Original Source: “Fortuna, Costa Rica” from Sammy Spice by Samantha Hwa
My sister and I visited Costa Rica earlier this year and wanted to make sure to be in the rainforest and pack in some action before we headed to the beach destinations to wind down and relax. La Fortuna was our first destination and is a great place to start your Costa Rican adventure! It is known for its volcanos, mostly the active Arenal Volcano, the natural hot springs that come with it, and all of its activities. Here is a guide to where we stayed, where we ate, and all of our adventures in La Fortuna for four nights!
On our first morning in La Fortuna, we woke up early, had our complimentary breakfast at the hotel and then headed to hike in Arenal Volcano National Park. We made it a point to wake up early to be able to see Arenal Volcano clearly in all its glory. On most days, the early mornings were sunny with clear skies, but as soon as 10AM came around, the storm clouds rolled in and covered the top of Arenal Volcano until the afternoon rains. We grew to enjoy and look forward to the daily rainfall, though, it was relaxing and a time to wind down and have a nice meal or get a massage before dinner.
After our hike, we headed to Sky Trek for some good ol’ zip lining! This was my first zip lining experience and it did not disappoint! We flew across 7 zip lines, 656 feet above the rainforest canopy for 2.5 hours. Yewww!
On our second day, we headed to the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges. This nature preserve offers 16 bridges suspended throughout the park where you can observe wildlife and fully immerse yourself in the rainforest. This was a really cool experience but not gonna lie.. it was a littttle scary for me as I am sliiightly afraid of heights, but it was well worth it. I definitely recommend hiring a guide as most of the wildlife is difficult to spot on your own.
After crossing all of the bridges, we grabbed a refreshing smoothie from the park’s restaurant with a perfect view of the volcano before heading back to our hotel.
After showering and relaxing in our room for a bit, we went to Tabacon Hot Springs for dinner and a night in the jungle. This actually was the highlight of my trip and I was not expecting it to be. It was truly a magical experience and felt like I had stepped into another world, something similar to Avatar’s Pandora. Don’t hesitate to book this! Listen to the sounds of the rainforest at night while soaking in the natural, healing, mineral-filled hot springs. I highly recommend the afternoon/nighttime! (It’s probably way too hot during the day anyway.)
On day 3, we went to La Fortuna Waterfall at around 7:30AM. To our surprise, we were the first ones there! It was a steep but short hike down to the waterfall and an even more trying climb up- so I definitely recommend bringing a good pair of walking shoes! The waterfall was so majestic, we couldn’t wait to get in the water. Be careful though! It is very powerful and will push you around a bit. Make sure to bring water shoes! Before our trip, I ordered water shoes for my sister and I because the last time we were at a waterfall, the rocks below were sharp and slippery. And boy was I glad that I had these with me! For a few minutes we had the entire place to ourselves and it was absolute magic. It got busy quick though!
Nayara’s restaurants are all amazing and I should note that they are only available for hotel guests, so we felt especially lucky to be staying there as everything was easy access and the food was delicious!
Every morning, we would wake up early to have complimentary breakfast at the hotel’s main restaurant, Altamira. Their breakfast selection is SO good, with a made-to-order omelet station, fresh coconuts and juices, Costa Rican fare, and continental breakfast. I got hooked on the gallo pinto during my stay in Costa Rica.. rice and beans for breakfast? Yes, please!
We had drinks and lunch at the adult pool bar several times with food served from the attached Mis Amores restaurant. Poolside food and drinks… it’s the little things, am I right?
Another restaurant we tried at the resort was their Asian and Peruvian fusion restaurant, Asia Luna. Surprisingly, this was our favorite meal throughout our stay in La Fortuna. We ordered two of the spicy crunch tuna rolls because it was just that good. The sake ponzu roll is also delicious and so was the beef yakitori and the sauteed prawn wok. yumMY!
We decided to lounge at the adult pool and do a little reading one afternoon and ate at the terrace for lunch. It did not disappoint! Mmm, mmm, mmm! Ceviche all day!
These were just the restaurants that we decided to dine at but the resort has several other choices for its guests!
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