The 7 must-do activities when visiting Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica
La Fortuna / Arenal Volcano is Costa Rica’s Adventure capital. The Volcano rises high above over the charming city renown for being one of the most significant landmarks of the country. La Fortuna has friendly people, a lively town center, great food, delicious smoothies, and tropical flowers everywhere. It must be on your travel itinerary if you love the outdoors, buzzing nature and of course, adventure!
Just as the Arenal Volcano is one of the most majestic landmarks of the country, expect all activities to be higher, faster and more thrilling! Expect to have a good time, but you will have the time of your life creating the most amazing, unforgettable memories. 35 different experiences take place in the region, ranging from hard to soft adventure, nature and wellness, culture and volunteering. Here are the top-rated activities ranked. Are you ready to explore with us? Let’s go!
1. Waterfall Rappelling with Pure Trek Canyoning
First advice before we begin this adventure: You will get soaking wet! Bring clothes that can get drenched in water and a change of clothes for after! This experience begins in a tropical rainforest canyon. You may spot some Costa Rican wildlife like toucans and sloths; so keep your eyes open even though the thrill of this activity may have your full attention. The professional certified guides will make sure you will not miss out on anything and of course have your safety as their highest priority. 4 waterfall rappels await your adventure-seeking soul, one wall rappel, a short rock climb, and the Monkey Drop! You may wonder: “What is the monkey drop?” – We will leave this for you to explore! Intrigued?
So, are you enjoying the combination of water and thrill? Let’s keep going! Why not combine it with the following activity:
2. White Water Rafting
Costa Rica is rated as one of the best places in the world to raft. With tropical scenery, warm waters and continuous rapids, white water rafting must be on your travel itinerary when in La Fortuna. You can choose between a family friendly II to III rafting adventure on the Rio Balsa or a III & IV class rafting experience for the thrill-seeker on the Sarapiqui River.
If you have never been white water rafting before, there is a guide in the back of your raft that steers the boat and will tell you when to paddle. They help keep everyone safe and make sure you will have a fabulous time!
3. Sky Adventures or Atica Ziplining
The rivers are an incredible way to experience the dramatic landscapes and views of La Fortuna, but there are other ways to do so, taking you high up into the treetops. This adventure is for everyone, but those that fear heights.
You will get to zip over canyons and the lush rainforest canopy down the mountain, platform per platform.
There are multiple ziplines of varying lengths and sizes. The highest is 656 feet high and the longest is 2,493 feet long! Expect to spot wildlife and some tremendously beautiful views of the Arenal Volcano and surroundings. Zip lining as a form of recreation and adventure was invented in Costa Rica, and the top experiences are in the Fortuna Region.
4. The Mistico Hanging Bridges – Rainforest Bathing
If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground or better say on some sturdily built metal bridges than this exploration may be just up your alley. In Mistico Park you get to explore the sublime vegetation and fauna from 8 hanging bridges and a system of energizing trails. Explore the awes and wonders of Costa Rica’s incredible biodiversity led by an experienced, naturalist guide with a trained eye to spot animals, amphibians and other exotic critters for you.
5. Rio Celeste Waterfall in the Tenorio National Park
The story as told by the locals is that Rio Celeste got its stunning color when God dipped his brush in the river as he was painting the sky. Scientifically, the color appears when two separate clear water rivers meet and a certain type of mineral coated in silicon, oxygen and aluminum remains suspended in the river. The size, suspension and reflection of sunlight creates this vivid blue color in the water that makes the Rio Celeste Waterfall a breathtaking nature spectacle.
Located only a 45 minutes’ drive from La Fortuna, the Tenorio National Park is one of the most visited parks in Costa Rica. A guide is not required to explore the trail system and waterfall view points, but a moderate hiking level. Expect to conquer 150 stairs before the waterfall greets you at the bottom. For an extended experience, consider the fabulous tubing tour down the Celeste River, outsider the National Park. This is a great adventure if you wish to have a land transtour day on your way to Guanacaste or Santa Teresa.
6. Caño Negro National Park
Take it off-the beaten track with a boat ride and hike in the Caño Negro National Park. This sanctuary was named the ‘Wetland of International Importance’ in 1991 and is one of the most significant humid zones in the country. A region of extreme biological importance due to the immense variety of flora and fauna found here, Caño Negro is also a key migratory route for birds from the north with more than 200 species of birds found up-to-date, as well as several unique and distinct plants and animals.
It is home of the Emerald Basilisk, Giant Bear Ant, jaguars, ocelots, river turtles, monkeys, pumas and caimans, this wildlife refuge is also the abode of rare birds like the northern jacanas, ibises, jabiru storks, anhingas, cormorants and roseate spoonbills.
No matter where your interests lie, there is something for you in La Fortuna! And don’t forget –notice the beautiful vegetation, chat with the locals, and keep your eyes peeled for sloths!
7. La Fortuna Waterfall
Let’s set the tone with another incredible landside of the area and discover the La Fortuna Waterfall. Upon arrival you will get to marvel at this 70-meter-high fall from high above from a breathtakingly gorgeous viewpoint. Now get ready, because 500 stairs await you to climb down to immerse yourself in the refreshing, fresh water pool that is waiting for you. When you get to the bottom, there are several angles and spots to relax and enjoy the fall or take incredible vacation pictures.
This is a beautiful and easy waterfall to visit only a short 7 minutes’ drive from the city center of La Fortuna. By visiting the park you are not only enjoying a natural wonder, your fee is collected by the Fortuna Communal Association for Development, and is invested in various social programs in town. Have fun while you do good.