La Fortuna Domestic Airport, Alajuela

Nature Air plane with Arenal Volcano in the background
Nature Air plane with Arenal Volcano in the background
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La Fortuna Domestic Airport, which is also referred to as La Fortuna Arenal Airport, is a privately managed airstrip that provides daily flights from the capital city, San José, as well as from Quepos. The airport is located about two kilometers east of La Fortuna and currently provides an 800-meter gravel runway that is about 10 meters wide. It commonly serves small aircraft and sees less than 10,000 passengers per year.

The Arenal Volcano

Many visitors use the airport as their starting point to check out the colorful, interesting town of La Fortuna de San Carlos. The town shares its name with another town that is 70 kilometers away, but this one has the distinction of being in the Alajuela province and the Arenal Volcano area. Arenal Volcano was one of the area's most active volcanoes—in fact, it was the most active one in Costa Rica until December 2010, which is when it last erupted. Although it isn't currently erupting due to the chimney becoming blogged with volcanic matter, it is quite possible that the pressure will re-open the chimney or create a new one altogether. Even so, the area is well-monitored for safety and offers some of the most beautiful natural sights in the area.

A Place for Relaxation

You can’t visit La Fortuna de San Carlos unless you check out the Costa Rica hot springs. After a hike through a gorgeous rainforest, visitors come upon two of the area's most popular hot springs, Tenorio Volcano National Park and Rincon de la Vieja National Park. The natural heat sources warm the water and add healthy minerals to the hot springs. In addition to relaxing in the springs, visitors can also enjoy thermal spas and mud baths. Tabacon Hot Springs are also in the area. These relaxing springs are nestled among breathtaking waterfalls, rare orchids and other lush greenery to create the perfect background for relaxation, peace and quiet.

Other Attractions for You to Enjoy

La Fortuna de San Carlos provides a wide range of other activities for people to enjoy. Do you love to fish? Sport fishing in the area is some of the best in the country. Animal enthusiasts will love to spend hours watching for native birds or horseback riding through the rainforest. Water lovers will enjoy white water rafting, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing and many other activities in town. Tourists can even get a bird's eye view by visiting Costa Rica Sky Adventures. The adventure company features gondola views of the rainforest and lake, a zip-line tour of the area, sky trams, an ecological flag and even tours of the Arenal Volcano area. Be sure to stop at the company’s butterfly garden before you leave. In addition to learning about the life cycle and feeding habits of butterflies, guests of all ages can get up close and personal with a range of species, including morpho, monarch, caligo and heliconia. Guests will also learn more about nectaries and host plants. Don't forget to stop and check out La Catarata de la Fortuna, a gorgeous waterfall that is 70 meters high and creates a beautiful backdrop for photographs.

Getting There

Domestic flights via Nature Air are available from San Jose International Airport, which is just outside of Alajuela in downtown San Jose, on a daily basis. The 30-minute flight is not only affordable but provides an excellent aerial view of the area. Taxis are available outside of the airport to take you to your hotel or on another adventure.

While the easiest way to check out the area is by taking a flight from San Jose, not everybody likes to fly. If you'd still like to enjoy La Fortuna de San Carlos without flying into the area, land travel is available. In fact, you'll probably even see some gorgeous scenery during the drive.