La Fortuna de San Carlos is the name of the main town close to the “must see” touristic destination of Costa Rica, the Arenal Volcano area. This town was historically populated by farmers and ranchers, but in 1968 when the Arenal Volcano made its big eruption, this region started to be an attractive point of interest for visitors.
Arenal Volcano was actually active from 1968 until 2010, throwing lava constantly during this entire period, an impressive natural show of fireworks that started attracting visitors from all over the world. The big touristic boom started in the 1980’s, that’s when the local population started to realize that tourism could generate a much better income than agriculture or cattle farming, and many of the locals started building lodging options for the rapidly-growing number of tourists. The numbers of tourists kept growing consistently and by the 1990’s La Fortuna de San Carlos had already a very well-built touristic platform, including several restaurants, hotels (big and small), tour operators, tourist shops, etc.
The type of hotels offered in this area goes from modest hostels, to very luxurious 5 star resorts, some of them among the most upscale of the country. Some of these fine accommodations have their own hot springs on site, where the tourists can enjoy of the mineral waters and diverse spa treatments.
Nowadays the volcano is not active, but the beauty of this area keeps attracting visitors from all over the world, because of the intense natural beauty of the whole region; its rainforests, rivers, lakes, caves, mountains, the volcano and all of the activities that have being created around this natural beauties, for the tourists to enjoy during their Vacation in Costa Rica. Among the many activities that can be done in La Fortuna de San Carlos are adventure activities, nature activities or cultural activities. On the adventure side there is, zip lining tours (we consider this place as the best in the country for this activity), white water rafting tours, waterfall rappelling tours, horseback riding, kayaking, stand-up paddling or mountain biking tours. On the nature side there are several options too, like visiting the rainforests of the Arenal Hanging Bridges, the impressive La Fortuna Waterfall, numerous nature walks (day time and night time), among others. On the cultural side, walking around the streets of La Fortuna de San Carlos can be a cultural experience of its own, but there are also tours offered to the local farms where the visitors would learn the traditions and the everyday living of the people who live in this area and still work on the fields.
Some important points of interest can be reached from La Fortuna de San Carlos on one day tours; these are some of these places:
The Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge: This one of the best places to observe wildlife in Costa Rica, a safari boat type of tour can be done here.
The famous and amazing Blue River or “Rio Celeste” at the Tenorio Volcano National Park: Beautiful nature hiking can be done here, to admire the local rainforest, the blue waterfall or the “tenideros”, the specific place where a clear water color river turns into a blue color river!
The Venado Caves: This is the best spelunking that can be done in the whole Arenal area.
Cerro Chato: This is a dormant volcano right next to Arenal Volcano, where some of the best nature hiking in Costa Rica can be done.
La Fortuna Waterfall: This is one of the most famous and beautiful waterfall of Costa Rica that can access by foot and where the visitors can actually swim!
With this endless number of options, we can easily say that La Fortuna de San Carlos could be the perfect place for: a Costa Rica Family Vacation; a Perfect Honeymoon in Costa Rica; a great Nature Trip in Costa Rica; an Adventure Tour in Costa Rica; or simply for a Romantic Getaway; either one of these types of trips can be enjoyed here, in one single destination!