Arenal Volcano National Park in Costa Rica is a very popular tourist destination, with many visitors exploring the area every year. Situated in the Alajuela Province, Arenal Volcano is in the region of La Fortuna.

La Fortuna is a district and a small city in the San Carlos canton. Spanish for “the fortune”, it is an incredibly fertile region rich in tourist attractions, and it is also the gateway to Arenal Volcano.

La Fortuna was originally called “El Burio” and was founded by settlers in the 1930s. It was spared in the massive 1968 eruption of Arenal Volcano, which lies fewer than ten kilometres (six miles) east of Arenal’s peak.

Arenal is not the only volcano is the La Fortuna region. The Chato Volcano (or “Cerro Chato”) is a dormant volcano with two peaks, and which lies nearby. It is much smaller than Arenal and is a popular destination for experienced hikers.

La Fortuna Tourist Attractions

As well as the Arenal and the Chato Volcanoes, there are a number of other popular tourist attractions in the La Fortuna region. These include, but are not limited to, hanging bridges, zip-lining, horseback riding, hiking, ATV rentals, butterfly farms, the Venado Caverns, white-water rafting, kayaking, and much more, including the La Fortuna Waterfall.

La Fortuna Waterfall

Situated next to Chato Hill and only 5.5 km from La Fortuna San Carlos, La Fortuna Waterfall is a beautiful place for a picnic, a swim, and to take photos. Accessed on foot or via a ride on horseback, the short trail traverses through pasture lands and rainforest. You may glimpse monkeys, toucans, and other native wildlife along the way.

The beautiful waterfall dramatically drops approximately 75m (200 ft) to the base of Chato Volcano and is fed by the Arenal River. A small fee is charged for admission to the waterfall. One can hike a short but difficult route down to the base of the waterfall via a staircase carved into the hillside. The reward for this is a swim in crystalline waters, streams and small rapids, and there is a lifeguard on duty between 7.30am and 4 pm. Guest facilities, including restrooms and showers, are located at the top of the waterfall.

Contact Costa Rica Volcanoes today to book your Arenal Volcano National Park tour and to explore the region of La Fortuna. You’ll be delighted with this very special part of the world.