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How to Spend 3 Days in La Fortuna

How to Spend 3 Days in La Fortuna

La Fortuna is well-known for its natural attractions and outdoor activities. With three days in this Costa Rican gem, you’ll have plenty of time to explore its extensive trail systems, ziplining and white-water-rafting options, and hot springs, with time left over for a day trip. Here’s how to get the most out of three days in La Fortuna.

Day 1: Hiking and Exploring

Spend your first day exploring La Fortuna’s signature attraction: Arenal National Park. At the heart of the park sits the Arenal Volcano, visible from most parts of the city. Hike the trail system surrounding the volcano, or head down to the nearby La Fortuna waterfall, a popular spot for swimming and picnicking. Alternatively, head out to El Castillo, a nearby village and home to the Arenal Observatory Lodge. Originally built in 1987 as a Smithsonian Institution research station, this complex a little over 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) from the crater affords great views of the volcano and offers regular guided treks and bird-watching activities. End your day with a guided evening hike along the hanging bridges of nearby Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park, a great place to see the rain forest come to life after dark.

 

Day 2: Exhilaration and Relaxation

Dedicate your second day to a mix of adventure activities and hot-springs relaxation. Start with a morning of ziplining high above the jungle canopy; there are plenty of spots to choose from. In the afternoon, head out on a guided white-water rafting expedition—an abundance of relatively small rapids in the area means that even beginners can join a tour without much preparation. Wrap up your evening with a relaxing soak in a thermal hot spring; if you’re not staying in one of the area’s many hot-spring resorts, it’s worth splurging for a visit to Tabacon Hot Springs, which offers quiet evening soak sessions for a fee.

Day 3: Day Trip to Caño Negro or Monteverde

On day three, expand your explorations deeper into Costa Rica’s Northern Highlands. Make your way out to the Caño Negro National Wildlife Refuge in Alajuela, about a 2-hour drive from La Fortuna. A must-visit for anyone with an interest in wildlife, this area is home to primates, lizards, and colorful birds. Many tours are available from La Fortuna, and most include a boat ride along the Rio Frio led by an expert guide.

 

Alternatively, if you’re willing to wake up early and spend a fair bit of time on the road, consider a visit to Monteverde, a 3- to 4-hour drive from La Fortuna. Monteverde is best-known for its Cloud Forest Reserve—home to an array of wildlife including quetzal birds, howler monkeys, and pacas—along with a hummingbird reserve and a network of suspended bridges above the rain forest canopy. 

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11 Tours and Activities | All La Fortuna Tours

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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
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
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$150.00
From
US$150.00
Taking safety measures

2-in-1 Arenal Volcano Combo Tour: La Fortuna Waterfall and Volcano Hike

2-in-1 Arenal Volcano Combo Tour: La Fortuna Waterfall and Volcano Hike

star-5
Swim beneath a jungle waterfall and hike into Arenal Volcano National Park on a 7-hour, 2-in-1 combo tour that takes in the best of the region’s natural beauty and wildlife. Spot monkeys and bright tropical birds as you walk through the rainforest surrounding La Fortuna waterfall, then enjoy a leisurely Costa Rican lunch with locally grown coffee. Follow your guide along jagged lava flows and mountainside trails as you explore Arenal, learn the history of this iconic volcano, and earn stunning views of Arenal lake.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$147.00
From
US$147.00
Taking safety measures

Ziplining and Whitewater Rafting Combo Tour

Ziplining and Whitewater Rafting Combo Tour

star-5
Enjoy two Costa Rican adventures in one day on this 8-hour combo tour from La Fortuna. You'll fly through the air on a zipline and then navigate the Balsa River on a whitewater rafting experience. Lunch is included.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$113.36
From
US$113.36

Arenal Observatory and Hiking Tour from La Fortuna

Arenal Observatory and Hiking Tour from La Fortuna

star-4.5
Spend an afternoon exploring the vibrant wildlife, explosive history, and inspiring views of Arenal on this hiking and nature tour from La Fortuna. Trek across hanging bridges, past a waterfall, and through the lush rain forest and gardens around the Arenal Observatory Lodge, where panoramic views of Arenal Volcano and Lake await. Unwind with a soak in a natural hot river pool, paired with a volcanic mud facial and refreshing cocktail.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$42.00
From
US$42.00
Taking safety measures

Arenal Volcano National Park Walk with Optional Hot Springs

Arenal Volcano National Park Walk with Optional Hot Springs

star-4.5
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
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$83.20
From
US$83.20
Taking safety measures

Combination Tour with Hanging Bridges Waterfall Volcano Hike and Hot Springs

Combination Tour with Hanging Bridges Waterfall Volcano Hike and Hot Springs

star-5
Explore the dramatic landscape surrounding the Arenal Volcano on a full-day nature tour from La Fortuna that offers a blend of active time and relaxation. Hike Arenal’s 1.9-mile (3.1 km) hanging bridge trail, walk to the scenic La Fortuna waterfall, and hike on the Arenal Volcano at sunset. Spend the evening soaking in the hot springs, choosing between Baldi, Ecotermales, Kalambú, Paradise, Tabacón, The Springs, or Titokú, with a buffet dinner at the springs. All transport, entrance fees, lunch, and dinner are included.
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  • 1 day
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$160.16
From
US$160.16
Taking safety measures

Volunteer Program and Tour at Wildlife Rescue Center in Costa Rica

Volunteer Program and Tour at Wildlife Rescue Center in Costa Rica

star-5
Spend a half day learning about local wildlife and conservation during this once-in-a-lifetime Costa Rican volunteer opportunity. Enjoy the lush landscapes just outside La Fortuna and have the chance to  observe some of the country's most exotic species. Prepare food, and help maintain the grounds as you learn about local wildlife from area experts. This 3.5-hour tour of the property is sure to be a memorable part of any Costa Rican adventure!
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$58.00
From
US$58.00

Hiking Lovers (Hanging Bridges+ La Fortuna Waterfall Nature Hike+Volcano Hike)

Hiking Lovers (Hanging Bridges+ La Fortuna Waterfall Nature Hike+Volcano Hike)

star-5
Explore the wild beauty and rich biodiversity of Costa Rica’s famed Arenal region on this combo hiking and waterfall tour from La Fortuna. Trek along the different levels of hanging bridges in the rain forest at Mistico Park, and later take a short hike to reach the tropical cascade of La Fortuna Waterfall. Replenish your energy with a delicious Costa Rican lunch at a local restaurant.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$160.41
From
US$160.41
Taking safety measures

Arenal Hanging Bridges Hiking Tour

Arenal Hanging Bridges Hiking Tour

star-4.5
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
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$88.62
From
US$88.62
Taking safety measures

Day Trip to Caño Negro Including Río Frio Boat Experience from La Fortuna

Day Trip to Caño Negro Including Río Frio Boat Experience from La Fortuna

star-5
This well-rounded tour is the perfect way for nature lovers to experience the best of Costa Rica's outdoor beauty. Enjoy a scenic boated on the Rio Frio with departure near the border of Nicaragua. Cruise through the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge and see the incredible biodiversity that makes this nation to unique. You'll have up close encounters with birds, snakes, herons and other animals, as well as various species of monkeys and sloths.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$83.00
From
US$83.00

Nocturnal Walk in the Hanging Bridges

Nocturnal Walk in the Hanging Bridges

star-4.5
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
US$49.00
From
US$49.00


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