La Fortuna Waterfall, La Fortuna de San Carlos

4.5
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.
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La Fortuna Waterfall Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
7,000 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • After you have seen some waterfalls it is not a big deal but if you are around it worth to visit. The road here from San Jose is spectacular and easy to drive. Count with rain, it rains a lot! There a...  more »
  • We did this even though it was pouring rain but it was still a beautiful sight to take in. Wish we wore water shoes because our sneakers got soaked. We bought ponchos. There are lots of stairs getting...  more »
  • When you're around, considering the 15USD entrance are reinvested in local projects, it's ok ti visit the fall. However, it is not as special as one would expect, hence the 4 points. Prepare for a lot...  more »
Google
  • Amazing water fall, totally worth the hike/drive/taxi. How often do you get to swim in the base of a waterfall? Amazing experience, can't recommend enough. The only thing I would say is not to get food here, exit the park and walk five minutes down hill to Geckos. Super cheap and tasty as heck!
  • Awesome place to spend 2-3 hours of your day in La Fortuna. Well worth the $15 fee. A short 500 step hike down to the waterfall and once you are there you can take a dip in the cool waters of the waterfall. We also saw a monkey on our hike back up. Overall amazing experience.
  • Nice little park. There is a beautiful butterfly and orchid garden. The falls are cool to look at but you can’t swim by them for safety reasons. The swimming area is gorgeous! Lovely scenery and definitely worth the $14 USD entry fee. You have to go down quite a few flights of stairs to get to the bottom and climbing up can be rough but there are plenty of rest benches on the way.
  • The waterfall was extremely beautiful. The infrastructure surrounding it was also great in that the waterfall was not over-commercialised but still great for tourists. The descent and ascent to the waterfall was not too difficult even for beginners. The tourist shop was also brilliant with friendly staff all-round who were also very helpful. Overall, a great experience.
  • Amazing place. The nature here is beautiful. Be aware that for going down to the waterfall, you will have to walk down many steps. That isn't so bad, getting back up is the real workout. I wouldn't say it is suitable for someone with health issues. It is totally worth the many stairs though! Do take a swim in the (some what cold) water. It will freshen you up!

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Where to stay in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Options consist of hotels, guesthouses, and backpacker hostels, most of which sit near the town's main road--Route 142--and the bus station. You can expect a swimming pool and complimentary breakfast at most mid-range accommodations there. If you're feeling more adventurous, choose to stay at one of the spas or eco-resorts at the foot of the volcano, where you'll also enjoy onsite access to natural hot springs.
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