28 Best Things to Do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica | 2024 (with Photos)

Ana Dimic

Ana Dimic - Travel Writer

Published: June 30, 2023

Hey there! I'm Ana, and I've put together a list of the top things to do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica based on my own experience. Get ready for an amazing trip filled with exciting adventures and unforgettable moments!

La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Welcome to La Fortuna, Costa Rica. Home to lush rainforests, hot springs, and the majestic Arenal Volcano, this charming town will capture your heart and make you never want to leave.

Whether you're an adventure junkie or a relaxed traveler, there are plenty of activities to do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

From exploring the natural wonders of the area to indulging in delicious local cuisine, you'll be making exciting memories when you visit La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

So, let's take a look at the Travel-Lingual guide on 28 best things to do in this incredible place.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Top Choice Hotel

Arenal Volcano Inn.

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

El Establo

Best Time to Visit

Dry season offers the best time to visit.

Average Temperature

Tropical climate with warm temperatures throughout the year.

Transportation Options

Bus, taxi, shuttle, rental cars, private drivers available.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

In La Fortuna, Costa Rica, immerse yourself in the natural wonders by visiting the iconic Arenal Volcano, where you can witness breathtaking eruptions and explore its lush surroundings.

Indulge in a memorable experience by taking a dip in the healing hot springs located in the heart of the rainforest, providing the perfect setting to relax and rejuvenate after a long day of adventure in this picturesque city.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Passport
  2. Travel itinerary
  3. Cash and/or credit cards

What Not to Miss

  1. Arenal Volcano National Park
  2. La Fortuna Waterfall
  3. Hanging Bridges
  4. Hot Springs
  5. Ecotermales Fortuna

What to Avoid

  1. Overpacking
  2. Ignoring the weather
  3. Disrespecting the culture

1. Explore the Lava Trails at the Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano

Nestled in the Northern Plains of La Fortuna, Costa Rica lies the majestic Arenal Volcano. The Arenal Volcano is an incredible natural wonder that captivates everyone with its awe-inspiring beauty.

Spend a day exploring the fascinating trails on the Arenal Volcano and you'll be rewarded with views of lush rainforest and dramatic lava flows.

With the lava trails on the Arenal Volcano hike, you'll get up close to nature as you follow paths around bubbling hot springs and steaming vents, discovering plant life unique to this region along the way.

2. Go Hiking at Arenal National Park

Arenal National Park

In La Fortuna, Arenal National Park is an adventure lover's paradise. Located just north of the Arenal Volcano, it is filled with active wildlife.

With breathtaking views, well-maintained trails throughout the forest, and plenty of activities to enjoy, it's no wonder why this national park is one of the best things to do in La Fortuna.

3. Get Adventurous With Ziplining

Ziplining in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

One of the most popular adventures in La Fortuna, Costa Rica is ziplining in the Arenal area.

Get ready for a rush like no other as you glide through the rain forest on a zipline Arenal canopy adventure.

There are several ziplines to choose from between La Fortuna and Arenal National Park. The zipline tour in the La Fortuna area is designed with both safety and fun in mind.

As you'll be on a guided tour, you'll be assisted throughout the whole process.

Each course has multiple levels of difficulty ranging from beginner to expert so everyone can have an enjoyable experience.

4. Go for a Swim in the Rio Celeste Waterfall

Rio Celeste Waterfall

La Fortuna town offers travelers a chance to take in the beautiful scenery and breathtaking views.

One of the most popular things to do in La Fortuna is to visit the Rio Celeste Waterfall, located in the Tenorio Volcano National Park.

The Rio Celeste Waterfall has become famous for its unique turquoise-blue color.

The surrounding area of the gorgeous waterfall is full of green vegetation and wildlife making it a perfect spot to take some amazing photos or just relax with nature.

If you're looking for something fun and unforgettable to do while visiting La Fortuna, be sure to add the Rio Celeste Waterfall to your list.

5. Try Out Whitewater Rafting

Whitewater Rafting

If you’re looking for one of the most adventurous things to do in La Fortuna, why not try a water rafting trip? The Arenal Volcano National Park is a great spot for rafting.

The Pacuare River in Costa Rica offers a variety of thrilling rapids that range from mild to wild and something for any skill level.

You can choose between a half-day trip or a full-day adventure with lunch included.

6. Relax at the Free Natural Hot Springs

Natural Hot Springs

One of the best activities in La Fortuna, Costa Rica is its free natural hot springs.

The hot springs are conveniently located between downtown La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano National Park, so you can easily access the amazing hot springs before or after a day of sightseeing.

As soon as you arrive at the natural hot springs in La Fortuna, you can feel an invigorating warmth radiating from their mineral-rich waters. Immerse yourself in a free hot spring and let your worries and stress melt away.

There are several popular hot springs in La Fortuna available to suit your preferences, including Arenal hot springs.

You can either relax in a shallow hot spring with bubbling jets and swim-up bars at hot springs resorts or soak up some sun on a lounger by a deeper hot spring surrounded by lush vegetation.

7. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth With a Chocolate Tour

Cocoa Beans

La Fortuna is home to some of the world's finest cocoa plantations and factories; it’s an ideal place to go on a chocolate tour.

Their guided tour will take you through the journey of how this delicious treat is produced from start to finish.

8. Float Around With Arenal River Tubing

Arenal River

One of the most thrilling things to do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica is to go tubing down the Arenal River. This offers a unique way to take in all that Costa Rica has to offer.

You will float your way along the crystalline waters while taking in stunning views of tropical rainforests and impressive wildlife.

9. Feel the Adrenaline at Arenal Hanging Bridges Park

Arenal Hanging Bridges Park

Arenal Hanging Bridges Park is located in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. This park is a must-see destination for anyone who loves adventure and the great outdoors.

With numerous hanging bridges and amazing views of the nearby Arenal Volcano, it’s easy to see why this park in La Fortuna, Costa Rica has become such a popular attraction.

The La Fortuna hanging bridges offer an adrenaline rush as you explore the treetops of Costa Rica's rainforest from an elevated perspective.

You can choose to see the bridges through a tour company or you can go to each hanging bridge on your own through a self-guided tour.

Each hanging bridge in La Fortuna, Costa Rica is different and offers a variety of views, so make sure you try to see as many hanging bridges as you can.

10. Get Dirty During an ATV Tour

La Fortuna, Costa Rica

An ATV tour should be at the top of your list of things to do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica if you like adventurous experiences.

With an ATV tour, you can get off-road and explore places that would otherwise be inaccessible.

From bumpy roads and rocky paths to open fields and lush rainforests in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, ATV tours offer multiple types of experiences. Keep an eye out for wild animals along the way.

11. Visit Arenal Volcano National Park

Arenal Volcano National Park

Located in the heart of Costa Rica, Arenal Volcano National Park is a must-see destination for nature enthusiasts.

With an affordable entrance fee of $15, it's a great spot to see. This Arenal area is just minutes from the charming town of La Fortuna, and it offers breathtaking views and plenty of outdoor activities to keep visitors entertained.

Arenal Volcano National Park is home to an active volcano over 1,657 meters high.

On clear days, you can see plumes of smoke coming from its peak while surrounded by lush jungles and exotic wildlife.

12. Go for a Swim at the La Fortuna Waterfall

La Fortuna Waterfall

La Fortuna Waterfall is a stunning waterfall that is one of the most popular destinations in Costa Rica.

La Fortuna Waterfall is situated amidst lush rainforest vegetation, creating a peaceful atmosphere with breathtaking views.

Being over 200 feet long, La Fortuna Waterfall is an incredible sight and should absolutely be on your list of things to do in La Fortuna. Once you reach the top of La Fortuna Waterfall, you can take a dip into its refreshing pools.

For those who are feeling adventurous, there are also large rocks located around the edges of La Fortuna Waterfall that offer plenty of opportunities to go cliff jumping or explore some of the smaller caves located nearby.

La Fortuna Waterfall is a perfect escape from the warm Summer days in La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

13. Go Horseback Riding to the Arenal Volcano Area

Arenal Volcano Area

A unique way to explore La Fortuna, Costa Rica is through horseback riding.

With horseback riding, you can take in the breathtaking views of the La Fortuna Arenal Volcano area while enjoying a peaceful and calming horseback ride through this picturesque region.

You’ll get up close and personal with nature as your guide leads you on trails that will take you through rivers, over hillsides covered with trees and vegetation, and along gravel roads surrounded by local farms in La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

14. Try Out the El Salto Rope Swing

El Salto Rope Swing

Located just outside of La Fortuna town and situated along the Rio Fortuna River, the El Salto rope swing is an experience that no thrill-seeker should miss.

It is one of the most adrenaline-provoking things to do in La Fortuna.

The El Salto rope swing will take you soaring over a deep river gorge with a beautiful waterfall as your backdrop.

15. Admire the View at Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal

Another great activity to add to your list of things to do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica is to visit Lake Arenal.

Located in the province of Alajuela, the stunning Lake Arenal is surrounded by lush green hills and offers incredible views of the nearby Arenal Volcano.

With plenty of activities to choose from like fishing, boating, kayaking, or simply relaxing on the beach, it's no wonder why Lake Arenal is one of Costa Rica's top tourist destinations.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of boat tours that will take them out onto Lake Arenal to experience its beauty up close. Not only do you get to admire spectacular views along the way but you may even spot some wildlife like turtles or iguanas at Lake Arenal.

16. Go on a Day Trip to San Jose

San Jose, Costa Rica

If you’re looking for a fun and exciting day trip from La Fortuna, Costa Rica, then consider taking a trip to San Jose.

San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica and offers numerous attractions for tourists of all ages.

Take your pick from sightseeing tours, museums, parks, and great restaurants. You can spend an afternoon exploring the city in Costa Rica or just rest and relax for a weekend in one of its many gardens and plazas.

If you don't want to stay in La Fortuna, there are plenty of locations in San Jose as well.

To get to San Jose, you can fly from the Liberia airport, which is only 2.5 hours away from La Fortuna, to the San Jose airport or you can also drive a rental car.

17. Experience a Rainforest Night Walk

Rainforest Night Walk

Some unique things to do in La Fortuna are exploring the rainforests at night. If you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure in nature, then consider a rainforest night tour near La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

Here, visitors can explore the exotic wildlife of La Fortuna, under the cover of darkness and discover something new about themselves along the way.

18. Stay at Downtown La Fortuna

Downtown La Fortuna

Downtown La Fortuna, Costa Rica is a destination that should be on every traveler’s list of things to do in La Fortuna.

Located in the heart of the Northern Highlands, Downtown La Fortuna is known for its stunning beauty and incredible activities.

If you want to experience La Fortuna nightlife, head over to Voodoo Bar and Cocktails where they prepare unique and fun drinks to enjoy.

If you'd like to spend the night, there are plenty of places to stay in La Fortuna.

19. Try Out Kayaking on the River


Paddle through the rivers in La Fortuna and make your way through the crystal-clear waters of this tropical paradise to connect with nature and explore all that La Fortuna has to offer.

Kayaking gives you an opportunity to take in the scenery along the banks of Costa Rica’s rushing rivers, which are full of life.

You can spot colorful birds flying overhead, watch howler monkeys swinging from tree branches, and even see some turtles poking their heads out from time to time.

Through the Club Rio Outdoor Center in La Fortuna, you can book your next activity on the river.

20. Admire La Laguna Azul at Tenorio Volcano National Park

La Laguna Azul

Nestled amidst the jungles of Costa Rica is Tenorio Volcano National Park, a radiant paradise for nature lovers and adventurers alike.

Located in La Fortuna, this vibrant national park is home to some of Costa Rica's most incredible landscapes and breathtaking views.

One of the must-see attractions within Tenorio Volcano National Park is La Laguna Azul, the Blue Lagoon.

This tranquil lagoon appears like a brilliant sapphire gem surrounded by rich green foliage and towering volcanoes.

21. See the Cloud Forests at Monte Verde

Cloud Forests at Monte Verde

Another spectacular activity to add to your things to do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica is to explore the Monte Verde Cloud Forest. It is one of the most exciting things to do in Monteverde.

This beautiful destination is located just outside of La Fontana and offers breathtaking views of the rainforest canopy.

Monte Verde Cloud Forest is home to an amazing array of wildlife and plenty of stunning flowers, trees, and plants that thrive in this unique environment.

22. Hike Alongside the Rio Celeste

Rio Celeste

For an unforgettable adventure, look no further than a hike along the Rio Celeste in La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

The hike along the Rio Celeste in La Fortuna begins at the entrance of the park and has two separate trails that branch off from each other to give hikers a unique experience.

The Rio Celeste hike itself is around 3.7 miles roundtrip, so make sure to carry a reusable water bottle so you stay hydrated throughout your trip.

With the signature color of the Rio Celeste being caused by sulfuric minerals that naturally occur in its waters, it makes going on this hike one of the most captivating ones in La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

23. Make New Friends at Monkey Park La Fortuna

Monkey Park La Fortuna

Another essential activity to add to your list of things to do in La Fortuna is to become friends with the monkeys at Monkey Park La Fortuna. This park is a wildlife sanctuary located in La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

It's a popular tourist destination where visitors can observe and interact with several species of monkeys in a natural habitat. Some of the species found at the park include Capuchin, Howler, and Squirrel monkeys.

The park typically charges an admission fee, which varies based on the season and type of tour.

It's advisable to check their official website or contact them directly for current pricing and availability information.

24. Enjoy Sky Adventures in Arenal Park

Arenal Park

Sky Adventures Arenal Park is a breathtaking adventure park located in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. It offers a variety of La Fortuna attractions for visitors of all ages to enjoy, including zip lining, hanging bridges, and nature walks.

One of the most popular attractions is the Sky Trek, a thrilling zip line tour that offers breathtaking views of the La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano.

Visitors can soar through the sky at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour while taking in the stunning views of the lush green zipline canopy tours.

The park also features a series of hanging bridges that provide an up-close look at the rainforest and its diverse wildlife.

These bridges range in length from 328 to 1,920 feet and are suspended high above the ground, offering a unique perspective on the beauty of the forest during the rainy season or not.

25. Go on a Sloth Watching Tour

Sloth at La Fortuna

Going on a sloth-watching tour in La Fortuna, Costa Rica is a great way to experience the country's rich biodiversity and see some of its most iconic wildlife up close.

Most sloth-watching tours in La Fortuna are led by experienced guides who know the best spots to find these elusive creatures.

These tours typically start early in the morning when sloths are most active and can last several hours, depending on the tour company and the specific tour you choose.

26. Have a Picnic at Parque de La Fortuna

Parque de La Fortuna

Having a picnic at Parque de La Fortuna in Costa Rica is a great way to spend a relaxing day in the great outdoors. Parque de La Fortuna, also known as La Fortuna Park, is a large, lush park located between La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano.

Visitors to the park can bring their own food and drinks or purchase Costa Rican cuisine from vendors at the park.

There are plenty of picnic tables and benches available for visitors to use, and many visitors choose to spread out a blanket on the grass and enjoy their meal al fresco.

27. Learn About the Conservation at Proyecto Asis

Proyecto Asis

Proyecto Asis is a conservation project located in the heart of the tropical rainforest in La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

The project's goal is to protect and preserve the diverse wildlife and habitats of La Fortuna while educating visitors and local communities about the importance of conservation.

Visitors to Proyecto Asis can learn about the conservation efforts being undertaken by the project, including the protection of endangered species such as the jaguar, the puma, and the tapir, as well as the rehabilitation of wildlife that have been injured or orphaned in La Fortuna.

28. Become a Better Chef With a Cooking Class

Cooking Class

Taking a cooking class in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, can be a fun and educational way to experience the local cuisine.

Look for cooking classes that focus on traditional Costa Rican dishes, such as rice and beans, gallo pinto, and plantains. Some classes may also cover local ingredients and techniques, such as cooking with fresh herbs and spices.

Classes may be held in a variety of locations, including local restaurants, a La Fortuna pub, cooking schools, and private kitchens. Consider the location when making your selection to ensure that it's convenient and accessible.

FAQs Regarding Activities in La Fortuna

Let's look at some frequently asked questions relating to things to do in La Fortuna.

Should I get a rental car?

Yes, you will find life in La Fortuna easier with a vehicle. However, whether or not you should rent a car in La Fortuna, Costa Rica depends on several factors such as your budget, travel style, and plans for the trip. A rental car will give you the independence to travel at your own pace and explore the area on your own schedule.

How should I prepare for the hanging bridges?

Prepare to visit the hanging bridges in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, by wearing shoes that have good traction as there are a few stairs to climb and it can be slippery. Wear light, breathable clothing that will keep you warm. Moreover, bring a refillable water bottle to the hanging bridges, so you stay hydrated.

Do I need to bring anything with me for the hot springs?

When visiting the hot springs in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, remember to bring a swimsuit, a large, absorbent towel, and flip-flops. You might also want to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to the hot springs on a sunny day. You can check out the website for the hot springs for more packing tips.

Summing up: Best things to do in La Fortuna

Visiting La Fortuna is a must for anyone looking to experience the best of the natural beauty adventures that a Costa Rica trip has to offer, whether that's a solo trip or not.

With its diverse range of activities and attractions, from hiking by the Rio Celeste to bathing in the hot springs and everything in between, everyone will have something to enjoy when they visit La Fortuna.

With so many possible adventures, you will want to start planning and booking your trip. Then you can pack your bags and explore the best things to do in La Fortuna. Have a wonderful time in Costa Rica.