9 Things to Do in La Fortuna de San Carlos That You Shouldn't Miss

December 11, 2017 Marlin Saiz

La Fortuna de San Carlos is at the center of an array of geological wonders.  The nearby Arenal is Costa Rica's most active volcano, routinely bursting with lava and ash, and the Catarata de La Fortuna is a waterfall pouring from a seventy-meter cliff.  The Tabacon Hot Springs are a relaxing intermission in the midst of the various spectacles, and the Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat is a blissful end to any day's excursion.
Restaurants in La Fortuna de San Carlos

1. Proyecto Asis

Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos 4400, Costa Rica +506 2475 9121
Excellent
84%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Proyecto Asis

Previous Reservation is required. Proyecto Asis is a Wildlife Shelter and Environmental Education Center located very close to La Fortuna. Wild animals which have been found wounded, forsaken or are rescued from the black market by the local forest rangers are brought here. Those that cannot be released are used within our educational programs. In order to finance our shelter, we offer daily tours and volunteer activities. Schedules: Monday to Saturday at 8:30 am or at 1:00 pm. Sundays Closed. Easy access facilities and trails for all ages.

Reviewed By Gdax

Proyecto Asis: about 1/2 hour outside La Fortuna, this rescue center is an interesting place. The workers/guides are all passionate about animal conservation in Costa RIca. They are working to take care of these animals and trying to educate the local and national population about the danger of keeping wild animals as pets. I was amazed on how many of the animals were rehabilitated and released into the wild. Only a few of the animals were "lifers" there mostly due to the fact they would not be accepted in the pack. My 8 year old daughter definitely got the message and enjoyed the educational piece. My 6 year old son was a little less attentive and was having a harder time staying focused by the end. Also, during our whole week in Costa Rica, this was the only place we were bothered by mosquitoes despite using picardin.

2. Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge

Arenal Volcano National Park, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos 21007, Costa Rica +506 2479 9526
Excellent
76%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 239 reviews

Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge

Experience Arenal´s only wild frog sanctuary at night, when colorful tree frogs and other rainforest wildlife are most active and most easily observed. At least 28 frog species have made their home the ponds of Arenal Oasis. The Rojas Bonilla family carefully maintains native plants of Arenal, to create needed frog habitat in this private wildlife reserve of fresh spring water fed ponds; within a rainforest refuge connecting the rainforests of the Arenal Volcano and El Rio Burio. The night tour continues past the frog ponds along flat trails immersed in the noisy night rainforest. The guide will point out animals hiding from you. Support, enjoy and learn about the only wild frog sanctuary in the Arenal Volacano Area. Tours led by trained naturalist along flat rainforest trails start at 5:45pm at Arenal Oasis. Flashlights are provided and Reservations are necessary. Included in the Tour: - Flashlights - Transportation Round Trip - Certified Naturalist Guide - Entrance Fee - Drinks What to Bring: - Camera - Closed Shoes - Long Pants - Raincoat - Confortable light Clothing - Big Smile

Reviewed By GillJezz - Aberystwyth, United Kingdom

We came here because we were both too unwell with a virus do a strenuous hike. We had a lovely walk around the woodlands, even spotting yellow manikins doing their wing clapping mating ritual on three occasions. The bird tables set out around their cafe were great for bird spotting too.

3. Ecotermales Fortuna

4.5 km al Oeste del Parque central de La Fortuna | Diagonal a Volcan Look Disco Club, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica +506 2479 8686
Excellent
63%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Ecotermales Fortuna

The family owned and operated natural hot Springs, which allow only a limited number of guests each day, provide a private, relaxing oasis during your vacation.There are five pools, one with a cascading waterfall, which reach up to 108 degrees Fahrenheit. There is no better way to unwind after a long day than by visiting the hot Springs and treating your body to its naturally replenishing effects. When taking a break from the soothing hot Springs, you can dine in the authentic, home-style Costa Rican restaurant.

Reviewed By Tramath - Toronto

This tranquil hot spring option is Reservations only so it never gets too crowded. Drinks are served pool side and there are multiple pools of varying temperatures. It is generally quiet and people are respectful of the tranquil environment. We opted to do a later day visit that included the buffet dinner. The food was very good and the open air restaurants are just as tranquil as the pool area.

4. La Fortuna Waterfall

Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos 106-4417, Costa Rica
Excellent
64%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 7 reviews

La Fortuna Waterfall

La Fortuna Waterfall Ecological Reserve Our fortune of crystalline waters Located in Central America, Costa Rica, in the northern plains, just 4 kilometers from La Fortuna, a piece of nature is hidden, a bit of green gold, which sustains our community and makes us proud of its beauty: The La Fortuna Waterfall. A place so near, and yet so far from the sounds of the quaint town. The Waterfall Ecological Reserve is complete with a parking lot, souvenir shop, restrooms, changing rooms, and a snack shop. The reserve is visited by more than 1000 tourists a year, who come to enjoy this piece of heaven, a continuous water flow which fascinates all who behold it. From the time of your arrival, the staff will treat you with the full attention that you deserve. The initial bridge will allow you to observe the marvelous flora and fauna as you reach the first observation point, giving you a preview of what you will discover after descending 600 meters. Once you begin your journey down, you will observe all kinds of birds, including the ever popular toucan, which is often found in this area, feeding on insects. Along the expedition, you will discover the true colors of nature and the adrenaline felt climbing down and back up 480 natural steps, with appropriate rest areas along the way. Later, the view will clear, allowing you to admire our true fortune of crystalline waters. As you continue down, you will discover a dry waterfall, over 5000 years old, in which water flows only during the rainy season, in addition to our waterfall with a constant water flow, both of which are studied each year by Canadian geology students. Both rock formations were formed by the magma poured out of the Arenal Volcano, thousands of years ago. Finally, we can fully enjoy this splendid touch of nature; the pure waters of the La Fortuna Waterfall and its 70 meters of height, which reflect the magnificent power of Mother Nature. More than 100,000 tourists from around the world have come for a simple visit, to film movies and TV programs, and even to celebrate their wedding, each leaving with incredible memories. Once you climb down to the base of the waterfall, you can fully enjoy the refreshing crystal clear waters, a desire of all human life. Take the time to enjoy safe and fun recreation in harmony with our natural resources, including coexistence with the fish which nurture this piece of heaven…our fortune of crystalline waters. We are non-profit organization runs the waterfall, using the entrance fee to help maintain different projects for improving the life of the population of La Fortuna. Our work are focus on social projects, infrastructure improving and protection and maintenance of natural resources of La Fortuna.

Reviewed By Drew F - Trophy Club, Texas

This is a classic waterfall experience. it is a lot fo steps but that is very manageable. At the bottom there are lots of pools for exploring for the kids and there is a quiet pool area as well down from the falls area. The restaurant at the top of the steps is excellent for lunch.

5. Ecocentro Danaus

La Fortuna San Carlos | Camino al Tanque, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos 21007, Costa Rica +506 2479 7019
Excellent
70%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 755 reviews

Ecocentro Danaus

Small private Natural Reserve that takes care of a secundary forest in natural reneration. iT counts with a 600mts trail along the park. Around the facility you will find sloths (2 and 3 toes) a pretty big diversity of birds (Aprox.170spp)Butterfly garden, where you breed close to 20 different species. The frogs are very common, but mostly at night, in the day the msot active one is the blue jeans frog. It also has a small natural lake where Iguanas, Boat billed Herons and Caimans interact together. Besides wildlife, the Ecocentro Danaus supports the Maleku's Indigenous by providing a small facility where they can teach and exhibit their art ( Buying their art is optional )

Reviewed By emh43016 - Columbus, Ohio

We enjoyed this tour with Reinaldo. He told us about the local plants and animals along the trail along with his heritage. We saw poison dart frogs, birds, large rodents like animals, herons, colorful birds, toucans and butterflies along with many beautiful and beneficial plants.

6. Lake Arenal

Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
Excellent
58%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Lake Arenal

Reviewed By redeco - Warren, Massachusetts

Lake Arenal is located in the northern highlands of Costa Rica. In 1979, an enormous dam was built, virtually increasing the size of the lake by three times. The dam also provides electricity for Costa Rica - the amount varies depending on where you do your research - it might be safe to say that it provides 12-17% of the country's electricity.
Besides being a recreational location for the public, the lake provides refuge for wildlife. A boat ride on the lake will reveal hundred of species of birds, fish, animals, and reptiles. And, above all looms the Arenal Volcano standing sentinel over the landscape.
Enjoy.

7. Rio Chollin

Next to Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
Excellent
67%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 999 reviews

Rio Chollin

If you talk with the locals they will tell you to go to Scratch River or the Free hot Springs. This is perfect if you are travelling on a shoestring budget as it is FREE! To get there go to the yellow gate next to Tabacon Springs. You can park on the road shoulder and you will definitely see it. Walk down the path behind the gate and in a very short walk you will arrive at a bubbling hot creek. You can go 24 hrs a day but keep your items in your site. Leave your valuables at the hotel and just bring a towel and prepare to relax.

Reviewed By Ironjet

When the sun is hiding and there is little showers this spot is perfect! We found a little hole and relaxed for a few hours.
Bring:
Water
Shoes (lots of rocks)
Snacks
The river isn’t hot but nice and warm you can spend hours just lounging around.
Take a bag to take out your garbage!

8. Los Lagos Hot Springs

Hotel los Lagos, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica +506 2479 1000
Excellent
57%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 554 reviews

Los Lagos Hot Springs

Reviewed By Audri A - Long Beach, California

I can't believe how much fun we had! We have been traveling through Costa Rica with a 14mo old for nearly 3 weeks. We stayed off-site and visited Los Lagos on a day pass. What a deal. I was debating between the Bali Hot Springs resort but decided on Los Lagos for the family fun value.
We paid only $30 each for a full day of water slides, hot Springs and a 3course lunch. There were even some animal exhibits to entertain our babe with. My SO and I took turns as the babe slept. There was even a perfect pool with the perfect temperature for my babes entertainment.
We loved it here!

9. Arenal Natura Ecological Park

La Fortuna, 6 km towards to Arenal Volcano, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos 21007, Costa Rica +506 2479 1616
Excellent
66%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 549 reviews

Arenal Natura Ecological Park

At Arenal Natura Ecological Park you will experience the natural world in a whole new way, where beautiful frogs, birds, reptiles, and their natural habitats will have the starring role. Arenal Natura is a private Biological Station, where we are concerned at the conservation of habitats, as well as reserach and reproduction of amphibians and reptiles, many of these listed as endangered species by CITES. We are located in a section of the tropical rainforest, at the base of the Arenal Volcano, home to a large quantity of species which, with the help of our guides, will give you a new way to view and enjoy these impressive, complex worlds.

Reviewed By Zanzibar747 - Coventry, United Kingdom

We had an exceptional private tour guided by Santiago who was very knowledgeable and great at explaining things in non-scientific terms. His keen sense of humour added to the experience. The variety of frogs was amazing and again Santiago’s ability to spot the tiny creatures meant we got the most out of the visit. There is a variety of other animals and plants to learn about. I would definitely recommend a guided tour to get the most out of this experience. It’s proximity to our hotel, the Volcano Lodge, was a bonus.

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