Fortuna Off The Beaten Path

  • Tabacon, Free Hot Springs
    Tabacon, Free Hot Springs
    by ABankerMU
  • What a cute calf
    What a cute calf
    by twoinluv
  • Crocs at Hotel Los Lagos in La Fortuna
    Crocs at Hotel Los Lagos in La Fortuna
    by twoinluv

Best Rated Off The Beaten Path in Fortuna

  • ABankerMU's Profile Photo

    Free Arenal Hot Springs, Tabacon

    by ABankerMU Updated Jan 23, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tabacon, Free Hot Springs

    Just west of the Tabacon resort near Volcan Arenal along Hwy 142, there is a small bridge, under which runs a small stream. If you want to experience hot springs without doing the Resort/Spa for $25, park your car in the spa parking lot and head down to the bridge. At the bridge, carefully climb down on the North side of the street. When down, start hiking south (crossing under the bridge). It may seem strange, but if you keep going, you'll find plenty of places to relax in the hot spring water amongst the peace and quiet of the forest. It was great. I hate resorts, and love to get off the beaten track. This is the best of both worlds. Check out the picture attached.

    Leave a comment and let me know if there is something that I could add to make this tip better!

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    Parque Arenal on your own

    by elji Written Dec 4, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On the trail

    If you have had several other naturalist tours on your trip and maybe you just want to spend a few hours hiking on your own, you can take a taxi to the Parque Nacional del Volcan Arenal, hike the 4 km trail, and have the taxi pick you up on the other end of the trail. Our driver suggested this, and we thought it was fun. If you begin at the far end of the trail, you must first wade through or hop on rocks across a small stream. From that side of the trail, the first half of the journey is very jungly. Then you come out on the lava flows which have yellow stakes to guide you through and stay on the path. There is a great view of the volcano from there. The last part of the trail is just low grasses and easy walking. The phone number below is for Taxi Viejito. The guy is very nice and has a powerful 4 x 4 that can carry up to 7 people. He can take you other places too. He speaks only Spanish though so hopefully you know at least a little bit. Cost for this trip is $30 total.

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    • National/State Park
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    Venado Caves

    by mim95 Updated Apr 7, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Mysterious holes inside Venado Caves

    The Venado Caves are located about an hour drive northwest of La Fortuna. It is all natural inside - there is no lights, stairs, railings. You get a helmet, flashlight and rubber boots at the entrance. Once you are inside, at first there is some water on the ground, but as you go further in, the water level rises higher, to a point that it starts to go into your boots! Some parts of the caves are very narrow and there is a part that is so small that the only way to get through is to crawl! At some point, you'll have to use all your strength to climb up the rocks to keep going. You'll also pass through waterfalls as well.

    The limestone rock formations are beautiful, which take thousands of years to form. There are also some strange cicular holes on the ceiling of the caves, which are still unexplained as to how and why they are there.

    There are bats, fish (yes, I forgot what they are called but they are blind) and spiders inside the caves.

    Most ppl take a tour from La Fortuna, which was how I got there. Shop around for the best prices in town. I'm not sure if you can get a guide if you go there on your own.

    Definitely bring a towel and a change of clothes, as you'll get wet and dirty! And don't wear anything nice. There is a shower facility at the entrance. And there is a lot of walking, climbing and crawling inside the caves. This is a demanding tour for physically fit ppl only.

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    Catarata La Fortuna

    by ABankerMU Updated Jan 23, 2005

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Catarata La Fortuna

    The waterfalls of Catarata La Fortuna are an excellent way to kill a couple hours. Near the Arenal area, specifically Fortuna, the waterfalls are a short hike down a well maintained trail. The steps can be slippery when wet. The hike down is a piece of cake, but you may need to take a break or two on the way back up. The waterfall and surrounding rainforest are beautiful. Check out one of the various travel guides or ask around in Fortuna to get directions.

    Leave a comment and let me know if there is something that I could add to make this tip better!

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    Cano Negro National Wildlife Refuge

    by mim95 Updated Apr 7, 2005

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A white-faced monkey and an erget

    This is another tour I took from La Fortuna. Cano Negro is about 1.5 hr from La Fortuna. We got off the tour bus at the dock at Los Chiles, a small village 3km from the Nicaraguan border. Then we switched onto a tour boat and on Rio Frio. We headed north first and reached the unguarded Nicaraguan border at one point.

    Cano Negro is a paradise for birdwatchers, especially between January and March, when there is a large number of migratory birds.

    We saw plenty of wildlife: howler monkeys, white-faced monkeys, a three-toed sloth, caimans, basilisk lizards, a turtle, tree bats, anhingas, wood storks and egrets.

    It's best to find a nature guide if you're going on your own, as the wildlife is hard to spot. Shop around for a tour in La Fortuna. Mine included a lunch at the tour company's ranch by the river.

    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • Sailing and Boating

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    Arenal Hot Springs

    by SumTingWong Updated May 18, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Volcan Arenal

    The Arenal hotsprings are natural hotsprings from the Arenal Volcano, but the pl;ace has been turned into a tourist hang out. It is not really a tourist trap, because you don't go to really see anything, but rather just relax, have a drink, and go swimming in the warm water. There are some natural areas, with evry hot water, that you can go in, but there are also several pools where the natural water was filtered and is slightly cooler (about 32 degrees as opposed to about 42 degrees). There is a pool bar and a water slide. There is also an excellent buffet restaurant. You also can see the red lava comming out of the rim of the volcano at night. It is just a place to relax, not a place to admire, just keep that in mind, if not you will see it as a tourist trap.

    Note that the enterence fee is a bit steep, US$20.00.

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    La Paz Waterfalls

    by SumTingWong Written May 21, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Waterfall

    The Peace Waterfalls (Cataratas de La Paz) are located outside the Arenal area. You would have to eithor take a bus or car, but it in an interesting spot to see some Costa Rican waterfalls. La Paz waterfalls are on the wat to Arenal from San Jose, so you could easily make a stop here for a few hours. There are several waterfalls, and it is just a nice area to visit. There is an admission fee, something like US$20, a bit steep, to have axcess to the whole area, but you can visit some of the falls without paying.

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    Lookin' for some animals

    by SumTingWong Written May 21, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    hummingbird

    On the way from San Jose to Arenal there are several animal centers where you can look out for hummingbirds (colibríes), parrots, macaws, iguanas, tarantulas, and horn beetles.

    Hre are the facts:
    Costa Rica is internationally recognized for its efforts to ensure biodiversity and protect natural resources. The country boasts 230 different protected areas (about 28% of the country), ranging from completely protected reserves to national parks where research, tourism and controlled development and extraction are permitted. The cloud forests, rainforests, volcanoes and mountain plains here are thought to shelter more than 6,000 plant species, including at least 1,000 orchid varieties alone. The presence of over 500 species of butterflies has led to profitable "butterfly ranching" while more than 800 bird species--quetzals, toucans, hummingbirds, scarlet macaws--are found in the wet and dry forests. The magnificent beaches bordering both coasts are among the world's largest-known nesting grounds for sea turtles.

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    • Birdwatching
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    Iguanas

    by SumTingWong Written May 21, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Iguana

    This is actually a bar / snack stop called Iguanas. The name isn't random; it's called Iguanas because there are a lot of huge Iguanas here. It is on the way from Arenal to Monteverde and it well worth making the stop. For one thing you can get a cold drink and got off the bus, and you get to see some huge Iguanas. They are really huge, and quite vicious to be honest. If fact I was unfortunate enough to see one iguana kill another, by throwing it off a cliff and onto the rocks below, wasn't pretty. Don't get to close to these huge lizards, they have long claws too, bet really cool from a far.

    Related to:
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    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Crocodiles at Los Lagos Hotel in La Fortuna

    by twoinluv Written Feb 17, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Crocs at Hotel Los Lagos in La Fortuna

    On the property of the Los Lagos Hotel are numerous crocodiles. They are not behind 2 sets of bars, but some are just out in the open behind a small wall. Others, the big ones, are behind a chain link fence. Go to their web site www.hotelloslagos.com to get room prices. It is worth staying here if for the crocodiles alone. Plus they have spring heated pools, frog farm, butterfly farm, onsite ziplining, onsite horseback riding, and a unique look out point to see the active part of the volcanol.

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    Rest Stop

    by jag17 Written Jun 30, 2004

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Zacero

    While driving to Arenal from San Jose, you might need a little break. Stop off, and visit the small community of Zacero. The beautiful church is surrounded by hand trimmed hedges of arches, animals and other odd shapes.

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    • Jungle and Rain Forest

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  • twoinluv's Profile Photo

    Animal life & a view of an active volcano

    by twoinluv Written Feb 17, 2005

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    A Coatimundi

    On the property of Los Lagos Hotel (www.hotelloslagos.com) there is a dirt road 2 kilometers long that takes you to the top of a hill opposite the volcano. They have a look out point where you can watch the volcano flow. While we were there we happened upon a little coatimundi, a cute little creature.

    Related to:
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    • Mountain Climbing
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    Drink Fresh Coconut Juice

    by twoinluv Written Feb 17, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Drinking Fresh Coconut Juice in La Fortuna

    At the entrance to the La Fortuna waterfalls little boys are selling fresh coconua juice. They use their machete to slice off the top of the coconut. They have unwrapped straws which they hand to you and you poke your straw down inside of the coconut. It is refreshing after the long, hot hike to the waterfalls.

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  • twoinluv's Profile Photo

    Drinking Fresh Coconut Juice La Fortuna Waterfalls

    by twoinluv Written Feb 17, 2005

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    Fresh Coconut Juice at La Fortuna Falls

    At the entrance to the La Fortuna waterfalls little boys are selling fresh coconua juice. They use their machete to slice off the top of the coconut. They have unwrapped straws which they hand to you and you poke your straw down inside of the coconut. It is refreshing after the long, hot hike to the waterfalls.

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    Surprises

    by ginguba Written Mar 5, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    You'll have delightful surprises on your road trips anywhere in Costa Rica!! This was on our way to our hotel, so every time we went back we crossed this landscape!

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Fortuna Off The Beaten Path

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