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La Fortuna, Costa Rica – A Fortune of Free Things To Do

Five Free Things to do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Ok, so La Fortuna doesn’t mean fortune, but it sure does make a good title. La Fortuna means Luck, Luck for being a town that did not get destroyed by the nearby Arenal Volcano. Arriving in La Fortuna, it seems like there are only tours on tours that are possible. I don’t know about you, but tours for hikes that don’t need tours in a relatively safe country are not my cup of tea. Here are a few awesome things to do in La Fortuna for free or on your own:

  1. Enjoy the sunset from the plaza.
    1. The plaza/square in the middle of the town is a true family friendly place. I love plazas in small towns, they are even more family oriented than in the bigger cities. Grab a drink for yourself and a bench and watch the sun set behind the church and fountain while watching local Ticos hang out.
  2. Make a picnic and go to the local swimming hole
    1. The swimming hole is a local swimming spot a 20 minute walk from downtown. There is a great rope swing, and lots of rocks to jump off of. We spent a whole day here laying out in the sun, jumping, swimming, and watching local spidermen do crazy ass jumps off the tarzan swing.
    2. Pro Tip – Grab food. Go to the grocery store and get some tortillas, bean paste and some veggies to make wraps. Grab some beer and chips and go hang out. This was easily one of the best swimming holes I’ve been to. We had this as a full day’s itinerary.
  3. Go to the natural hot springs
    1. You can’t walk to these, so either grab a taxi and split it with some other fellow travelers, or if you rented a car, drive on over. The tour companies/hostels try to make it sound like the natural hot springs aren’t nice. I loved them way more than anything contrived or artificially created.
    2. Pro tips: Bring a beer and head down and sit in the warm water surrounded by locals. Try not to bring too many valuables as folks stealing things can be common. Once you get there, walk down the ramp and go up under the underpass. There are nice spots there, and if you’re lucky – look behind you to get a view of the volcano.
  4. Consider Renting a Car
    1. Two friends and I rented a car for 24 hours from one of the local agencies for $65. Between the three of us, it was less than each of us going on a tour, and we had the freedom to do whatever we wanted.
    2. We did a few hikes around the volcano, drove around the lake, drove to the hot springs, and ultimately just had an awesome time. If you don’t like tours, but want the freedom to go hike the volcano, consider renting a car between friends.
  5. The Waterfall
    1. The waterfall is pretty cool, but I’m not sure it was worth the $15 entrance fee. I’ve seen a lot of great waterfalls, so I was personally not overly impressed, but it was really awesome to swim in. Only go if you rented a car so you don’t waste the taxi dollars on top of the entrance fee.