A few posts ago I wrote about visiting the beatiful National Park of Monteverde. Although that experience was fantastic, it was during that same trip that we also ended up visiting la Fortuna Waterfall.
Where is la Fortuna Waterfall and how to reach it
Well, as I just said, we ended up visiting la Fortuna Waterfall when we were in Costa Rica. This beautiful waterfall is quite close to the National Park of Monteverde and the Volcano Arenal. Located within the “Reserva Ecológica Catarata Río Fortuna” (which translated to Fortuna Waterfall and River Ecological Reserve), it has been protected from explotation under the umbrella of the Arenal Volcano National Park.
As you see in the map, the nearest and best place from where visiting the waterfall is “La Fortuna”. This little town next to the reserve is the perfect base to visit Arenal, but also this waterfal. Years ago, when we were there, I was talking to one of the local guides and they told us about the name of the town. For those of you who don’t know Spanish, la Fortuna means fortune or luck, but not money related. In this case, it turns out that because this town is quite close to an active volcano but never destroyed by it, they decided to name it “La Fortuna” to try and keep their luck.
If you are traveling with your own vehicle, you can access the reserve from the town in 10 minutes. If you are on site without any transportation you can take one of the town’s taxis and get there for barely 10USD. Know that you will have to call them to pick you up and that there’s no public transportation available.
Where to stay for visiting La Fortuna Waterfalls
The range of options regarding accomodation in La Fortuna is wide and affordable for any traveler. You can find amazing resorts with private pools and 5-star worth rooms. You can find some good cabins suited for the average traveler. Moreover, if you are on a budget, you can also find some hostels or pensions very very cheap. Besides this, if you are really worried about your budget one of the best options was to go without anything booked and check on-site the prices and accomodation availables.
A comment on my visit
When I was there (back in 2006) some of the people that I was traveling with decided to go for a fancier hotel. This people, at night, were able to view how the bright red lava was spilling to the side of the volcano. I remember being slightly jealous at their sight and thinking, I will have to come back. See this myself. Well, it turns out that the last eruption of the volcano was in 2010. So there goes my luck. It is said that, since the volcano is still tremendously active, it is possible that a new chemney will open. I will try and keep you up to date!
What to expect when visiting la Fortuna Waterfall
In the entrance of the trail you will find a free parking with quite some capacity. Right by its side, there are some small shops, a place to change clothes and a few toilets. There are even some lockers to leave your valuables although I recommend you to take them along with you.
The trail is not a complicated one but it can be slippery when raining. Considering that this is in the middle of rainforest, take into account that happens quite often. From the start, you will cross a bridge and some souvenir shops. Right then it will be where you will find the first lookout. Imagine a landscape of neverending green with a beautiful hovering white streak. It is really an amazing landscape!
Then, the fun part starts. More than 500 steps separate you from the bottom of the waterfall. Almost at the end, there will be a stop with views to the waterfall and continuing a little bit more, you will arrive to the pond. There, you will be able to get rid of your clothes and enjoy of a bath under the waterfall. A couple of tips: first, remember to bring biodegradable sunscreen so you won’t contaminate the water. And second, don’t get crazy and try and swim to the waterfall, the water pressure is quite strong and you can get hurt!
An alternative to the pond when visiting la Fortuna Waterfall
Before starting to go downstairs, there is an alternative to this trail. By the lookout, you can turn left and go to the orchid garden. There are plenty of these along the country and they are truly beautiful. This is one of the best alternative things to do if you are there on a cold or rainy day.
Have you been to Costa Rica? Did you like it? Let me know in the comment section and remember to share this post if you liked it!