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Arenal and La Fortuna Costa Rica Vacation: Volcanoes, Hot Springs, Adventure Tours 

Discovering the Arenal – La Fortuna area of Costa Rica

The Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica lies just three miles (five kilometers) to the west of the town of La Fortuna. Currently dormant, the volcano was last active in 2010, and is one of seven historically active Costa Rican volcanoes along with Poás, Irazú, Miravalles, Orosí, Rincón de la Vieja, and Turrialba.

The volcano stands at a height of 5,358 feet (1,633 meters), has a crater which is 460 feet (140 meters) in diameter, and is considered to be a ‘young’ volcano, being no older than 7,500 years of age. Lying approximately 55 miles to the north-west of San José, the capita of Costa Rica, the Arenal volcano is at the heart of the Arenal Volcano National Park.

The Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna, Costa Rica lie in the heart of the country, approximately 80 miles equidistant from the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. As a consequence, vacation activities are based more on exploration and sightseeing – and trust us when we say there are so many fabulous things to see and do –  as opposed to sunbathing on a tropical shoreline sipping margaritas.

Hotels in Arenal and La Fortuna, Costa Rica

There is something quite magical about the prospect of looking out on a volcano from your bedroom window every morning when you wake up. The region offers accommodation raging from moderate lodges through to full-on luxury resorts, and everything in between, so all tastes and budgets can be catered for.

  • The Nayara Springs provides exclusivity as an adults-only boutique hotel with a fabulous open-ar spa, natural plunge pools and 16 private luxury villas, all set in the heart of stunning tropical rainforest
  • The Volcano Lodge and Springs offers fabulous views of the volcano, set amidst delightful tropical grounds with a sun-soaked terrace and pool where you can relax and enjoy a cool and refreshing drink
  • is almost like a world within a world. All guest rooms have stunning views of the volcano, plus there are four restaurants, including the Ginger Sushi Bar which has a global reputation. The grounds include 14 artesian hot springs, while the resort offers a spa and fitness center as well.

Click here for further details of these and other hotels in Arenal, Costa Rica.

It can be difficult to decide, from a distance, which hotel will best meet your requirements, which is why, at Costa Rica Rios, we are here to help you. We want your vacation to be stress-free from the moment you book it, not just when you arrive, so get in touch and let us help you create the perfect holiday in one of many, many stunning locations in Costa Rica.

Restaurants in and Around Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna, Costa Rica

As testament to the multicultural nature of Costa Rica, you’d be surprised at the variety of cuisine available in restaurants in La Fortuna and surrounding the Arena volcano. From local casados to Mexican tortillas, Italian pasta and pizza to outdoor barbecued steaks, seafood and sushi to tasty vegetarian food, the choice is a surprising as it is mouthwatering.

Soda Viquez provides a taste of local culture and food, has a very friendly atmosphere, and tangy tapica is a must-try. More of a café than a restaurant, Gecko’s Waterfall Grill has quesdillas and breakfast burritos, fabulous fresh smoothies, and a great range of artisanal beers. Lava Lounge is an open-air restaurant with pasta, pizza, wraps and a great choice of food for vegetarians. La Fortuna excels with local, typical Costa Rican food, as does Terra Mia, while Anch’io is a must-visit restaurant for those of you who are partial to Italian food. Kappa Sushi enjoys the benefits of having the sea on both sides of the country, while if you are someone who needs their coffee, then My Coffee La Fortuna is an oasis of caffeine heaven.

Things to do in and around Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna, Costa Rica

As you can imagine, much of the attraction of this part of Costa Rica is Arenal Volcano and Arenal Volcano National Park. There is no doubt that climbing the sides of a volcano that last erupted only eight years ago has to have that extra element of excitement and is guaranteed to get the adrenalin rushing through your bloodstream. With stunning verdant countryside surrounding you and a volcano that can only be described as awe-inspiring, exploring has to be top of everyone’s agenda.

How you set about exploring Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna depends on whether you have a head for heights or prefer walking to driving. The third option is to include one of the many varieties of tours in the area, from private tours of the volcano itself to a rainforest chocolate tour. The following are examples of what you can expect:

  • Three-stop hiking and bus tour taking in Arenal Volcano, cross 16 of the Mistico Hanging Bridges, and get the chance to go swimming at the base of the La Fortuna Waterfall
  • Half-day volunteering at the La Fortuna Wildlife Rescue Center. Learn about the wildlife that exists in the surrounding rain forest, prepare food for the animals, then get up close and personal with monkeys, exotic birds, hogs raccoons, caymans and many more animals
  • Two-hour chocolate tour setting off from La Fortuna. Discover all you need to learn about chocolate, from its production, through its history, its harvesting, and, of course, the sampling!

Either locally, or with transport provided from La Fortuna to the destination, the following activities are also available to you:

  • Forest canopy ziplining
  • White water rafting
  • Peñas Blancas River cruise
  • Trip to Tabacon hot springs, including dinner
  • Explore Caño Negro wetlands
  • 4WD, ATV and off-road tours
  • Fishing, kayaking and SUPing on Lake Arenal
  • Rainforest canopy tours
  • Rainforest tours taking in hanging bridges
  • Horseback riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Hot springs tours

If you want to ask any questions about any of the activities we have listed, or if you want to know if any other specific activities are available, please don’t hesitate to ask. At Costa Rica Rios, we are here to help you in any way we can.

Nightlife in and Around Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna

Chances are that after an action-packed day exploring all that the area of La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano has to offer, the prospect of visiting a late-night bar or nightclub isn’t going to be top of your list of priorities. That’s just as well as nightlife in this area consists mainly of eating out in one of a great choice of restaurants offering a variety of international cuisines, or visiting one of a number of bars located in and near to the central park. Lava Lounge tends to be the ‘in-place’ in La Fortuna, but after 9pm, it is fair to say that life quietens down, which is perfect for those who are looking to get away from it all and who want to enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere in the evenings.

La Fortuna Costa Rica Vacation

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