The town of La Fortuna (The Fortune) is akin to the world-renowned Arenal Volcano–Costa Rica’s most active mountainous structure and the Lake Arenal which flows through the thermal waters of the country. It may be a small town with the size of about 12,000 hectares but this boasts of more than its famous volcano and lake. This is the gateway to the multitudes of plains, rivers, trails, farm lands and forests where there are just so many things to do and much to see.
A Bit of History
Because of the historical and headlining eruption of the Arenal Volcano in the year 1968, the towns of Pueblo Nuevo, Tabacon and San Luis were all buried in ash, rocks and crumbled concrete–leaving 87 people dead. After this tragedy, the town of La Fortuna was born–a speck of hope and an opportunity to weave new lives, livelihood and a promise of better living.
The influence of the Spanish colonizers is very evident in the town of La Fortuna. Old churches reminiscent of those in Spain can be seen towering above the area and still standing after many years of colonization.
Quick Facts about La Fortuna
- It is located 16 miles from Ciudad Quesada and 70 miles from San Jose.
- It is situated at an elevation of 300 meters above sea level.
- It is home to only about 6,000 people.
- The climate is predominantly humid and warm with occasional cool breezes in the late afternoon and night.
- The usual temperature ranges from 25-30 degrees Celsius but during the months of November to January, it drops to 23-25 degrees Celsius.
Its Claim to Fame
One thing that sets this town apart from any other towns in Costa Rica is that wherever you are within the vicinity, you have a good view of the Arenal Volcano. The town is about 10 km away from the volcano which gives panoramic views of occasional spewing of ash and the slow creeping of lava down from its crater. But no need to worry, the volcanic activity of the Arenal is closely monitored.
The entire region of La Fortuna is very fertile so the source of livelihood of this town relies heavily on agriculture, milk and meat production and of course, tourism. Products such as beans, cassava, ginger roots, pineapples, papayas, sugar canes and so many more are being exported to Europe and the United States.
The Gateway to So Much More
La Fortuna is a great take-off point if you want to discover more of what Costa Rica has to offer. Since it is near the Central Valley, you’re sure to be enveloped by different species of trees, plants and flowers and be surrounded by stripes of rich greens and browns and along the way, be able to see various animals, reptiles, birds and amphibians.
It can also take you to Catarata de la Fortuna which is a 70-meter high waterfall where you can dip, swim and bask in all its beauty and abundance. The Tabacon Hot Springs is just around the corner if you want to rejuvenate as you immerse yourselves in the warm waters and forget all the worries in life.
And of course, the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal are the top attractions in this town of Costa Rica so if you’re already there, they’re both a must-see. Along with these sights are opportunities to enjoy kayaking, waterfall rappelling, rafting, horseback riding, zip line canopy tours and so many more.
So before you get away from this charming town of Costa Rica, try and stay a couple of days and more. You’ll be surprised as to how much you’ll be enjoying touring around this area and meeting the welcoming locals living here.