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How to Spend 1 Day in La Fortuna

How to Spend 1 Day in La Fortuna

With its beautiful, volcanic surroundings and resulting abundance of natural hot springs, La Fortuna is a great place to get out into nature. Even with just one day in the Costa Rican town, you'll be able to get a good taste of life here. Here's how.

 

Morning: Arenal

Get up bright and early to visit Arenal Volcano National Park, which surrounds the towering Arenal Volcano. This park is known for its hiking trails and abundant plant and wildlife, with hundreds of bird species, tropical flowers, and plants. Depending on how much time you spend hiking in the park, you may also want to add a trip to the nearby La Fortuna Waterfalls to your morning. Don't forget to pack a swimsuit: The 200-foot-high (61-meter-high) waterfall drops into crystalline waters; pools farthest from the waterfall are generally calm and safe for swimming.

 

Afternoon: Hot Springs Soak

With all the volcanic activity around La Fortuna, it's no surprise that the area is full of hot springs, and going for a soak is a great way to relax after a morning of hiking. Many hotels have their own thermal pools, but you don't need to be a guest at a hot-springs resort to take advantage of healing waters; many offer half- or full-day passes, and some area tours include hot spring stopovers. The popular Tabacon Hot Springs offer a variety of features, from a thermal water slide to a swim-up bar. For something more family-friendly, Kalambu Hot Springs Water Park offers play areas and a 4-story rafting waterslide.

 

Evening: Hanging Bridges Night Hike

In the evening, head out to Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park to explore the rain forest by night on a guided hike. The park has 16 hanging bridges that span around 1.6 miles (2.6 kilometers), traversing the top of the rain forest canopy. While it's a popular daytime spot, especially for photographers and bird-watching enthusiasts, visiting by night gives you the opportunity to view and learn about the park’s nocturnal creatures when they are at their most active.

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4 Tours and Activities

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Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, Typical lunch and Arenal Volcano Hike

Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, Typical lunch and Arenal Volcano Hike

star-5
333
Combine three adventurous activities in a single tour: a hike to Arental Volcano, visit to the Hanging Bridges, and exploration of La Fortuna Waterfall. This full-day tour from La Fortuna, perfect for nature lovers, includes hiking and swimming amidst Costa Rica's beautiful natural scenery. Hotel pickup and drop-off included.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$150.00
From
$150.00

Arenal Volcano National Park Walk with Optional Hot Springs

Arenal Volcano National Park Walk with Optional Hot Springs

star-4.5
29
Explore the forests of Arenal Volcano National Park on a half-day walking tour, with the option to soak away the afternoon in the park’s nearby thermal springs. Follow your guide between towering trees, and discover the devastation left by the powerful lava slides and volcanic activity. Enjoy views of Arenal volcano and the Tilarán Range, and learn about the area’s nature, wildlife, and history. Return to your hotel or visit the hot pools of your choice, where Costa Rica’s simmering geology creates a stunning natural spa. 
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$83.20
From
$83.20

Arenal Hanging Bridges Hiking Tour

Arenal Hanging Bridges Hiking Tour

star-4.5
31
Explore a protected tropical rain forest on a half-day hanging bridges tour from La Fortuna, and hike a circuit that crosses a series of 15 bridges with extraordinary views of the jungle canopy. Watch for brilliant birds, monkeys, boars, and jewel-toned frogs as you follow your guide through the forest, and listen to the sounds of tropical birdsongs and trilling insects. Experience Costa Rica’s rich diversity and lush habitat in terrain that abuts the Arenal volcano, and discover a remarkable world hidden in thick rain forest canopy.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$88.62
From
$88.62

Nocturnal Walk in the Hanging Bridges

Nocturnal Walk in the Hanging Bridges

star-4.5
13
One of the most popular activities in La Fortuna, a guided hanging bridges tour is a fool-proof way to spot wildlife and learn more about the Costa Rican rain forest. This nighttime hanging bridges tour in Mistico Park puts a twist on the classic excursion by introducing you to the forest's nocturnal residents, such as honey bears, barn owls, and over 4,500 species of nocturnal butterflies (twice the number of daytime butterflies!). This tour includes pickup and drop-off from some centrally located La Fortuna hotels.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$51.86
From
$51.86