La Fortuna

Arenal volcano

La Fortuna de San Carlos is a small town in the north of Costa Rica. It is mostly famous for the nearby Arenal Volcano (1,633 m). The Arenal Volcano is a destination for scientists and tourists alike. La Fortuna was originally called "El Borio" before the day of a huge eruption in 1968, when the volcano erupted to the east and destroyed all in its path, including two villages. El Borio (La Fortuna) is located on the west side of the volcano and was untouched. After the eruption of the volcano, El Borio was renamed "La Fortuna", which means "the fortunate", referring to the town's luck during the eruption.

Arenal volcano in 2007. As of 2013, the volcano has been inactive for three years and there's no lava flow to see.

Get in




Hot springs



Standard souvenirs, photos of the erupting volcano, machetes at the hardware store, Costa Rican coffee.


Travelers looking for more local and inexpensive food can go to any of the numerous 'Soda' restaurants. A large plate of rice, beans, salad, meat, and a drink costs about 3000 or 4000 colones.






There are two internet cafes in the main street, by the park. At Destinytours (tel 479-9850) 50 meters north of Banco National you can download pictures from your digital camera and burn to cd.

Go next

From Fortuna you can go to Monteverde with a combination of jeep and boat or horse. Or you could take the bus to Tilarán, and from there to Santa Elena, Monteverde, or down to the Interamericana that takes you north to Guanacaste or south in the direction of Puntarenas. You can get to Los Chiles and San Jose via Ciudad Quesada. And of course there's the direct bus back to San José, at an approximate cost of $6.50.

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