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30 Things to Do in La Fortuna Costa Rica That You’ll Love

There are so many fun things to do in La Fortuna Costa Rica! This jungle paradise town is made for adventures from zip lining to white water rafting. If relaxation is more your vibe, there is plenty of that as well. 

Basically, this town with the beautiful Arenal Volcano backdrop has something for everyone.

We know it can be overwhelming to decide the perfect things to do on your travels, especially if you have limited time. 

This is why we put together this list of 30 things to do in La Fortuna Costa Rica for all budgets and interests. 

Are you ready to find the perfect activities for you and your travel companions? 

Let’s get to it!

1. Visit the La Fortuna Waterfall

Check out the La Fortuna waterfall if you want a nice half-day trip that is not too expensive (it costs $15 for entry). This waterfall is one of the most impressive in the country and I consider it a “must-do” activity in La Fortuna!

There is free parking, a bathroom with changing rooms, and a cafe on site.

The walk to get to the waterfall consists of an insane amount of steps (400 to be exact). Going down is not so bad but going back up will have your legs shaking for sure. 

Bring a full water bottle and take a few breaks.

Also, wear your bathing suit. If the water level is not too high you can swim under the waterfall (which is really fun).

You can ask at the top when you buy your ticket if swimming is allowed that day.

If you can’t swim under the waterfall there is a nice stream next to it where you can take a cold dip.

Pre-Book Your Waterfall Entrance Here

2. Go Zip Lining

La Fortuna is great for zip lining because you get a unique view of the jungle from above as you soar over treetops. Some places even have impressive views of the Arenal Volcano or La Fortuna Waterfall.

There are plenty of zip-lining companies in La Fortuna. We don’t have a favorite company to suggest because each one offers different things.

A few of the most reputable are: 

SkyTrek offers zip lining and a tram with amazing views. 

Ecoglide which has great volcano views and a Tarzan swing.  

Arenal Mundo has nice views of the La Fortuna waterfall to zip over.

For more in-depth info, check out our full guide to zip lining in La Fortuna.

3. Walk on the Hanging Bridges

Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridge Park is a great place to take a walk through the jungle while enjoying volcano views and the thrill of crossing suspension bridges. 

This is a nice family-friendly activity. 

The trails are relatively easy and this place can be reached in about 15 minutes from downtown La Fortuna. 

If you would like to book a guided tour with transportation, we suggest the Mistico Hanging Bridges Tour with Lunch and hot springs tour.

Otherwise, you can just drive there on your own and get admission tickets.

4. Take a Combo Tour

Another popular way to enjoy the Arenal area is with a combo tour. This is a great way to pack a few different activities in one day for maximum fun and adventure.

A few great options are:

Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, Typical lunch & Arenal Volcano Hike – This tour is a full day. You will depart from your hotel with pickup around 7:00am and return in the afternoon. Lunch is included and the guides are amazing.

Waterfall Rappelling and White Water Rafting – This is a great combo for those of you looking for some serious thrill-seeking. This combo tour includes transportation from and to your hotel as well as lunch.

Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, Volcano Hike, & Hot Springs – This is a full-day tour with transportation from La Fortuna town area. It is pricey, but I think it is an outstanding value when you add it all up because the tour includes lunch and ends at Baldi hot springs with dinner.

5. Enjoy a Day or Evening at a Hot Spring

La Fortuna is home to several hot spring companies which operate at a variety of price points and for different interests. 

For example, there are some places that are designed to be family-friendly with waterslides and some that offer a more luxurious experience and are adult-only. 

30 Things to Do in La Fortuna Costa Rica That You'll Love

For a luxurious experience in natural hot springs, we suggest a day pass at Tabacon Hot Springs  or Baldi with lunch or dinner included.

For a more budget-friendly things to do in La Fortuna Costa Rica, we suggest Termalitas de Arenal. This place has picnic tables and grills for guests to use. Just bring some charcoal and food from the store nearby and you can have a full day of fun at these places.

You can find out everything you need to know about hot springs in La Fortuna with our hot spring guide.

6. Go on a Coffee Farm Tour

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  2 hours 30 minutes | ✅ Book it!

Coffee is one of the main crops grown in Costa Rica. We think that learning about the process of bean to cup is a must-do experience while in the country. 

North Field Cafe in La Fortuna offers a great tour that will teach you how coffee is grown, roasted, and ground. Plus, this tour also includes info about sugar cane production and chocolate production.

You will also get to taste plenty of delicious coffee and chocolate. 

We really enjoy this activity and suggest it for people of all ages and physical levels. 

Arrange Your North Fields Coffee Tour

7. Visit the Bright Blue Rio Celeste

rio celeste bridge with bright blue water

Have you ever seen water that naturally looks so blue? This natural phenomenon occurs on the River Celeste. 

Rio Celeste is part of Tenorio National Park. A visit here consists of a hike through the national park and the chance to see the impressive Rio Celeste Waterfall. 

It is located a little over an hour from La Fortuna and it is completely possible to visit this unique national park on a day trip.

We have a complete guide to Rio Celeste which will help you plan the perfect visit.

Also, if you would like to visit as part of a tour with transportation from the La Fortuna area we suggest this Full-Day Rio Celeste Tour From La Fortuna which includes transportation, lunch, and a 4-hour hike with a guide.

8. Take an ATV Tour

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  2 hours | ✅ Book it!

We love ATV tours because they are a great combination of an adrenaline rush, enjoying the scenery, and possibly seeing wildlife. Plus, this is something that most ages and physical levels can enjoy.

Our favorite tour is for ages 13 and up and goes along fun trails with views of the Arenal Volcano on a private farm.

The tour is 2 hours long and includes transportation from La Fortuna hotels.

⤷ Check Rate Availability for Your ATV Adventure

9. Take a Cacao Tour & Eat Chocolate

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  2 hours | ✅ Book it!

Rainforest Chocolate Tour is located down the street from the La Fortuna waterfall. This fun tour will teach you about the history of cacao and how chocolate is made. 

You then get to eat as much chocolate as you want.

Yeap, as much as you want.

It’s one of our favorite things to do in La Fortuna because it is something people of all ages and physical levels can enjoy. 

The first time my mom visited us in Costa Rica I took her on this tour and she still talks about it all the time.

⤷ Book Your Rainforest Chocolate Tour

10. Go Fishing

On Lake Arenal, it is possible to go freshwater kayak fishing or go out in a small boat.

Along the way, you might catch rainbow bass, tilapia, and more!

We suggest booking your trip with Captain Marc on his 19’ Sea Pro boat. He’s the best and I guarantee you’ll have a great time.

Or if you prefer kayaking, you can book your Lake Arenal kayak trip here.

11. Go Inner Tubing Down a River

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  2 hours | ✅ Book it!

Inner tubing is the perfect thing to do in La Fortuna Costa Rica for most ages and physical levels. We went tubing in La Fortuna with our family and friends after our wedding, and everyone had a great time. 

This tour includes:

-Transportation from your La Fortuna area hotel

– A visit to an indigenous tribe to learn about traditions and herbal medicine

– Hiking through the rainforest

– A relaxing float through the jungle with some more action-packed rapids along the way

Arrange Your La Fortuna Tubing Adventure

12. Go Caving

About 45 minutes from downtown La Fortuna there is a place called Venado Caves.

The caves are really tight at some points (I mean as in you’ll be slithering like a snake to get through certain spots) and if you don’t do well with tight spaces this is not an activity for you. 

I thought I would freak out, but once the adrenaline kicked in I was good to go.

If you would prefer a trip here with transportation from your La Fortuna area hotel included, we suggest Venado Caves Underground Experience from La Fortuna.

13. Take a Sloth Tour

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  3 to 4 hours | ✅ Book it!

La Fortuna is not known for being the best place to see sloths in the country. However, if you are in the area and would like to see sloths, the best way to do that is on a wildlife tour with an experienced guide. 

This sloth tour is excellent because the guides know exactly where the sloths hang out and can help you spot them. 

You might also see other animals such as frogs, toucans, and more.  

Arrange Your Sloth Tour 🦥

14. Go Mountain Biking Around Lake Arenal

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  3 hours | ✅ Book it!

This tour is such a nice way to experience Arenal Lake and the volcano. Basically, on this tour from Jacamar Naturalist Tours, you will travel by bike on a low-traffic route for approximately 8 miles each way with an experienced guide. 

They stress that you do NOT need to be an expert cyclist for this tour. The tour is a combination of nature and recreational sports. However, they are more than happy to adapt the route to your desired difficulty level. 

Along the ride, you might encounter wildlife such as coatis, monkeys, toucans, herons, and more animals. 

A guide will accompany you on the tour and they have an assistance van nearby, in case you need anything.

Really, it’s the perfect combination of exercise and nature and the guides are excellent. 

Book Your Mountain Biking Tour

15. Go Kayaking on Lake Arenal

thomas kayak lake arenal

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  4 hours | ✅ Book it!

Taking a kayak tour on Lake Arenal with a view of the volcano in the background is the perfect way to get out on the water with a guide who will point out wildlife along the way. 

When we did this tour we saw a lot of birds, which our guide knew all about.  

Arrange your Lake Arenal Kayak Tour

16. Go Whitewater Rafting for all Skill Levels

Whitewater rafting down the Balsa River is the perfect adventure activity. In La Fortuna, it is possible to take a trip on class II/III or class III/IV rapids, depending on your skill levels.

We really like the company Arenal Rafting. Their guides are great, everything usually runs smoothly, and transportation and lunch is included. 

You can book your II/III trip with Arenal Rafting here.

You can book your class III/IV trip with Arenal Rafting here.

17. Take a Wildlife Night Walk

frog la fortuna

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  4 hours | ✅ Book it!

Some of the wildlife in Costa Rica are night active and best spotted after dark (like this cool frog we saw in La Fortuna).

For this, we suggest an evening wildlife night walk with an experienced guide.

Some of the animals you may experience include; bats, nocturnal birds and mammals, red-eyed tree frogs and glass frogs in their natural habitats, 

We suggest the night tour from Ecoterra Expeditions. Their guides are excellent and the tour includes pick-up from your La Fortuna area hotel as well as a traditional Costa Rican dinner

Arrange your wildlife night walk with Ecoterra Expeditions

18. Rapel Down a Waterfall

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  4 hours | ✅ Book it!

If adrenaline-pumping adventure is your thing, we suggest rappelling down a waterfall while in the La Fortuna area. 

We suggest the action-packed canyoning tour from Pure Trek. This tour includes a bit of rock climbing, five rappels, a canyon zipline, and four waterfall descents. 

After your adventure, you will enjoy a delicious lunch of organic Costa Rican cuisine. 

This tour can be done in the morning or afternoon and includes transportation from your La Fortuna hotel. 

Book Your Canyoning and Waterfall Rappel Tour

19. Take a Traditional Cooking Class

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  2 hours | ✅ Book it!

Are you interested in learning how to make Costa Rican specialties such as patacones, gallo pinto, and empanadas? A Costa Rican cooking class is the perfect way to do that!

We suggest the cooking class from Dona Chela. She is a Costa Rican grandmother who may (or may not) tell you all her traditional Costa Rican cooking secrets.

After learning how to cook some traditional food you will enjoy a delicious meal from what you have created. 

I really like this class because it is such a nice way to get a true taste of Costa Rican culture outside of the more touristy activities in the area. 

Arrange Your Traditional Cooking Class

20. Go Hiking on the Arenal Volcano

It is not possible to hike all the way to the Arenal Volcano National Park crater, but there are a few nice hikes around the volcano that offer good views of both the volcano and Lake Arenal.

For more info on your hiking options, we created an Arenal Volcano National Park Guide

21. Try SUP on Lake Arenal

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  2 hours 30 minutes | ✅ Book it!

On Lake Arenal, it is possible to take a half-day stand-up paddle tour with transportation from your hotel. 

This is a peaceful experience with views of Arenal Volcano. Plus, it is a great workout!

Arrange Your SUP Adventure on Lake Arenal

22. Get a Massage

There are a lot of nice resorts in the La Fortuna area that offer spa treatments. Typically you do not need to be a guest at these resorts in order to book your treatment.

The last time we were in the area, Thomas and I got massages at The Springs Resort and Spa. It was a great experience!

Also, ask at your hotel. They may be able to arrange an outdoor massage for you. It is really relaxing to listen to the sounds of the jungle during your massage.

23. Go Swimming in a Free Hot Spring River

If you want a unique experience head to the river where the locals go swimming and soak.

la fortuna free hot spring river

As you move around you will find different temperatures of water from freezing cold to warm.

Basically, it is a free hot spring experience.  It can be a bit slippery getting down to the river from the road. If you have water shoes like Chacos definitely bring them.

Also, the experience is not for everyone. I would suggest not bringing kids or anyone who has trouble walking to this spot.

Here is the location of the free springs Google Maps. You can pull your rental car on the side of the road and pay a few dollars for someone to watch your car.

24. Enjoy a Safari Float

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  3 hours 30 minutes | ✅ Book it!

A wildlife safari float is the perfect family activity. Float down the Peñas Blancas River in a raft with an experienced guide. 

Along the way, your guide will point out wildlife and answer any questions you have.

After two hours on the river, you will arrive at a Costa Rican farmstead where you will enjoy a traditional snack and coffee or juice.

Book your Wildlife Safari Float

25. Take Pictures of the Volcano

30 Things to Do in La Fortuna Costa Rica That You'll Love

If you are blessed with a clear day in La Fortuna, take advantage of it and go get those volcano pics! 

It is not unusual for the volcano to be completely clouded over, so getting a good view is a privilege.

The volcano is visible from all over town, but I think the best views are usually from near where all the hot spring parks are located.

26. Take a Wildlife Boat Ride at Cano Negro

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  9 hours | ✅ Book it!

Cano Negro is a remote Costa Rican national park on a river. This area is well known for being a great place to spot a variety of wildlife and birds.

A day tour here includes:

– A scenic boat ride

– Lunch and welcome drink

– Round-trip hotel transportation from the La Fortuna area

Just note that this is a full-day tour because the drive from La Fortuna to Cano Negro takes almost two hours.

Despite that, it is a really fun adventure!

Book Your Cano Negro Adventure

27. Visit a Butterfly Garden

butterflies la fortuna conservatory

If you have a car with you, head about 30 minutes from La Fortuna to El Castillo. Here you can visit the Butterfly Conservatory.

This place is one of those hidden gems that most people don’t venture into, but I really like it here.

It is run by volunteers (who, in our experience, are always great) that will show you around and tell you a bit about each butterfly and reptile.

After looking at all the butterflies on the grounds you can take a nice little walk through their property. 

At the end of the hike, you will be rewarded with a great view of Arenal Volcano.

You could combine this with a hike on the Arenal 1968 trail, a kayak trip around the lake, or a trip to the hanging bridges. 

They are all located close together.

28. Go Horseback Riding

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  1 hours 30 minutes | ✅ Book it!

If you are an experienced horseback rider or if this is your first time, everyone can enjoy this tour! 

This tour departs from Mistico Hanging Bridge Park (which has excellent views of the Arenal Volcano). 

You will spend 1.5 hours riding through the Costa Rican rainforest on a private nature reserve with an experienced guide. 

Along the way, you might see various wildlife. 

We like this tour because the guides are really good. You can tell the horses are well taken care of and well-trained. 

Book Your Horseback Riding Adventure

29. Visit Cute Downtown La Fortuna

downtown la fortuna

Downtown La Fortuna is filled with hostels and touristy restaurants. In other words, it’s not exactly beautiful. However, the church in the center of town is picture-perfect. 

I like to just relax by sitting in the park across from the church and do some people-watching. 

On a clear day you will be able to get an amazing shot of the church with Arenal volcano in the background.

30. Take a Transfer by Boat to Monteverde

This isn’t actually a day activity, instead, it’s just a cool way to travel between La Fortuna and Monteverde.

If you plan to visit Monteverde after La Fortuna and do not have a rental car, we suggest a transfer across Lake Arenal. 

You will be taken by van from your La Fortuna area hotel to Lake Arenal.

Here you will get in a boat with an experienced guide to be transferred to the other side of the lake.

On the other side, you will get in another van and be dropped off at your hotel in Monteverde.

I will admit, the one ride in the country that always make me car sick is the drive between La Fortuna and Monteverde, so being able to cut out the worst of the curvy roads and take a boat instead is so nice.  

⤷ Book Your Transfer to Monteverde by Boat

Our Tips for Planning Things to Do in La Fortuna Costa Rica

At this point, we have probably visited La Fortuna over 20 times. We bring every person who visits us here because it is the perfect jungle destination.

So, we are a bit of experts on the area.

Here is what you need to know when planning things to do in La Fortuna Costa Rica…

Rental Car or No Car?

We like to have a rental car because it gives us more flexibility.

For example, visiting the hot springs is a must-do activity in La Fortuna but the parks are all located a bit out of the downtown area.

Without a rental car you will need to book a tour. And for hot springs, you really do not need a tour.

#1 Pick
30 Things to Do in La Fortuna Costa Rica That You'll Love

Adobe Rent-a-Car

  • 10% discount for Costa Rica Vibes readers
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We suggest renting your car with our favorite local company called, Adobe.

They have offices around the country as well as in La Fortuna and will be happy to deliver your car for free up to 12 miles away from any of their office locations.

You can also rent from them at both the San Jose International Airport and Liberia International Airport.

Adobe has given us a 10% discount plus plenty of other amazing perks to pass on to you.

⤷ Reserve Your Rental Car with Adobe

If you don’t feel comfortable driving to La Fortuna you can always opt to take a shared or private shuttle to get here.

You can then rent a car with Adobe in La Fortuna or depend on tours with transportation. Just input “La Fortuna” as your pick up and drop off location when you make your reservation.

We suggest Adobe Transfers for private shuttles and Bookaway for the largest selection of shared shuttles in Costa Rica with reputable companies.

Get a price quote from Adobe Transfers.

Find a shared shuttle on Bookaway.

Travel Insurance for La Fortuna

Don’t forget travel insurance! It is super important to have protection from injuries that may occur while participating in all the fun activities in La Fortuna.

We suggest Heymondo for your travel insurance needs. They have an activity add-on option that will provide protection if you plan to do more adrenaline-pumping things such as white water rafting.

Book Your Travel Insurance

The Best Hotels

🛏️ Our Top Hotels Picks in La Fortuna Are….

🌴 Here are all your hotel options in La Fortuna

Need More Info on La Fortuna?

For more info on La Fortuna such as transportation tips, great restaurants, the best hotels, etc. check out our La Fortuna guide.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, you will never run out of fun things to do in La Fortuna Costa Rica! 

For budget-friendly travelers, head to the free hot spring river. 

For those of you looking for luxury, get a massage at a resort and enjoy an adult-only hot spring experience. 

For adventure lovers, you can go rappelling or white water rafting. 

For families, take a cacao tour and try zip lining with views of the rainforest canopy.

And most importantly, have tons of fun while in this Costa Rican jungle paradise!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section below. We are always happy to help you out with planning fun things to do in La Fortuna Costa Rica.

You Might Also Like:

Costa Rica Travel Details: What You Need to Know

🚗 Should I rent a car in Costa Rica?

Having a rental car will give you the most flexibility when traveling in Costa Rica. This will also allow you to take fun day trips on your own.

🏄🏽 How can I book things to do?

We find that Viator tends to have the most comprehensive selection of activities with secure booking and good cancellation policies.

🍍 I’m overwhelmed with planning. Can you help?

Of course! I suggest joining our Facebook group for specific questions and head to our Start Here Page to get started planning.

✈️ What is the best way to book a flight?

Usually, we have the best luck finding great prices with Skyscanner. Check for flights to both San Jose Airport (SJO) and Liberia Airport (LIR).

🛏️ What is the best way to book my Costa Rica hotels?

We highly suggest Booking.com for hotel bookings and typically use VRBO for Costa Rica vacation rentals.

🗣️What is the main language in Costa Rica?

The main language in Costa Rica is Spanish. Most people working in tourism speak at least some English.

💰 What is the currency in Costa Rica?

The currency used in Costa Rica is the Costa Rican colón (CRC). However, the US dollar is widely accepted in most tourist areas

📞 What is the best way to stay connected?

An eSIM from Airalo is the easiest way to get 4G data while traveling in Costa Rica.

🌴 Is Costa Rica safe?

Generally, Costa Rica is considered safe for tourists. However, like any travel destination, it’s best to use caution and be aware of your surroundings.

🛂 Do you need a passport to go to Costa Rica?

Yes, Costa Rica is its own country. You will need a passport to visit.

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2 Comments

  1. Hello,
    Great article! I plan on going to arenal for my anniversary any suggestions on something romantic to do that won’t have tons of people?

  2. This is an amazing article, very detailed. We visited Baldi hot spring and it was an amazing experience even under the rain. A must visit for the travellers to Costa Rica 🙂