La Fortuna, Costa Rica| Excursions Tips

La Fortuna, Costa Rica| Excursions Tips

Part 2

I felt like I needed to add this extra part to my blog on La Fortuna because we did a lot here and I wanted to share my best excursions tips to La Fortuna.

What:

We decided not to go into the national park but to visit the 1968 Lava Trails. Located on the opposite side of the volcano that you can see from La Fortuna. This is the side that the lava cascaded down ‘slowly’ when it erupted in 1968. You can see the obvious difference between the sides of the volcano, one lush with greenery and the other dead and blackened.

Where:

The trails are located down the same road as the entrance to the national park, but it’s the first entrance on your left. We managed to get a shuttle service to the park. Our hostel receptionist informed us that there was a daily shuttle service. Picking up from Supermercado Cristian #1 in town. We caught the bus which departed around 12:30, there were only a few other times in the morning and afternoon. Beware you need to time your return bus back again as there are not many times to choose from!

Why:

The trails have been well maintained and capture the devastation that the eruption caused. You start off wandering through the lush green areas. Filled with fruit and vegetable plants growing freely. Then you walk past the naturally formed lake that the lava created. Eventually you walk into a completely different world. Black ash like boulders scatter the ground and create an up hill trek on uneven ground through a dense vine forest. Entering a moon like landscape where hardly any plants grow. There are two different trails you can take to reach the main viewpoint up on the hill. The Bosque trail that is 3 miles long. The shorter trail named the Colada trail that is 2.4 miles. Claiming to have the best views of the deeply engraved lava trails on the volcano.

The site has toilets, a bar and a beautiful seating area where you have a panoramic view of the volcano all the way around to the Arenal Lake, this is near the entrance of the park. There are also hiking sticks at the entrance, which you are free to use.

Tip: If you are a keen mountain biker there are various long trails located just across the road a little that are also owned by the 1968 Lava Trails.

Cost:

USD10.00-12.00pp entrance fee

USD4.00pp shuttle service from town to park (one way)


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What: 

Mistico Hanging Bridges are a very popular attraction in this area. If you want to get up close and personal with nature, and are not afraid of heights this is perfect for you. This very well maintained privately own piece of forest has been transformed into a tourist attraction. Enabling everyone to understand and learn about the amazing nature of this country. Walk across the famous hanging bridges, swaying slightly, making you feel like you’re on top of the world! Well almost, if you have been zip lining over the forest treetops then nothing can ‘top’ that.

Where:

The bridges are found at the opposite end of the dam. Where you would have disembarked the boat and got on your minibus to town. It is a 40 minute journey out of town. You will unfortunately have to either rent a car or buy a transfer from a company in town. Taxis tend to be the most expensive form of transport. We went to town and booked transport with Mistico travel agency, as we already had park tickets. Otherwise you can buy your transport when you buy a package deal with your entrance tickets from one of the companies.

Why:

If you love nature this is for you! I would recommend getting a guide here and the guides are fantastic because they really make your visit worth it. They spot wildlife and talk you through the whole experience. The bridges themselves are impressive and give you a chance to see the forest from an animal’s point of view up in the trees.

Remember: You need to wear closed toed shoes at the park otherwise they will not let you in!

Cost:

USD24.00pp unguided

USD36.00 guided walk, with binoculars and guide.

USD18.00pp return transfer from hotel to park booked with Mistico


Mistico Hanging Bridge Park La Fortuna
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What: 

We then decided to experience the park’s newest attraction, Zorbing!This is still a fairly new excursion and it is still being developed as far as we were told.

Where:

Located at the same location as the Mistico Park but down the road slightly,

Why:

It’s fun, I had never done it before and was unsure. I decided to give it a go and I’m glad I did! It is more an activity for the younger person due to having to climb into the ball and crawl around on the floor to get back out. You will get wet! There are showers and changing facilities down at the bottom of the hill as well as lockers.

Cost:

USD35.00pp


What:

Eco Termales Hot Springs, one of the many hot springs that you can visit whilst in La Fortuna thanks to the volcano. They can be expensive, but they are a very popular attraction. Ecotermales especially, is a beautiful hot spring. You can see where the natural hot spring has sprung up from the ground right at the top of the first pool. Then man made descending pools have been created and right at the bottom of the pools the hot springs run out of the last pool and carries on it’s journey down stream into the jungle.

Where:

Most of the hot springs are found along the main road from the national park and town. Nestled amongst the posh and expensive hotels, you will almost certainly need your own transport to get here or a taxi, unless you have booked tickets with a transfer included.

Why:

Because everyone deserves some relaxation time. Ecotermales has time slots of 4 hours each in which you need to book in advance. I would recommend coming here for the evening slot, so you can see the whole site in daylight and then relax as the sun goes down. You can also see some wildlife here if you are lucky. I spotted a toucan in the trees at dusk. There are ample lockers here and the changing rooms are well maintained. There is also a restaurant for when you have finished your bathing session and a pool bar, which do the best strawberry smoothie you will ever taste!

Cost:

USD36.00pp entrance fee only

USD55.00pp entrance fee plus lunch or dinner

USD4.00pp taxi back to central park (two sharing a taxi)


Eco Thermales La Fortuna
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What:

La Fortuna Catarata (Cascada or Waterfall). I love waterfalls and so it was a must to visit at least one on our trip, so on the Sunday we thought we would go and spend the day by the waterfall, relaxing, taking a dip and sunbathing.

Where:

The waterfalls are located just outside of town, we got a taxi here. Probably the easiest way and because it is not too far it won’t cost you too much. You can also get excursions here where you can ride up to the entrance on horseback.

Why:

You have to pay to get into this waterfall, which may seem odd but it is worth it and all profits go to conserving the area. You will have a steep journey down to the waterfall via around 500 steps. Which have recently been re-built. The waterfall is huge and fierce; you can take a dip in the pool below it. There are also huge rocks scattered in the middle of the river around the corner. We sunbathed on them, as it was a perfect spot. Across the river there is a forest trail where you can hike. We went only so far and came to a hanging jungle bridge. Unsure whether it was safe to cross we eventually crossed it one by one, and carried on our hike. The trail went on for ages so we decided to turn back so I don’t know how far it goes…

Cost:

USD12.00pp entrance fee

USD8.00pp for a return journey from our hotel to the waterfall entrance (two people sharing)


Cascada La Fortuna
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