The Springs Resort & Spa At Arenal
Aptly named for its 28 mineral hot springs, The Springs Resort & Spa at Arenal is an enormous Costa Rican playground of thermal pools, rooms, amenities, and meeting spaces stretching across 165 acres next to the volcano. Attracting a mix of families, couples, celebs, and business travelers, the resort has 74 rooms on the property the highest tier is villas modeled after Swiss ski chalets and equipped with their own golf carts. All rooms have a rustic-luxe motif with wood, bamboo, and wicker accents, plus big marble bathrooms with jetted tubs. The best part: Each unit has a spacious furnished outdoor space with volcano views, which, on a clear day, is a sight to behold.
Of course, the onsite hot springs are the main draw, with multiple pools ranging from 83 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit situated on a volcano-facing slope surrounded by greenery. You don’t even need to leave the property, thanks to its five bars and five restaurants, including a sports bar, sushi restaurant, and fine dining options. Theres also a 14,000-square-foot fitness center, including a rock-climbing wall and rafting and inner-tubing on the hotel’s private stretch of the class-3 Arenal River.
How To Get Aroundla Fortuna Costa Rica
You can easily walk around La Fortuna since the town is not big. The main bus station is in downtown next to the Mega Super and you buy bus tickets at the Red Lava stand next to it.
However, the best and easiest way to get around the area is by car since the points of interests all spread out without a direct public bus or shuttle. Therefore, you will have to taxi everywhere or book tours with transportation if you dont have a car.
You can find plenty of red taxis in La Fortuna. Estimated prices are from town center to Fortuna waterfall, at least $15 USD one way and at least $20 USD to the national park one way.
If you rent a car, there is plenty of street parking in the town center but it can be tight on the weekends. Be aware that there arent any parking meters or dedicated secure parking lots, its all street parking so be cautious not to leave any valuables in your car.
There is a gas station in downtown.You can also rent scooters, there are rentals for $5 per hour, $25 for 6 hours and $40 USD per 24 hours. There are scooters by Hotel Regina and in Downtown La Fortuna Boutique Hotel.
Uber is in La Fortuna and you can find Ubers in downtown. We have known people to book Uber from La Fortuna to San Jose.
Cahuita Where To Stay In Costa Rica For True Caribbean Flavor
Costa Rica is blessed with two coastlines: One faces the Pacific Ocean and the other is located along the Caribbean Sea. Cahuita is part of the latter, and it exudes true Caribbean flavor.
Located in the province of Limon, Cahuita is home to a pristine coral reef park and nature preserve where you can appreciate everything from sloths to monkeys and from reef sharks to stingrays.
Cahuita is a premier destination for cruise ship passengers who disembark at the port terminal in nearby Limon.
The distinct and relaxed Caribbean atmosphere makes this coastal town irresistible the friendly locals speak Spanish and English along with the regional Mekatelyu variant of creole English.
This is a place where you can enjoy delicious Afro-Caribbean cuisine, surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and nature.
Aside from the large national park, Cahuita counts with Playa Negra as one of its main attractions. This idyllic black-sand beach is perfect to visit during the dry season months, which unfold opposite to the green season elsewhere in the country.
Some tourists take advantage of their visit to schedule a trip to Bocas del Toro, a Caribbean island right across the border in Panama, where there are even more beaches and nature preserves to explore.
When you choose Cahuita as your main spot to stay in Costa Rica, you will be able to visit the Tree of Life wildlife rehabilitation center and botanical gardens. Dont miss the butterfly sanctuary or the guided tours into the tropical forest.
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La Casa De La Hormiga
This is one of the best sodas in town, recommended to us many times over by locals. Sodas in Costa Rica are cheaper restaurants that serve local food. Here you can delicious local dishes like casado rice with beans plantains and salad and Gallo pinto rice mixed with beans normally served at breakfast. Costa Rican food is quite vegan friendly and this is one of the best places in La Fortuna to try some local flavours.
Activities In La Fortuna
One of the reasons for La Fortunas popularity is the plethora of activities. You can do almost all of the quintessential Costa Rica adventure tours out of La Fortuna. You can explore the rainforest canopy on a hanging bridge, fly through the sky on a zip line, rappel down waterfalls, and splash down a churning river on a whitewater raft. With all of the choices, it can be hard to know where to start.
Heres a list of some of our favorite attractions that are totally unique to this area of the country.
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La Fortuna Costa Rica Travel Guide: Top Hotels + Things To Do In La Fortuna
La Fortuna, Costa Rica is the adventure capital of the country. With an abundance of amazing things to do in La Fortuna including epic waterfalls, volcano treks, hanging bridges and thermal hot springs, I guarantee, you will never want to leave. Plus, the stunning La Fortuna hotels and hot springs resorts are something to write home about.
During my two weeks in the Arenal Volcano region, I did all of the top things to do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica.
I stood in front of the thunderous La Fortuna waterfall, strolled across the Mistico hanging bridges, indulged in a few of the besthot springsin Costa Rica, day tripped to the stunningly blue Rio Celeste waterfall, hiked in the Arenal Volcano National Park and spotted the cutest Costa Rica sloths.
And, of course, I spoiled myself with delicious chocolate on the top chocolate tour in Costa Rica. I have to say, La Fortuna is rich with amazing activities. For all of you adrenaline-loving folks, the best canyoning, white water rafting and ziplining in the country can be found here, too.
*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.
With the town of La Fortuna at its core, you can find beautiful resorts and fincas all over the countryside of the Arenal Volcano region. Some of the top La Fortuna hotels and Arenal hotels will come with their very own hot springs.
Baldi Hot Springs Hotel Resort & Spa
If your family prefers a livelier experience, consider staying at Baldi Hot Springs Hotel Resort & Spa. The resort has 25 mineral pools certified by the National Water Laboratory, with each thermal hot spring featuring a different theme and temperature . The pools are open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with one option available 24/7 for hotel guests.
With so many different pools, amenities, play areas, waterslides, colorful lighting, swim-up bars, and expansive grounds, Baldi can feel more like an attraction than a Costa Rican hotel. Families with kids will surely appreciate the high energy and long list of entertainment. However, you can still find a pocket of quiet by walking along the winding paths and choosing a pool with a more mellow vibe.
At Baldi Hot Springs Hotel Resort & Spa, you can choose from three categories of rooms, but all feel a little dated, especially the standard rooms. If your budget allows, we recommend upgrading to a Junior Suite, which is much more spacious , more comfortable, and will let you enjoy the propertys essence with a balcony or terrace. All rooms have air conditioning, cable TV, and minibars, while deluxe rooms, superior rooms, and suites add outdoor patios or balconies. Learn more
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Where To Stay In La Fortuna
The best hotels in La Fortuna are actually located in the area of La Fortuna and not in the town itself. If you have a car Id highly recommend taking advantage of this staying in one of the best places outside town and driving to town for meals/services.
Its also worth noting that many of the most famous, luxury hotels also have their own hot springs and if youre coming to La Fortuna with visiting hot springs on your bucket list I highly recommend these hotels as youll be able to use their facilities for free. Tabacon Hotel and Spa and The Springs are the two best hotels in the area with their own hot springs and while you can visit for a day, it might be worth actually staying here where you can really make the most of their facilities.
If youre on a budget or you dont have a car, it might be easier to stay in a hotel in La Fortuna itself for ease of booking tours and going out to local restaurants.
Loma Real Hotel And Hot Springs
- Location: 3 km from Arenal Natura Ecological Park
- Price: from $100 per night
- Best for: Cheap hot springs exclusive to hotel guests
Loma Real Hotel and Hotsprings is one of the properties in La Fortuna that only offers its hot springs to guests. The hot springs themselves are pretty basic, with a few tropical plants surrounding them. Apart from hanging out in the hot springs, you can also stroll in the garden while admiring the majestic view of the Arenal Volcano in the distance.
A continental or à la carte breakfast is available at the Loma Real Hotel & Hotsprings. When staying here, youll have a room with a private bathroom, a flat-screen TV, and a terrace with a garden view.
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Amazing Cabin With Phenomenal Views
This rustic Costa Rican cabin it located within a private property and it features 1 bedroom with a double bed, 1 bunk bed, and in the living room there is a small sofa. The hosts provide everything you need such as A/C, Smart tv, WIFI, Stove, Hair Dryer, Iron, fridge, washing machine.
The house is just 5 minutes from the springs resort and spa and 15 minutes from La Fortuna town and the free hot springs river called Chollin.
Due to its secluded location, which offers a lot of privacy, this cabin is also a perfect place to stay for a honeymoon in Costa Rica.
Trip Report: La Fortuna And Dominical In The Rain
Husband, two adult sons and I spent 9 days in beautiful Costa Rica this June/July. Hope this report helps others planning trips.
Tuesday: We had a late-arriving flight, and it took about two hours from wheels-down to when we got to the Holiday Inn Express Airport for the night. The hotel shuttle scene is a little chaotic outside the airport – no clearly marked area where to wait, but we just happened to hear a guy yelling out the name of our hotel. I recommend the HI Express for anyone looking for someplace clean, close and convenient. The free breakfast in the morning is extensive and delicious, especially the mounds of fresh fruit!
Thursday: After the 2 coffee snobs in our family decided the hotel’s coffee was not adequate, walked to Red Frog for real coffee and breakfast. The owner is so friendly and welcoming, and they ended up walking there for coffee every morning we were in La Fortuna. Went ziplining at Arenal Mundo Aventura, opting for the 12 lines, which I’m glad we did because the lines with the coolest views weren’t included in the 7-line option. It was cloudy when we went, but still breathtaking, so I’m sure it would be more so if it was clear. After ziplining, went to North Fields Coffee for a tour, which we thought was very enjoyable and informative. Late lunch/early dinner at Pizza La Cava. Very good pizza, and I really enjoyed my Tico Mojito
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How Clean Is Rio Fortuna
I’ve read a lot about how clean the tap water in Costa Rica is, and have even seen some people drinking directly out of streams and rivers . I jumped into El Salto the other day in La Fortuna and accidentally swallowed two big gulps of water. Back home, this would make me very sick.
Should I be worried about getting sick from a couple gulps of river water in Costa Rica or is the river water pretty parasite-free? It’s also bright blue water so I’m wondering if there are minerals I should be worried about. I started feeling bloated right after it happened but that could be paranoia
7 replies to this topic
You cannot tell from the appearance of water if there are parasites or microbes in it. I know people who have suffered from Giardia infections, for example, from drinking crystal clear stream water in the U.S.. That being said, it’s never a given that you will get sick from a few gulps. Your body has mechanisms for eliminating microbes.
There’s nothing you can do other than relax at this point. If you develop GI symptoms in the coming weeks it will be wise to seek medical care. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that your immune system did it’s job.
If you are talking about the pond by LA Fortuna water fall…the water is from a natural spring…hard to immposible to even guess if the water is 100% potable
Regarding our drinking water…at home…we like it and we truste it …taste good and so far is good I have been drinking it for more than 60 years and I etill here LOL
Retreats Outside Of La Fortuna
Staying in-town seems like such a great option that you may be wondering why you would even want to venture further out. If you just want to take things slow and have a moment of solitude, then a remote location is ideal. You can still book transportation to all of the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal activities you want to take part in, but also enjoy the tranquility of nature. Plenty of outdoor space means the children can roam around and play outside.
Stroll through beautifully landscaped gardens and trails. Birdwatch from the grounds of your hotel. Book the most eco-friendly adventure of your life when you stay at ecolodges that produce their own food, are home to sloths, and practice sustainability. Wouldnt it be amazing to catch glimpses of tree dwelling creatures as you enjoy your morning coffee? Imagine falling asleep to the gentle rustle of forest dwelling creatures after youve spent the entire day unplugged.
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Hotel Vista Del Cerro
Hotel Vista del Cerro sits west of downtown La Fortuna along Road 142.Approximate drive time from downtown La Fortuna to Hotel Vista del Cerro: 3 minutes
Great for budget-minded travelers is Hotel Vista del Cerro, an affordable, two-story, motel-style hotel thats refreshingly plain and simple. You wont find much inside the rooms here, save for a bed, television, and bathroom, or outside of the rooms beyond the small reception and a swimming pool, but the fair price reflects this. Breakfast is included in the nightly rate its served at the small, traditional restaurant next door.
What we love best: This hotel is suitable for visitors without a rental car. It sits on the outskirts of downtown La Fortuna but remains within walking distance . If youd prefer not to walk into town, several restaurants are within steps of the hotel.
Tip: The view of the volcano isnt ideal from the rooms, but you can get a wide-open shot if you look west up Road 142 just beyond the reception.
Choose Hotel Vista del Cerro if you want to stay at a place thats within walking distance of downtown La Fortuna but isnt set in the heart of the bustling town.
I Love The Fortuna Area Very Much The Town Is Lovely And
I love the Fortuna area very much, the town is lovely, and the people are extremely helpful. The area feels safe and there is someone always willing to help. Don’t forget to tip those working out there as they do watch out for travelers. There are various restaurants and shops in town. Feel free to walk with no worries. There is Free Thermal River after the tabacoon hotel resort that you can go into with amazing warm mineral water’s best part is Free! and you can jump from one location to the next is called El Chollin La fortuna make sure check it out.
Lost Iguana Resort & Spa
Lost Iguana is a more affordable high-end resort in the Arenal area. The resort is located outside town near Mistico Hanging Bridges and has nice views of the volcano. With romantic suites as well as rooms that can be connected, it is a good option for both couples and families. The property is built into the hillside and has two pools, one regular and one heated . Because this option is well outside town, it is best with a rental car. $175-500, double occupancy. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Two Weeks In Costa Rica
La Fortuna is a destination for almost every type of traveler. It offers a huge selection of lodging that ranges from budget-friendly hostels to mid-range hotels with volcano views all the way up to the most luxurious resorts. In this guide, well help you narrow down the list and give you our insider tips on where to stay in La Fortuna/Arenal. Our recommendations are listed from budget to high end, and we made sure to note their location.
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