La Fortuna Waterfall, La Fortuna de San Carlos

4.5
#1 of 115 in Nature in Costa Rica
A short drive from town, La Fortuna Waterfall offers an idyllic place for swimming, picnicking, and relaxing. Fed by the Arenal River, which winds its way through the rainforest before plunging dramatically over a steep cliff, this waterfall forms a large pool at the base of a dormant volcano. Lifeguards remain on duty throughout the day, while modern facilities like restrooms and showers ensure a comfortable visit in a lush area noted for thick vegetation and abundant wildlife. Prepare for a short but arduous hike to the base of the waterfall by wearing shoes suitable for slippery and uneven terrain. Use our La Fortuna de San Carlos attractions planner to add La Fortuna Waterfall and other attractions to your La Fortuna de San Carlos vacation plans.
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La Fortuna Waterfall Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
7,485 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • The price is really too high $ 15.-per person. However, we found the waterfall nice and thanks to more bad weather we had him practically for us alone. The dip in the Emerald pool just below the falls was nice and refreshing. The path is steep but top and the descent/ascent in just a few minutes feasible... Is certainly better than in crowds with little people. But we liked.
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  • We went right when they opened and hiked the 500 steps down. We were the only ones swimming for the first 30 minutes, then we started the walk back up passing tours of large groups. The area to swim i...  more »
  • Beautiful waterfall that you can swim at the base of. 500 steps up/down. Wear water shoes as it is rocky and slippery in the water.  more »
Google
  • Beautiful waterfall and it's really cool that you can swim in the waters. I don't recommend swimming in the waters right below as they are extremely choppy and you spend most of your time just getting tossed around. Rather, swim in the waters slightly downstream which are calmer and missing most of the big rocks! There are lots of friendly fish and it's nice and sandy. Heads up, you have to go down hundreds of stairs to get down which in turn means you have to climb hundreds to get back up. But not to worry, they have plenty of encouraging signs on the way up to motivate your ascent. The orchid garden there is well worth a visit too.
  • Beautiful location here and a great little restaurant too. First on the restaurant, it was one of the best meals we had in Fortuna and reasonably priced. Admission is $15 per person which is a little steep to see a waterfall. Also steep.... The climb. 500 stairs down might not sound like much, but if you haven't been on the stairmaster for weeks in end, this is going to present a challenge. The lagoon is nice and it is a beautiful waterfall, but -1 star for the price
  • It was an amazing place with a great hike in and out. There are some good places to swim just around the corner from the base of the waterfall. Bring some water because it's up 500 steps to get back to the top!
  • High priced and felt like a bit of a tourist trap. The "hike" is really just a long set of stairs - but don't let that fool you into thinking it won't be a workout. Waterfall was impressive to look at and many people were swimming in the pool. We went near the end of the dry season (in March) which meant that there was really nothing to see in the Orchid garden which was really disappointing.
  • Like most natural features in CR there is a fee for non locals. Would make for a nice 1 hour diversion if not for the 15 usd cost. Kinda makes you feel obligated to stand around longer looking up at a fairly underwhelming waterfall. Don’t get me wrong it’s nice but i don’t love having to pay extra money on top of how expensive it is to be in a town close to major attractions. In many places attractions are used to do just that, attract, so that local businesses can capitalize on the flow of people. Here they charge for EVERYTHING. Be prepared to feel like an atm here in general.
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