Recommended Activities in La Fortuna by Local Experts

Discover La Fortuna, a charming destination in the heart of Costa Rica, where locals take pride in their culture and the beauty of their surroundings. If you’re after genuine experiences, consider exploring this list of recommended La Fortuna activities, straight from the locals. 

Traveling from San Jose to La Fortuna? Learn everything there's to know about Costa Rica's adventure capital!

Local Celebrations

As you explore La Fortuna, experience the vibrant local celebrations that add a unique flair to the town, especially in December.

The ADIFORT (Association of Development of Fortuna) gatherings and Banda Comunal presentations are notable events to look out for. You won’t want to miss these, as they provide insight into the rich and diverse community’s culture.

Christmas lights at La Fortuna Park

Experience the festive glow at La Fortuna Park as it lights up for the holiday season. As night falls, the park transforms with a dazzling display of Christmas lights, creating a warm and festive atmosphere. Join the community as they gather to welcome Christmas, enjoying the illuminated park in all its seasonal splendor.

Christmas parade with Banda Comunal La Fortuna

Get ready for a lively Christmas parade featuring the upbeat tunes of Banda Comunal La Fortuna. Formed in 2010, this community band adds a musical vibe to La Fortuna. They’ve been creating a musical space for everyone to enjoy, and you’re invited to join the festive atmosphere as they march through the streets, spreading holiday cheer.

Welcome to La Fortuna 2024

Take part in the excitement as La Fortuna gets ready to welcome 2024! It’s a community celebration where everyone comes together to celebrate the New Year with energy and enthusiasm. Be part of the festive atmosphere, experience the local traditions, and kick off the year living up to the Costa Rican style.

Enjoy Local Products

Discover the true taste of La Fortuna by trying local products that reflect Costa Rican culture, including fresh fruits, organic food, and handmade crafts. Take the chance to check out the local fairs, especially on Fridays, where you can find various goods that showcase our community’s offerings.

Fresh produce from local markets

La Fortuna’s local markets offer a variety of fresh, tropical fruits like pineapples, mangoes, and avocados. These locally grown goodies provide a genuine taste of Costa Rica’s agricultural richness. Take this opportunity to engage with vendors, ask for recommendations, and enjoy each week’s culinary journey unfolding.

Handmade souvenirs from local artisans

Explore the local markets to find handmade crafts created by talented artisans. Whether it’s pottery or textiles, these unique souvenirs highlight the artistic skills of La Fortuna’s locals. Take home a piece of the town’s creativity while supporting local artisans.

Comida de turno, typical Costa Rican cuisine

There’s no doubt that traveling to Costa Rica is an unforgettable experience. Exploring nature, getting to know the culture, relaxing on pristine beaches with family and friends, and, above all, savoring the local cuisine, which is primarily based on dishes made with corn, rice, beans, and tropical fruits. 

There’s also a variety of animal protein and vegetables, making local preparations quite generous. In the “de turno” kitchen, flavors from the past converge, and communal pots are seasoned with select ingredients, highlighting the intercultural contribution and collective enjoyment.

During the local fair, you can taste typical dishes from the area, such as casado, olla de carne, rice with chicken, and desserts like rice pudding and cajetas (made from coconut).

Get a real sense of the local culture by visiting the local fairs!

Savor a Copo in the Park

If you’re in the area, there’s one local treat you don’t want to miss: the “Copo” experience in the park. Wondering why? First, La Fortuna can get pretty warm, and a Copo is the perfect refreshment to cool you down. This local specialty is a delightful mix of shaved ice and fruity flavors, creating a refreshing and satisfying treat, especially on a sunny day.

Moreover, Copos is a favorite Costa Rican treat, and indulging in one allows you to savor the authentic taste locals have enjoyed for generations.

Lastly, enjoying a Copo in the park adds a special touch to the experience. The laid-back atmosphere, shaded areas, and the company of locals create a unique environment. It’s a chance to take a break, soak in the surroundings, and truly embrace the local lifestyle.

Dining at Local Sodas

One of the most enriching experiences in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, is dining at local sodas.

Sodas are renowned for serving authentic Costa Rican dishes prepared with local ingredients. If you want to truly taste the area’s essence, sodas are your ticket to savoring the authentic flavors of Costa Rican cuisine.

Sodas offer a cozy, home-cooked ambiance. Unlike upscale restaurants, sodas provide a genuine setting, making you feel like you’re enjoying a meal in the heart of a local family kitchen.

Moreover, sodas offer wallet-friendly menus without compromising on taste, making them an excellent choice for travelers on a budget.

Unwinding at Chollin’s Hot Springs

Chollin’s is a local favorite, providing an authentic experience away from the commercialized hot springs. This is an excellent opportunity to engage with friendly locals who frequent the spot, adding a touch of genuine Costa Rican hospitality to your relaxation.

This place is surrounded by verdant foliage and the sights and sounds of nature; it’s a tranquil escape where you can unwind amidst the beauty of Costa Rica. The best part is that it’s free! 

If you’ve decided to visit these or other natural hot springs, go during off-peak hours, bring comfortable clothing, and respect nature.

Elevate your travel experience by spending days at Central America's amazing hot springs.

Visiting La Fortuna Waterfall

A visit to La Fortuna Waterfall is a must on your itinerary. This majestic cascade sets against a backdrop of lush greenery, creating a picturesque scene perfect for nature and photography enthusiasts alike.

At the base of the waterfall, there is a pristine natural pool. You can take a refreshing dip in its cool waters. It’s an ideal spot to cool off, especially after a hike to the falls.

La Fortuna Waterfall is managed by the local association, with all proceeds directed towards the well-being of the local community and surrounding areas and ongoing infrastructure improvements.

The journey to La Fortuna Waterfall involves a scenic hike through the rainforest. As you traverse the well-maintained trail, you’ll be treated to glimpses of Costa Rica’s diverse flora and fauna. Remember to wear comfortable footwear, bring swimwear, and stay hydrated.

If La Fortuna Waterfall is a destination you’d like to discover, book our 8-Hour Hanging Bridges & Waterfall Tour in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. At Find My Costa Rica, we take you to the hanging bridges, the impressive La Fortuna waterfall, and a one-of-a-kind cooking experience. Contact us today to get more details about our tour.

Relaxing at Posa El Salto on the Fortuna River

If you’re searching for a tranquil haven in La Fortuna, Posa El Salto on the Fortuna River is the perfect spot to unwind.

Posa El Salto is known for its secluded, tranquil setting with free entrance. This is a favorite destination because it helps escape the hustle and bustle of touristy spots and find solace in the peaceful embrace of nature.

While here, remember to disconnect, recharge, and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of Costa Rica’s riverside tranquility.

Nightlife Spots

La Fortuna, Costa Rica, may be renowned for its natural beauty, but it also offers a lively nightlife scene. These are some of the best nightlife spots to explore in this vibrant town:

Lava Lounge Bar

Lava Lounge Bar is synonymous with a relaxed atmosphere and live music that sets the perfect tone for an evening out. The bar is renowned for its extensive and creative cocktail menu.

The ambiance at Lava Lounge strikes a balance between casual and welcoming. To keep things exciting, Lava Lounge frequently hosts events and theme nights. A great tip is to check the schedule to catch special performances or join in on themed celebrations.

Amsterdam The Club

For those in the mood for dancing and upbeat tunes, Amsterdam The Club is the go-to destination. The DJ keeps the energy high, and the dance floor is always buzzing.

The club’s vibrant and colorful ambiance adds to the overall experience. Neon lights, dance floor effects, and a lively crowd create a visually appealing setting. It’s a great place to experience Costa Rican nightlife at its fullest.

La Fortuna Pub

Fortuna Pub is known for its laid-back and friendly atmosphere, making it an ideal spot to unwind after a day of exploration. It offers a diverse selection of local and international beers, making it a haven for beer enthusiasts.

It often features live music, including special nights with open mic sessions. Furthermore, if you’re seeking a bit of friendly competition, Fortuna Pub provides billiards and other games.

Immerse yourself in the thrill of La Fortuna's nightlife!

Famous Restaurants and Food Specialties

La Fortuna is not only a destination for natural wonders but also a haven for culinary enthusiasts. Here are some famous restaurants and food specialties that you must explore during your visit:

Don Rufino

Don Rufino is a fine dining establishment in La Fortuna that offers a unique blend of upscale Costa Rican and global cuisine. With a contemporary concept influenced by classic European, Asian, and Latin American flavors, the restaurant provides a modern perspective on culinary excellence.

Don Rufino takes pride in sourcing locally produced steaks, adhering to high farming standards. You’ll also find vegetarian options harvested from their pesticide-free farm.

Given its popularity, especially among those seeking an upscale dining experience, making reservations is advisable.

Nene’s Restaurant

Nene’s Restaurant is a culinary gem in La Fortuna that captivates visitors with its panoramic views and diverse menu. They take pride in sourcing locally produced ingredients, and beyond the culinary delights, this place is known for its warm hospitality.

Soda La Hormiga

Soda La Hormiga is a favorite eatery in La Fortuna that captures the essence of Costa Rican comfort food. They specialize in serving authentic Costa Rican cuisine, providing a genuine taste of local flavors, including the casado and gallopinto.

This place is perfect if you want a local experience without breaking your budget. Don’t forget to ask about the daily specials!

Discover More in La Fortuna

As you explore the area, consider extending your vacation to these La Fortuna nearby attractions:

  • Arenal Volcano National Park
  • Lake Arenal
  • Downtown La Fortuna 
  • Rio Celeste and Tenorio Volcano National Park
  • Cavernas del Venado
  • Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge
  • El Salto rope swing
  • Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges
  • Baldi Hot Springs Hotel
  • Children’s Eternal Forest Reserve

Must-book tours

Best Times to Visit

Are you wondering what’s the best time to visit La Fortuna? The ideal time to visit depends on what you seek from this Costa Rican gem. Use this information to help you pinpoint the best moments for your adventure:

  • Dry season (December to April): Enjoy La Fortuna’s dry season with sunny days and temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit (24-29°C). It’s the best time for outdoor activities and exploration, but keep in mind that it’s also when the tourist crowd peaks.
  • Transition season (May to June): Characterized by a blend of sun and occasional showers accompanied by warm temperatures. This period offers a quieter atmosphere compared to the peak season, making it a suitable choice for travelers with low budgets. While outdoor activities are on the agenda, be prepared to navigate occasional rain showers.
  • Rainy season (July to November): You’ll experience consistent rainfall that transforms the landscape into lush greenery. Temperature ranges from the 70s to 80s Fahrenheit (21-29°C). This period is a haven for nature enthusiasts, offering flourishing rainforests and becoming an excellent time for birdwatching.

Contact Find My Costa Rica and Plan your Trip to La Fortuna!

La Fortuna, Costa Rica, is a destination loved by locals and travelers. By taking the advice of those who know the area best, you’ll uncover the true essence of this tropical paradise.

To make the most of your area’s exploration, consider contacting Find My Costa Rica. We offer curated tours and experiences that help you discover the best La Fortuna has to offer. Book your adventure today!

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