Fortuna (Costa Rica)
La Fortuna is in Plains of the North region of Costa Rica.
It serves as a starting point to Volcano Arenal and all the outdoor activities related to it. It is a nice little tourist base for adventure seekers.
Bus station is located in the centre, in front of supermarket MegaSuper. There are direct buses for San Jose at 12.45pm and 2.45pm. Buses to Upala (to visit Rio Celeste National Park) leave at 6.30am and 11.15am.
If you're coming from San Jose, lately only one direct bus daily has been running. However, buses frequently leave Terminal 7-10 to Ciudad Quesada, where an easy transfer to a bus to Fortuna can be made. Total cost is around 4000 ₡.
Centrocoasting is always a good resource for the latest on Costa Rican buses, so check there and arrive at any terminal early in the day.
The town is only a few blocks wide, so most hostels and restaurants are within walking distance. Taxis queue on the east side of the park in the town centre and tend to play fewer hijinks than San Jose taxis.
Most of the hot springs (and a growing number of hotels) are located west of the town along the highway and are harder to reach by walking. If the thermal waters of Arenal are on your itinerary, consider renting a car or be prepared to use taxis. Car rental offices are located in the city centre.
Volcano Arenal dominates the landscape to the southwest of town. Most of the sights in the area are rivers, streams, waterfalls, springs, and other things that come along with a big volcano.
Note that volcanoes attract clouds like a magnet, so the peak will often be obscured by clouds, especially in rainy season.
Much of the volcano is surrounded by rainforest, and some hotels are set back in the forest enough to be surrounded by interesting flora and fauna.
Plenty of typical tchotchke shops in the town centre.
La Fortuna has several supermarkets as well. Super Rosvil, just a few metres out of town on 172, seems to stock everything, including an impressive beer/wine/liquor aisle.
The number of restaurants in La Fortuna may seem to approach infinity.
Many hotels, hostels, guesthouses gear toward tourist. Cheapest hostels start from $7 (Apr'16).
There are direct buses for San Jose at 12.45pm and 2.45pm. Buses to Upala (to visit Rio Celeste) leave at 6.30am and 11.15am.
For those headed to Monteverde/Santa Elena, ask your hotel about "jeep boat jeep". Vans pick travelers up from their hotel and take them to a dock on Lake Arenal, where a 45-minute boat ride awaits. On the other side, a van will take you to your next hotel. As of 2019, this cost $25 and is faster than public bus between the two areas.