the shadow of the towering Arenal Volcano is La Fortuna, one of the major cities of Costa Rica.
La Fortuna is jumping off point for tourists who want
to explore the Alajuela province of northern Costa
Rica. Dams, bridges, Tabacon Hot springs, waterfalls,
and the classic Costa Rica canopy tour all lie within
easy reach of this town.
There are things to do within the town itself, so its
worth exploring for a couple days before you set off to
the adventures further west and to the south, such as
the Nicoya Peninsula and the Monteverde Cloud
Forest. Next to the bullring, there is a farmers market
every Friday afternoon. This indoor salon is where locals
come to buy herbs, meat, cheeses, baked goods and fresh
fruits and vegetables. Overall, La Fortuna Costa Rica
a relaxed friendly town, a place where the locals will
flag you down as you drive past to let you know the road
ahead is washed out, and where the main events are the
religious processions and a two week festival that takes
place every February.
To the north and east of La Fortuna Costa Rica is an
observatory at Los Lagos where you can see the red glow
of the Arenal Volcano clearly. Crater C is the most active
on Arenal, so at this lookout point to the north of the
volcano it looks like the lava is headed right towards
you. Further to the west is the Arenal National park,
which is on the edge of Lake Arenal. Hanging bridges,
the Arenal Dam, the sky tram, and the botanical garden
are all other sights that make La Fortuna what it is.
You will likely see nighttime lava flows and smoke rising
from nearby Arenal, inspiring you to find a company that
can arrange an excursion for you. Guided Costa Rica tours
are an informative and relaxed way to learn about this
country rich in natural treasures.
Being set at a high elevation, other geological wonders
can be found around La Fortuna, like the waterfall, which
is just a few miles south of the city and can be easily
reached on foot.
The Venado caves, also south of La Fortuna, Costa Rica
should always be explored with a guide, even though you
are free to enter them alone. The cool temperatures are
created by the lack of sunlight combined with the ever-present
water that flows through them. Bats and spiders live in
the caves, but these are negligible hazards compared to
the high waters that fills the caves during the rainy
season, when visitors should avoid the caves altogether.
Take a one-hour drive south of Fortuna and you will reach
the small village of Venado, about 7km south of La Fortuna.
Follow the signs to the caves, which are located on private
property. Obtain permission and pay a small entrance free
to be admitted to the caves.
La Fortuna is at the heart of some of Costa Rica's most
rugged and scenic terrain. You could easily arrive with
no plans yet suddenly find yourself overwhelmed at the
possibilities, which lie in every direction. You'll see just what makes this one
of the major cities of Costa Rica.