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Things to Do in La Fortuna

Its close proximity to Volcan Arenal—one of the top 20 most active volcanoes in the world—has kept the quaint town of La Fortuna ranked high among the most popular destinations for travelers venturing into the Costa Rican countryside. Its picturesque hillside, epic views of Volcan Arenal and much-storied history of narrowly avoiding total demise during a major eruption in the 1960s are all just part of what lends this tiny city its charm.

While both Arenal and Arenal Volcano National Park are responsible for attracting the majority of visitors who come to La Fortuna, travelers say La Catarata de la Fortuna—an impressive natural waterfall—and the town’s close proximity to adventurous day trips like zip-lining and cavern tours make it an ideal stopping point for those looking for a Costa Rican experience that’s anything but urban.
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Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
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The 16 hanging bridges that line the paths of Costa Rica’s Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park stretch a total of 1.6 miles (2.6 kilometers) across the steep landscape. See the birds, monkeys, sloths, snakes, and frogs that call the forest canopy home by ascending these spans, suspended above gorges and stretched across jungle floors.

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La Fortuna Waterfall
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La Fortuna Waterfall cascades 200 feet (61 meters) down the sheer cliff face of Cerro Chato, the Arenal Volcano’s dormant and thickly forested twin. One of the most impressive and accessible waterfalls in Costa Rica, La Fortuna is a great place to picnic, swim, and photograph the waterfall’s perpetual mists and nearby exotic vegetation.

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Tabacon Hot Springs
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Tumbling waterfalls, luxury spa and dining options, and the dramatic backdrop of Arenal Volcano set Tabacon Hot Springs apart from Costa Rica’s many thermal springs. Numerous pools dotting the Tabacon River create a completely natural hot spring experience on a private rain forest reserve, perfect for a day of pure relaxation.

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Venado Caves (Cavernas de Venado)
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These ancient caves were carved by tectonic movement and water currents passing over limestone for millions of years. Inside this deep network of tunnels, visitors will find stalactites, stalagmites, rock formations, and subterranean rivers and caverns. There’s also a chance to spot wildlife, including bats, fish, insects, and frogs.

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Proyecto Asis Wildlife Rescue Center
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Proyecto Asis is a wildlife rescue center focused on the protection and rehabilitation of native animals. Visitors can tour the facilities, take Spanish classes, or volunteer to help care for the animals, whose natural habitats are often threatened by expanding development in the region.

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Los Laureles Hot Springs (Termales Los Laureles)
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The hot springs of Termales Los Laureles offer visitors a relaxing experience surrounded by tropical forest. The complex, which comprises thermal baths and cold pools accessible by water slide, is a cost-effective alternative to the more expensive hot springs of Monteverde. Plus, you can see Arenal Volcano from the baths.

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Butterfly Conservatory
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Nestled in the rainforest of northern Costa Rica, the Butterfly Conservatory lets visitors discover diverse butterflies and flowers via a network of trails and gardens. Dedicated to the preservation of butterflies and other tropical rainforest species, the conservatory has a learning center and educational exhibits.

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Kalambu Hot Springs Water Park

A relaxing visit to the local hot springs in the uplands of La Fortuna is a must, and Kalambu Hot Springs Water Park offers the chance not only to sit and soak, but also to have some wet and wild fun. Visitors can relax in thermally heated pools near the base of the Arenal Volcano, while enjoying the thrills you’d expect at a modern waterpark.

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Arenal Observatory Lodge and Spa

Far from the tourist center of La Fortuna, the village of El Castillo offers a more secluded place to view Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano. Arenal Observatory Lodge and Spa, one of the few hotels on this side of the mountain, offers impressive views of the volcano, plus well-maintained hiking, horseback riding, and mountain-biking trails.

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