La Fortuna Waterfall, La Fortuna de San Carlos

4.5
#1 of 115 in Nature in Costa Rica
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. Use our La Fortuna de San Carlos attractions planner to add La Fortuna Waterfall and other attractions to your La Fortuna de San Carlos vacation plans.
Improve this listing »
Create an itinerary including La Fortuna Waterfall
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
La Fortuna Waterfall Tours
La Fortuna Waterfall Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
7,919 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Beautiful waterfall of course but loads of people go there and I find it quite expensive to pay $15US just for the access. Nice to be able to go for a swim but I found it annoying to go around with al...  more »
  • If they don't know this place is managed by the Association of development of fortune, which in fact a great resource management economic attained reinvirtiedo on the trail and community infrastructure
    View original
  • It’s 500 steep steps, but totally worth it! Don’t get too close to the waterfall, it will suck you in. Also, it’s best to bring a surfer or diver’s shirt, the water is pretty cold.  more »
Google
  • It's a great place to visit. I like this waterfall specifically because you can swim here. It's beautiful too, super tall and has great photo opportunities. There's more than 500 steps (each way) but there's spots along the way to take a rest. Kid friendly, I brought my 3 year old and she did fine the whole time, though down at the base its kind of rocky, so you'd want to keep an eye on them the whole time. But yeah again, would definitely recommend checking out this waterfall, it's worth it.
  • Such a beautiful a beautiful place. The waterfalls are stunning and worth all the stairs. The swimming area has a very nice, covered bench to leave your belongings while you swim. The changing rooms/showers and the bathrooms are well kept and very clean. The orchid and butterfly walks are nice little extras to explore once you've been to the waterfall. We saw a ton of butterflies while it rained!! Everything was well worth the entrance fee!!
  • A beautiful waterfall very close to La Fortuna. Often offered as "tour" by travel agencies, but you can easily discover it on your own - especially if you have a car (~5km from town). The admission is $15, there is a free parking. There are lockers and even showers at the entrance which is extremely convenient. Keep in mind that there are 500 stairs to take to get t waterfall, going back is a bit of exercise. You can also swim at the waterfall which is a great experience on own.
  • Breath taking! From the sound of the waterfall to the animals and just everything around it. Just a gorgeous place. There's about 500 steps to go down. Quite a work out but totally worth it. The water is extremely cold but just so inviting. This is a must! (PS. All photos taken from a Google Pixel 2XL)
  • Trail to the waterfall is well done. It is not a typical dirt trail but instead stairs that follow the steep slope. Great viewing stops along the way and the platforms at the bottom allow for good views of the waterfall. There is a swimming area to the left of the waterfall. Cost is $15 per person. Price is pretty high but if you don’t mind that you can get some wonderful photos of a waterfall.
Places to stay near La Fortuna Waterfall

Plan your trip to La Fortuna de San Carlos

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

View all >
4.4
Duration: 6​h
4.8
Duration: 3​h
4.7
Duration: 4​h
4.5
Duration: 2​h 30​min

Side trips from La Fortuna de San Carlos

Kids friendly things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

View all >
4.7
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.7
Duration: 4​h 30​min
4.7
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4
Duration: 4​h

Hidden gems in La Fortuna de San Carlos

4.5
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.4
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.4
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.7
Duration: 8​h

Wildlife in La Fortuna de San Carlos

View all >
4.7
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.6
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4
Duration: 2​h 30​min
2.3
Duration: 2​h 30​min

Nearby attractions in La Fortuna de San Carlos

4.7
Duration: 4​h 30​min
4.7
Duration: 4​h
4.8
Duration: 4​h
4.8
Duration: 3​h
4.4
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.7
Duration: 5​h 30​min
4.5
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.5
Duration: 4​h

Plans to La Fortuna Waterfall by other users

8 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA April, outdoors, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 8 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA April, outdoors, beaches, popular sights PREFERENCES: April, outdoors, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM EGYPT July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA March, kids, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: March, kids, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM EGYPT July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 12 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM INDONESIA February, popular sights PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 12 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular sights PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 5 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular sights PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 7 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA May, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 49 days in Central America BY A USER FROM ISRAEL June, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 55 days in Central America BY A USER FROM ISRAEL June, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans