was more than polite.
However, that’s not to say to not keep your wits about you when you’re out and about. Especially if you’re a solo female traveller.
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The Veiled Explorer’s Conclusion
And there we have it. Where to stay, where to eat and the best things to do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. With such a varied list of activities in Arenal, what are you looking forward to most? Leave me a comment down below to let me know.
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