Costa Rica

La Fortuna

Here you’ll find travel reports about La Fortuna. Discover travel destinations in Costa Rica of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

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  • Day21

    Ook vandaag was het mistig en nat in de buurt van Tenorio NP. Toch beslist om de wandeling 's morgens vroeg aan te vangen. De pittige en modderige wandeling leidt naar de Rio Celeste waterval en rivier. Deze rivier is helderblauw door de zwavel en mineralen van de vulkaan. Door het mistige weer was deze kleur natuurlijk minder uitgesproken. Bleef toch wel zeker de moeite. Ook konden we 2 verschillende trogons zien. Dit zijn mooie vogels (in de familie van de quetzal). Bij het terugwandelen wel kletsnat geregend. Dit hoort erbij!

    Na de wandeling zijn we langs de laguna Arenal gereden. Een gigantisch meer dat 50% van de elektriciteitsvraag van de costa ricanen vervult met groene stroom uit hernieuwbare bronnen zoals water en wind. Daar hebben we geluncht met zicht op het meer. Het weer was hier bovendien eveneens veel beter met wat zon en geen regen.

    In de namiddag hebben we een wandeling gedaan in het Volcán Arenal NP. De trail noemde 1968 trail aangezien er in dit jaar een hevige vulkaanuitbarsting is geweest. Het pad loopt een groot deel over de zwarte vulkaangesteentes die ontstaan zijn uit de lavaflow van deze uitbarsting. Met af en toe een viewpoint van de vulkaan en het zonnetje was dit een mooie afsluiter van ons NP programma.

    Morgen nog een wandeling naar een waterval, onze auto kuisen en het vliegtuig op! Hopelijk kunnen we het zonnetje meenemen naar België.

    Hasta la proxima!
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  • Day22

    Deze morgen onze laatste (steile) hike met honderden trappen naar een spectaculaire waterval. Aangezien het einde van het regenseizoen in zicht is, was de hoeveelheid water dat naar beneden stortte zeer indrukwekkend. Het geluid van de catarata was eveneens de moeite.

    De terugweg was vermoeiend door de trappen en het zeer vochtige klimaat. Zweten gelijk nen os geeft nog niet half weer wat we deze reis 3 weken lang hebben ondergaan. Gelukkig was er sloth guru om ons moed in te spreken. Tijdens de wandeling wel nog een leuk slangetje, kolibries, vlinders, een howler aap en vogeltjes kunnen spotten.

    Na de wandeling langs de car wash om onze modderige auto een goede wasbeurt te geven. Zowel langs binnen als buiten. Na de "lavacar" onze spullen ingepakt en vertrokken.

    Onze laatste stop voor het afzetten van de auto is het red frog coffee roaster café om aangesterkt de lange tocht naar Belgica te kunnen inzetten.

    Het was een fantastische reis. We dragen vanaf nu het Pura Vida levensmotto in ons hart!

    Tot binnenkort!
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  • Day35

    We were told that the weather is usually sunny with a light shower in the afternoon. It poured all day.

    The town of Fortuna is overlooked by Costa Rica's most active volcano - Arenal. We saw nothing of it! See photo of town overlooked by the clouded volcano! Its like when I went to Egypt and Tutankhamun's tomb was closed.

    So glad I wasn't hiking! Apparently the Kadashians were in town a few days ago and stayed at one of the hotels which have some hot springs. We could have gone to those hot springs for $100US!

    Slept in and took my time in the morning - so nice not to have anywhere to be. Then wandered around town in my plastic poncho. Had a great smoothie and quaedesia (see photo) for breakfast/lunch in the Lava Cafe. The better shops were closed as it was Sunday. Go back to hotel to lay on bed with air conditioning on full blast and watch CNN. When I can't listen to any more about Trump I stagger up to continue aimlessly walking around. Gelato helps.

    Then quite a good dinner at a soda which is the name for local cafes - this soda is full of tourists - the locals clearly having run for cover!

    More gelato then TV time. There is one channel that has movies in the original language so I watch Ted 2 and We're the Millers. Ripper night!
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  • Day3

    Day 3 began early again with a 6am wake up. Went for a quick breakfast across the street from the hotel which of course included rice and beans (Gallo pinto). We then took a bus at 7:30am to go canyoneering.

    "Canyoning ('canyoneering in the U.S. / kloofing in South-Africa / torrentismo in Italian) is travelling in canyons using a variety of techniques that may include other outdoor activities such as walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling (rappelling), and swimming."

    Upon arriving, we got into some trucks where we all sat in the back and bounced around on the bumpy gravel road to our main building. At the building we were outfitted with harnesses, helmets and gloves and we're all set to go. After another truck ride up the hill we had an explanation of how to rappel down the waterfalls and canyons and learned a bit about the adventurous activity.

    The course included 4 different waterfalls of different heights (ranging from 5-70 meters) and using different techniques to rappel such as walking, jumping and gliding. We also had 2 different water activities. One where we all jumped down in the canyon into a deep hole of water. Kind of intimidating when you have no idea how deep it is! We also had a spot where we all sat one behind the other in a row and the guides blocked the water flow from coming down. After letting the water build up they removed their bodies from barracading and allowed the water to rush over us. Kind of a neat experience. I can't imagine how much more intense that would be during the rainy season!! (It's dry season now so most water levels are on the lower side.)

    The final rappel included a 5m jump down, some hopping down the rocks then a zipline-like ride to the bottom. Soo exhilarating and absolutely beautiful!!

    At the end of the activity we had lunch (which once again had Gallo pinto then went back to the hotel.

    As it was only 11am and the sun was coming out and warming up the day, we decided to take a trip to La Fortuna waterfall. To get to the waterfall is a journey down approximately 524 stairs. The waterfall itself was absolutely stunning (see photos). We were able to climb down the rocks and get in the water for a little swim. It was quite cool and the power of the waterfall was quite strong. Definitely didn't want to get too close to it or to the undertoe around it. We were able to wander around and enjoy the scenery and the water all around the area.

    After this, we returned to the hotel for a quick shower followed by a walk into town. Brayan brought us to a local pub with a variety of craft beers to try including a pineapple beer and a mango beer, as well as a spicy beer. Quite different beers than I'm used to! Also learned about a Costa Rican shot called Chili Guaro. It includes clemato juice, Cacique Guaro (local Costa Rican rum) and tabasco sauce. I believe it had lime in it as well. Very interesting!

    For dinner we went to a vegetarian organic restaurant. Not something I would usually eat but they provided everyone with some colouring to do before dinner which was quite entertaining. Apparently organic places like this can't have foods like ketchup or drinks like pop or alcohol. So I had a fruit smoothie of strawberry and banana instead. Again, what a different experience. Went to a bar afterwards for a drink then home to bed! What a long day.

    Pura Vida!
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  • Day60

    Reunions, lush scenery, an elusive volcano, an abundance of animals in the wild and the first rain we've seen in a while! Our time in Costa Rica has got off to a flying start.

    Mike and I had another long day travelling from
    Isla Ometepe, starting with the lancha trip back to the mainland at 6:30am. Thankfully the water was much calmer than our previous crossing, not that this was hard to beat. Two short chicken bus rides got us to the Costa Rican border by mid-morning. We'd expected to have to wait at this border-crossing for a while as everything we had read said it was an extremely busy crossing that can take a couple of hours. It seemed that we must have caught the place on a good day as we managed to exit Nicaragua, walk across the border and enter Costa Rica all in the space of about 20minutes. This was great except for the fact that we'd allowed ourselves ample time before needing to catch one of only two daily buses to our next destination of La Fortuna, so we had about 4 hours to kill at the border. Unfortunately Costa Rica's local bus system doesn't seem to be as frequent as other countries, so we settled in to read and watch movies whilst constantly trying to escape the sun that kept taking away our shade.

    Finally 2pm rolled around and we hopped on the bus bound for El Tanque which is a small settlement about 7km from La Fortuna, which was our base for a couple of nights. We're out of the chicken bus game and back to regular coaches, which is less of a novelty but at least it's more comfortable. By nightfall we reached El Tanque where we reunited with our old Kiwi flatmate in London, Aaron (AKA Shorty) and his English girlfriend, Emily. These two will be our travel companions for the next two weeks in Costa Rica while they're on a wee holiday and we've pooled together to hire a car to give us some more freedom. We've opted for a 4WD as some of the roads in Costa Rica are unpaved and generally in pretty crap condition, so Terry our Daihatsu Terios will be our transport for the next wee while. Not gonna lie, two weeks free of buses will be a dream!

    Costa Rica only has a handful of decent sized towns, for the most part they are only small towns or villages. La Fortuna is a small village/town that sits at the base of Volcán Arenal. It was a bit of a strange one, mainly restaurants, souvenir shops and tour operators - so catered to tourists. It's a a bit of change from other places we've been but it only comprises of a couple of streets so it doesn't take much to get away.

    We went deep on the activities and wildlife spotting on our first full day in Costa Rica. A huge downpour of rain during breakfast quickly disappeared and paved the way for hot sunshine. Our first stop was to Arenal 1968, a set of trails just next to the Volcán Arenal National Park. These trails and even a lake in amongst them, were formed by the 1968 eruption of the volcano. Costa Rica has seen a hike in prices and therefore our allocated daily budget, for any kind of activity. Every national park has a fee and even to walk the 1968 trails just on our own was $10 a pop. It's rough, especially when you're used to free entry to national parks and any walks in NZ but we've had to accept it's where our money is going if we are to see or do anything here!

    Em is a budding photographer with a passion for wildlife so we're on wildlife watch big time and we're both enjoying having someone to take photos with. Arenal 1968 was our first opportunity for this, but mainly we just saw some different birds (one of which was a woodpecker - amazing) and a couple of awesome brightly coloured lizards. We had the trail mostly to ourselves and it took us through some lush greenery took a lake and then through some volcanic rock paths. All the while, the top of Volcán Arenal unfortunately stayed hidden, as it did for the whole time we were in La Fortuna and it's surrounds.

    Driving back to La Fortuna from the Arenal 1968 trails, we found a few people stopped on the side of the road looking up into the trees. Intrigued as to why, we stopped too and soon found out that it was a sloth in the trees! It surprised us how fast the sloth moved and it was amazing watching it climbing through the branches just out in the wild.

    As usual the trails didn't take us nearly as long as the signs predicted so we were left with many hours in the day to fill. Thankfully we managed to find some of the only free spots to hang out for the rest of the day, the first of which was the El Salto waterfall and rope swing. This is a small waterfall, only 2-3m high but it provided a hugely refreshing dip. So refreshing that we ended up too cold and headed straight to the natural hot springs afterwards. Costa Rica has so far bought a welcomed decrease in temperatures for Mike and I, so we're thoroughly enjoying not sweating every minute of the day at the moment. If you'd told me I would be visiting a hot spring a couple of days ago I probably would have had a meltdown at the thought of the idea! There are many hotels and resorts offering hot springs around this area but being the cheapskates we are, we hunted down the free ones.

    We bathed in what was essentially a hot river, with multiple layers of different pools to sit in. It had some surprisingly decent flow, to the point that you had to wedge yourself against a rock or you could easily get pushed down into the next pool. We even had the company of a hummingbird whilst in our makeshift bath.

    Costa Rica is already noticeably different in terms of infrastructure, prices and catering to tourists. In saying that, it's a stunningly beautiful country and the amount of wildlife we've seen in just one day, in their natural environment, is insane. We're all excited for what's ahead. Not to mention its much cleaner than previous countries and we can finally drink tap water again. Hooray! As the Costa Ricans would say, Pura Vida!

    Next stop, Monteverde.
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  • Day4

    La Fortuna Waterfall was a spectacular view. We had never seen a waterfall this size - the water falls about 70 (23 ft) meters down! We had to walk down 400 steps to the bottom of the fall. The pictures don't really show the size of the fall, until you see the one with the hubs in the picture. For reference, he is about 2 m (6.5 ft) tall. :)

  • Day82

    At 7am we all piled into a bus to drive to La Fortuna. The bus was very comfortable and we had a nice stop for breakfast. We also stopped on the way to see a baby sloth that had been rescued. It was very cute!!
    We arrived at La Fortuna and checked in before heading to the adventure store to look at all their tours for the next day.
    We got a bus to the La Fortuna waterfall which was stunning! The water coming down was so strong it was hard to stand close to it. The water was crystal clear and beautiful. We went out in town for dinner and ate tuna burgers before going to the best hostel I've ever seen. It had a massive bar area with a pool and blow up flamingos. I had a delicious piña colada and watched a few of the people who ended up in the pool.Read more

  • Day83

    I was up early for a 7am pick up, for the Mambo Combo of canyoning and white water rafting. The canyoning was great fun, a bit of abseiling, zip lining down waterfalls, jumping into waterholes and having water hitting you on the back. Some of the drops were huge, say 35metres, but I felt safe the whole time. We then had breakfast before catching a bus to the white water rafting. The rapids were so fast and there were massive drops where you got drenched with water. It was rated a 3+ course and was so much fun!! It felt much more risky than the canyoning. We ate lunch and came back into town. I went to the pharmacy as my ear was infected and I wasn't feeling too good. We all got a bus to some public hot springs. We sat in the dark with a candles around and enjoyed drinks in the hot water. It felt quite luxurious. Back at the hotel we ate pizza around the pool in the balmy evening.Read more

  • Day69

    It was a long drive today. 110km from Monteverde to La Fortuna, 30km of which was on unpaved gravel road.. in "Bumpy", our "not a 4WD" Corolla. So relieved when we got to the paved road!

    Fortunately the second half of the drive was very beautiful as we drove around the perimeter of the great Arenal Lake and eventually caught sight of Arenal Volcano, an impressive and perfectly conical volcano. It was the first clear day in a month so lucky us!

    The volcano is clearly visible from the main street of La Fortuna town, which is very cool. Our hostel is awesome- complete with hammocks and a bar (free welcome drink!), as well as access to the pool down the road. Its time for an afternoon of chillaxing! :-)
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La Fortuna, FON, _Costa_Rica

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