La Fortuna de San Carlos, Alajuela

Often simply referred to as La Fortuna, the town of La Fortuna de San Carlos is the gateway to the magnificent Arenal Volcano.

Not to be confused with a town of the same name 70 km northwest of here, La Fortuna de San Carlos is located in Alajuela province, and connects the Arenal Volcano area with the cloud forests of Monteverde and Santa Elena and the northern lowlands of the country.

One of the Most Active Volcanoes

A charming and quiet town, La Fortuna is easily accessible from the capital city San Jose (about a 3 hour drive), and offers some panoramic views of the spectacular Arenal Volcano, until December 2010 it was Costa’s Rica’s most active volcano.

The volcano is about 10 kilometers away from town making it a beautiful sight from the town square. The volcano has not had any lava eruptions since December 2010 but it is still considered active.

It is now the #5 most active volcano in Costa Rica, behind Poás Volcano, Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, Turrialba Volcano and Irazú Volcano.

The main reason that Arenal Volcano has stopped erupting is that the chimney that the lava escaped from has been plugged up with volcanic matter.

It is very possible that pressure build up will re-open this chimney or a new chimney will be formed. Not to worry though Arenal Volcano is widely monitored for the safety of the surrounding area.

Best Spas in Costa Rica

Over the last few years in particular, La Fortuna has become quite a bustling town. However, there are plenty of accommodations, hotels and resorts here to suit every budget.

A must try when in La Fortuna are the amazing resort spas surrounding the volcano. When in town try and stay in the main plaza area, as the hotel rooms here offer some of the best views of the Arenal Volcano in the distance. On a clear day you can watch the volcano erupt with plums of smoke rising from the main crater.

Other Attractions

Beside the volcano, this town has other great tourist attractions like the La Catarata de la Fortuna or the La Fortuna Waterfall, a breathtakingly beautiful waterfall that falls from a dizzying height of 70 meters. A stunning sight to see and a lovely short trek away, this beautiful waterfall makes for a picture perfect moment.

Another key attraction nearby are the numerous beautiful and relaxing hot springs. Topping the list are Tabacón Hot Springs, Baldi Hot Springs & the hot springs at The Springs Resort. Where one can go to relax and unwind after a long tiring vacation.

Our favorite is the Tabacón Hot Springs. They are set amidst stunning lush greenery, rare orchids and superb waterfalls. The Tabacón Hot Springs is among the many here that offer the ultimate indulgence for those who just want some peace and quiet.

For the more outdoorsy person, this region of the country has plenty to offer. White water rafting, hiking excursions, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, horseback riding, canopy tours and Caño Negro Boat Tours are just some of the many activities that one can enjoy while you are here.

Costa Rica Cloud Forest & Arenal Volcano Tour
6 Days / 5 Nights
Starting at $778 per person
Costa Rica Eco-Adventure Tour
12 Days / 11 Nights or 10 Days / 9 Nights
Starting at $2,352 per person
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