At long last! We have finally arrived at the first stop in our family Costa Rica adventure. And just where have we arrived? La Fortuna, home to Arenal Volcano and a host of fun and friendly family adventures. Get ready to witness a real live volcano, to zipline through the jungle canopy, ’cause we are off to explore La Fortuna, Costa Rica!
Volcanos and Ziplines and Hikes, Oh My!
A Costa Rica vacation isn’t complete without exploring it’s volcanoes, zipping through a jungle canopy, or hiking along trails in search of native flora and fauna. The La Fortuna area is just the place for such adventures. We spent three days exploring all this amazing area had to offer. Wish we had more time, but we made the most of each and every minute we did have. See for yourself the adventures you too can experience in just three days at La Fortuna, Costa Rica.
Start Each Day Beneath A Real Live Volcano
What’s the best way to start you day in La Fortuna? Soaking in the astounding flora that surrounds the patio of your volcano-view room, being serenaded by the songs of resident tropical birds. Oh, and watching a real live volcano huff and puff right before your eyes!
Oh no! It’s gonna blow! Not really, but our youngest loved running around yelling that.
Book a lodge with views of Arenal Volcano and you too can have a front row seat to this grand volcano as it huffs and puffs off in the distance. We had our front row seats courtesy of Volcano Lodge. So long as the clouds weren’t blocking our view, that is!
Zipline Through A Jungle Canopy
Sunrise Arenal Volcano views witnessed. Now it’s time to take this adventure to another level. Anyone up for a crash course in ziplining through the jungle canopy? Without the crash, part, of course!
Ziplining was our oldest son’s #1 requested activity, so of course, if he was going to do it, we adults couldn’t be upstaged. So buckle us up, guide, we’re ready to zip! And zip we did, through fifteen platforms. Though that first plunge over the edge was more intimidating than I ever expected. I’m sure they heard that scream a mile away!
Our youngest wasn’t quite big enough to zipline on his own. That didn’t stop him though. Our zipline guide just hooked himself to our son and off they went. Two points for style! Judging by the smiles all around, this was an adventure loved by one and all.
Hike In the Shadows of Arenal Volcano
Lace up those hiking boots! It’s time for a late afternoon hike in the shadows of Arenal Volcano. El Silencio Park, close enough to the volcano to warrant a warning sign, is just the place for spectacular volcano views and and hiking along jungle trails. Keep an eye out for the locals as you hike.
Hmm, I wonder if we should have paid more attention to that sign – Danger High Risk Volcano Zone. Oh well, let’s get hiking. By the way, did you take note of where that Emergency Exit is?
Our hike began with incredible views of Arenal Volcano before turning into the jungle. Once in the jungle, it didn’t take long to spot several local inhabitants, including this amazingly beautiful toucan and these two winged beauties.
Be sure to take the time to listen to the jungle. You might just hear a howler monkey. We heard one, even saw it off in the distance. Sadly he didn’t sit still long enough for a photo so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
Witness First Hand Volcanic Action & Lava Flow
All that hiking tired you out? Hope you saved enough energy for this dusk-time activity – lava flow watching! All you need is the right spot and a clear night to witness lava flowing down the sides of Arenal Volcano. How cool is that!
Our local guide knew exactly where to witness Mother Nature at work. And we were in luck! A clear night, and lava flows. Yes, those puffs of white smoke really are streams of molten lava. And no, we weren’t in any danger. Though my youngest did yell “duck and cover,” causing a mildly funny reaction from other lava watchers nearby! 🙂
Soak It All In At Volcano-heated Hot Springs
What’s the perfect end to an adventurous day in La Fortuna? Enjoying a dip in local hot springs warmed by all that volcano geothermal activity. Take your pick of several La Fortuna hot springs, and soak away the day’s adventures.
We soaked our way through fourteen different pools at our chosen hot springs. Now that’s the way to end the day! And it put the kids to sleep. Even better, a calm hotel room that night. Everyone slept well.
Get Up Close with Botanicals Birds & Butterflies
La Fortuna is teeming with astoundingly beautiful flora and fascinatingly interesting fauna at every turn. Just keep your eyes open where ever your adventurous spirit takes you. You never know what critters will cross your path or what flowers will greet you along that walkway.
Our adventurous spirit brought us to a local botanical garden where we were surrounded by a plethora of colorful specimens, winged beauties, and hopping critters.
So many amazing birds. This botanical garden was most definitely a birder’s paradise. Birds so tame, they’d drop in for a quick bite to eat right from the bird handler’s hand!
Pay close attention to where you walk. You might see a butterfly munching on pineapple, or a blue jeans frog hop across the path. Or maybe a coatimundi making a mad dash across the road.
So why did the coatimundi cross the road? To get to the jungle on the other side, of course!
Moving On Now! Off to Our Next Costa Rica Adventure
Goodbye La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano. Goodbye Mr. Coatimundi! So glad you ran by us, slowing down just enough so we could capture your image and remember you for years down the road. Which was the direction you were heading!
We had a blast, but it’s time to head to our next Costa Rica adventure.
Have you traveled to Costa Rica? Did you explore the Arenal Volcano area? What was your favorite activity? Let us know in the Comments section below.
Check out my other posts about our family travels to Costa Rica:
- Snapshots of One Family’s Costa Rica Adventures
- Sights and Sounds of Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
- Playa Nicuesa – An Off The Grid Fab Family Jungle Adventure
- A Wildly Wonderful Meet & Greet In Costa Rica
Images from C.Biederman and Arenal.net (Hot springs image only).