La Fortuna de San Carlos is a small town in the north of Costa Rica. It is mostly famous for its nearby Arenal Volcano (1,633 m) that has been constantly erupting since 1968. The Arenal Volcano is a destination for scientists and tourists alike. NOTE: As of March 25, 2011, the volcano has not been active for the past 3 to 6 months. Seeing some smoke during the day is possible, however, do not expect to see lava/eruptions in the night, regardless of clouds. This could obviously change at any time.
Arenal is often cited by scientists as being in the top ten or top 20 of the world’s most active volcanoes. La Fortuna is less than 10 km from the peak of Arenal and less than 20 km from the entrance to Arenal Volcano National Park (the entrance is west of the peak, whereas La Fortuna is east of the peak).
Other than the volcano, La Fortuna has tourist attractions such as the La Catarata de la Fortuna, a waterfall that falls from a height of 70 meters, several resorts with natural hot springs temperates warm enough to bathe in, other day spa services, and day-trips which involve horseback riding, whitewaterrafting, hanging bridges, a “sky tram,” zip-lines, mountain bike, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, and ATV or dirt bike rentals, “butterfly farm” and Venado Cavern tours,bungee jumping, Laguna Cedeno, El Salto Swimming Hole, and canyoneering.
La Fortuna has a medic station but serious injuries require a medivac (or long travel on roadways), a police station (and another is on the way to El Tapon), gas station, 3 banks, 3 groceries, restaurants (in addition to those in the resorts), post office, and hardware store.
Get To La Fortuna:
Direct buses from San Jose or transfer in Ciudad Quesada (San Carlos); buses from San Ramon. Local bus from Tilaran.
By car it is a 3-1/2 hour drive from San Jose, but the junctions are not very well marked, so bring a good map.
By private Shuttle: the cost of a private transportation with a Costa Rican driver is not much if you compare it with the benefit of a direct safe drive to the destination. Available from San Jose to Arenal and other destinations.