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La Fortuna Costa Rica Waterfall

La Fortuna Costa Rica Waterfall

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Even though we were traveling in Costa Rica outside of the rainy season, we still had plenty of rain…every day. The good news is that with rain in a tropical climate comes the rainforest. And if  you’re lucky, waterfalls. And we were.

Where is the La Fortuna Waterfall?

La Fortuna Waterfall is located in a biological reserve part of the Arenal Volcano National Park in Central Costa Rica. It is 5.5 km  (3.4 miles) outside of the town La Fortuna.

To reach the entrance to the falls, you can drive yourself or take a taxi.

Walk to the La Fortuna Waterfall

The La Fortuna Waterfall was about a mile away from our cabin in the Arenal Volcano area of Costa Rica. As with most days we had rain during this mostly uphill hike, along with sun, and more rain.

In addition to ever changing weather there were a lot of interesting sights along the way.

pig by coconut stand

Local Showing Us The Way To The La Fortuna Waterfall

This pig was wandering along and came up to greet us in the muddy road.

Costa Rica Rainforest Views

Traveler Palm

Costa Rica Traveler Palm

We found a huge Traveler Palm behind a frequent sight in Costa Rica – the living fence. Sticks from a special tree in Costa Rica will grow when placed in the ground.

The are typically bound with wire and wallah – instant natural fence.

Living Fence

Living Fence

We also passed by a wood carver who had a talent for letting the wood speak to him revealing the art that lived within.

Rasta Carving

Rasta Carving with Bike Chain Hair

This long-eared cow seemed unimpressed with our efforts at climbing the muddy road to the La Fortuna Waterfall.

Costa Rican Long-eared Cow

Long-eared Cow Looks On As We Travel Up The Hill

Just before we reached the waterfall park we came across a parking area for horses complete with hay.

Horse Parking

Horse Parking

La Fortuna Waterfall Hike

There is an entry free to enter the waterfall park. It costs foreigners: $ 18.00, nationals $9.00 and children under 8 can enter for free. 

From the top of the park you can start to see a peek of the waterfall in the distance.

Arenal Waterfall

Arenal La Fortuna Waterfall In The Distance

After climbing down over 500 steps you reach the river at the bottom.

River Flowing From Waterfall

River Flowing From Waterfall

On the other side you are rewarded for your effort with a close up view of a huge thundering waterfall surrounded by jungle.

Arenal Area Waterfall

La Fortuna Waterfall

Along with a secondary waterfall off to the right that is also an impressive sight.

La fortuna Secondary Falls

La Fortuna Secondary Falls

Enjoy your accomplishment, because soon you will be faced with the 500 plus steps you need to climb to get back up the muddy trail.

Despair not, there is a bar at the top featuring cold local beer and margaritas to encourage you along.

Things to do in La Fortuna

There are plenty of activities, including guided tours in and around La Fortuna.


Outdoor enthusiasts will love the canopy tour, rafting or zip lining. There are also options for a rainforest chocolate tour and a wildlife twilight tour. One of our favorite activities, however, was checking out the Hot Spring Spas! Absolutely not to be missed.

Losing Ourselves At the Springs

Losing Ourselves at The Springs

Related articles that can help plan or inspire your visit to Costa Rica:


Monday 18th of December 2017

I am headed to Costa rica for a month and I cannot wait !! thanks for the pictures and this waterfall is on my list now!


Tuesday 26th of December 2017

Costa Rica is beautiful! Have a fantastic time

Jonny Jenkins

Sunday 8th of February 2015

Looks like a fantastic hike. As a bit of a plant but, super curious by the living fence. Love the idea of using something that is living and consistently getting stronger as the years go by instead of deteriorating... Makes me think of the living bridges in India.


Saturday 10th of January 2015

The secondary waterfall gets my vote for beauty. Any idea of the size in feet?


Saturday 10th of January 2015

Thanks for your comment! It's about 246 feet high. Pretty impressive

Alisa Kennedy

Friday 9th of January 2015

Y'all are really making me miss Costa Rica! And I love all the floppy eared cows - they make me laugh.