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Best things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

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Where in the world: Central America  /  Costa Rica  /  Province of Alajuela  /  Arenal Volcano National Park  /  La Fortuna de San Carlos

Top 15 things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

1. Tabacon Hot Springs, La Fortuna

Soak in the volcanic surroundings at Tabacon Hot Springs, a spa resort in the heart of Costa Rica's rainforest. The five-star complex provides luxurious and relaxing experiences in a natural setting, right at the base of a mighty volcano that destroyed a nearby village in the 1960s. Dormant for the last few decades, the volcano now provides a scenic backdrop for five different hot springs, with temperatures ranging between 25 C (77 F) and 50 C (122 F). Naturally heated by the volcanic soil, a thermal river flows through the resort and forms several small waterfalls and swimming pools. Browse the website for one-day passes, special packages, and onsite accommodations.
Suggested duration: 4h 30 min
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2. Arenal Volcano, Arenal Volcano National Park

Arenal Volcano attracts nature lovers and adventurers with its lush scenery and wide range of outdoor activities. Hike through the jungle and on a lava flow trail, across hanging bridges and up the slope of the dormant volcano. The first recorded eruption occurred in 1968, when lava and ashes destroyed three little towns on its west side. The last explosion happened at the end of 2010. In the absence of spewing lava, get your adrenaline pumping with some waterfall rappelling or ziplining.
Suggested duration: 4h 30 min
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3. Ecotermales Fortuna

With only a hundred visitors allowed in at any given time, Ecotermales Fortuna offers a haven of rest and relaxation. The family-run hot springs complex boasts a number of pools with varying temperatures. Sit back and unwind in the warm mineral water, praised for its reinvigorating and wellness benefits. Enjoy the lush verdant scenery as you relax, have a delicious cocktail while soaking, then cool off under the freshwater cascade. After lounging in the pools, you can indulge in some traditional Costa Rican cuisine at the onsite restaurant.
Suggested duration: 3h 30 min
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4. River Rafting & Tubing

Plunge into the largely unexplored Costa Rican wilderness on a river rafting and tubing trip from La Fortuna de San Carlos. Equally appealing to both nature lovers and thrill seekers, this outdoor expedition allows you to take in impressive vistas of tropical greenery while looking out for sloths, toucans, and other rainforest residents lurking from the bushes. Whether you are an expert whitewater rafter or a total beginner, you'll easily find a tour that suits your skill level--from a scenic float with a chance for a swim, to a challenging decent on class V rapids. Most tours take 3 to 4 hours.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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5. Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

Suggested duration: 4 hours
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6. Lake Arenal

Costa Rica's largest lake, Lake Arenal encompasses about 85 sq km (32 sq mi). Originally much smaller, the lake tripled in size when a huge dam was built in the 1970s. Get on the water to admire the surrounding natural scenery, green undulating hills surrounding the deep blue lake, and the Arenal Volcano in the background. A windsurfing and sailboarding haven thanks to its constant winds, the lake offers numerous recreational activities. Take a boat tour and enjoy the picturesque landscape, go fishing for rainbow bass, rent a kayak, or explore the surroundings on bike, foot, or horseback.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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7. La Fortuna Waterfall

A short drive from town, La Fortuna Waterfall offers an idyllic place for swimming, picnicking, and relaxing. Fed by the Arenal River, which winds its way through the rainforest before plunging dramatically over a steep cliff, this waterfall forms a large pool at the base of a dormant volcano. Lifeguards remain on duty throughout the day, while modern facilities like restrooms and showers ensure a comfortable visit in a lush area noted for thick vegetation and abundant wildlife. Prepare for a short but arduous hike to the base of the waterfall by wearing shoes suitable for slippery and uneven terrain.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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8. Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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9. Baldi Hot Springs

Situated at the base of an imposing volcano and surrounded by the lush greenery of a tropical rainforest, Baldi Hot Springs features 25 thermal water pools with crystalline waterfalls. Soak in the pure, warm, mineral-rich water while listening to birds singing. A sports bar offers the experience of watching your favorite game surrounded by cascades. The pool area features a game park, including a special kid’s pool and a whirling bowl slide. Feel your adrenaline rising while sliding and bumping through the curved pipes. Be sure to check out the natural sauna nestled in a cave.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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10. Coffee & Tea Tours

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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11. Bogarin Trail

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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12. Food Tours

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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13. Proyecto Asis

Tour or participate in the conservation efforts at Proyecto Asis, a wildlife shelter and education center. Daily visits provide insight into the work necessary to nurture wounded and abandoned animals before they are reintroduced into the wild. You can make a significant contribution if you volunteer, getting up close and personal with the animals as you help make toys for them, build new enclosures, and help prepare their food. Call or check the website in advance, as prior reservations are required before visiting.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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14. Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park, Arenal Volcano National Park

Venture into the rainforest and stroll Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park, a series of suspension bridges overlooking the Arenal Volcano National Park. Take a guided tour or embark on the 3 km (1.8 mi) trail by yourself through 250 hectares (617 acres) of private rainforest reserve. Along the way, you'll cross fifteen bridges, six of which are hanging, and enjoy stunning views of the lush rainforest, the lake and waterfall, and even the Arenal Volcano. Wear comfortable shoes and prepare to spot many tropical birds, rare vegetation, lizards, and monkeys.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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Tours including Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park:

15. Arenal 1968 Volcano View & Trails

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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