Arenal Volcano, hot springs, nature hikes

La Fortuna de San Carlos

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos, travel information and tips to visit this tourist destination in Costa Rica, where is located the Arenal Volcano.

La Fortuna de San Carlos
Updated on November, 2023

La Fortuna belongs to the Canton of San Carlos, which is located in the northern zone of Costa Rica. San Carlos is the canton number 10 of the province of Alajuela. It is the largest Canton in the territorial extension of the country; it is an economy based on agriculture and livestock, it is the main area of ??Costa Rica in milk production. Ciudad Quesada is the central district and the main city of San Carlos; it is located just 45 kilometers from La Fortuna.

La Fortuna is the 7th district of San Carlos and is the main tourist destination in the northern area of Costa Rica. La Fortuna de San Carlos is a town of approximately 15,000 inhabitants. This town is located 883 meters above sea level. Its main economic activity nowadays is Tourism, but until before 1995, its economy was based on Agriculture and Livestock.

In recent years, there are more foreigners who have fallen in love with the area and have decided to buy properties in La Fortuna, either to live permanently or to visit more regularly during the year. The topography of La Fortuna and San Carlos is very flat, in fact, the area is known as the "Sancarleño plain". It is an area rich in wildlife and tropical forests. Photos and Videos of La Fortuna de San Carlos!

Northern Zone
Costa Rica

La Fortuna attractions - Things to do

La Fortuna de San Carlos is an area rich in natural attractions, which makes it ideal for adventure and nature tourism. La Fortuna has a large number of attractions, which can be visited on your own, such as the Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall or the Hanging Bridges.

On the other hand, guided tours in La Fortuna are also available, if what you want is to know more information during your tours or if you want to practice adventure activities such as Canopy or Rafting.

There are also activities that you can enjoy completely free, such as walks around the town, visit crystalline rivers or visit Lake Arenal, and if you rent a bike, you can take a ride through different towns near La Fortuna such as El Castillo or La Guaria. Finally, your vacation in La Fortuna Costa Rica will not be complete, if you do not visit the Arenal Volcano Hot Springs.

La Fortuna weather conditions

If you ask a "Fortuneño", what is the weather like in La Fortuna, he will surely tell you that it is very varied and that it changes at any time. And really it is, it may happen that in the morning it is sunny and hot, but a few hours later it rains in an impressive way.

Usually, the months of January, February, March, and April are very hot and it rains not much. The rainiest months of the year are May, June, September, October, and November; but that does not prevent us from having beautiful sunsets during these months. The hottest temperatures of the year can be around 33-35 °C / 91 - 95 °F, while the coldest temperatures can reach 15-17 °C / 59 - 63 ° F. For more information about the weather in Arenal Volcano area, you can visit our section of Tips to travel to La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

La Fortuna Restaurants - Where to eat

In La Fortuna and around the Arenal Volcano, there are many options to eat out, with any kind of restaurant with various specialties of dishes and for every budget. If you ask yourself, where to eat in La Fortuna, we can assure you that you can get a lot of options in response.

From the typical "Sodas", which are the cheapest places to eat in La Fortuna and in Costa Rica. In the "Sodas", they serve typical Costa Rican dishes such as "Casado" or "Gallo Pinto". The "Sodas" are the places to eat most visited by the "Ticos".

But in La Fortuna de San Carlos, you can also find Chinese, Italian, Peruvian, Colombian and general international food restaurants, which can satisfy any palate. And of course, you cannot miss fast-food restaurants or pizzerias. And do not worry about the view, that surely the next time you eat in La Fortuna Costa Rica, you will be contemplating the Arenal Volcano from your table.

Where to stay in La Fortuna

In La Fortuna Costa Rica and around the Arenal Volcano there is an important variety and quantity of lodging options, from cheap hotels to luxurious world-renowned Resorts.

The cheaper hotels in La Fortuna are generally located in the downtown, fairly close to supermarkets, pharmacies, and shops. Here, you can find from hostels to shared rooms or small rooms.

Leaving the downtown of La Fortuna and heading towards the Arenal Volcano National Park, you can find a variety of hotels on the roadside, which in addition to having a direct view of the Arenal Volcano, some of them have their own Hot Springs within their facilities. About 20 kilometers west of the town, there are La Fortuna hotels that have panoramic views of Lake Arenal.

How to get to La Fortuna

La Fortuna de San Carlos is located in the north of Costa Rica and can be accessed by different routes and from different destinations. Similarly, you can use various Transportation options to get to La Fortuna, whether you rent a car or book a private transport service or shuttle.

If you are coming from San Jose to La Fortuna, the most used route is through San Ramon; and then, there is a second route passing through Zarcero. In either case, you would last between La Fortuna and San Jose for about 2.5 hours. During the trip, there are several things you can do or visit, for example, you could go to Naranjo and take a coffee tour or you could go through very picturesque villages like Sarchi, or stopping at the Zarcero Park where there are the famous Cypress shapes.

If you are coming or going to Monteverde from La Fortuna, you can take the official road route, passing through Tilarán, which would take approximately 3 hours. Also, you could take the Jeep Boat Jeep, which takes you from your hotel in La Fortuna to your hotel in Monteverde including a short boat trip by the Lake Arenal.

Finally, if you come from Liberia Guanacaste to La Fortuna de San Carlos, the most used route is through Cañas and Tilarán, where it would take you about 2.5 hours. During your trip, you could contemplate the Lake Arenal at your right side.

It is important to mention that you can also make use of public bus transportation to get to La Fortuna, although this one requires more time and maybe do one or two bus stops on the way.