Orientation Costa Rica prides itself on sustainable tourism and few communities reflect that pride better than La Fortuna. Located in northwestern Costa Rice, La Fortuan was formed into the town that it is today thanks to an eruption by one of its two volcanoes, Volcano Arenal, in 1968. La Fortuna has the largest artificial lake, […]
Costa Rica prides itself on sustainable tourism and few communities reflect that pride better than La Fortuna. Located in northwestern Costa Rice, La Fortuan was formed into the town that it is today thanks to an eruption by one of its two volcanoes, Volcano Arenal, in 1968.
La Fortuna has the largest artificial lake, Lake Arenal, in Central America, which produces about 35% of the country’s electricity. It is very rich in flora and fauna and there are a lot of adventure tourism activities for travelers. It is also in one of the riches agricultural parts of the country, producing yucca, papaya, banana, sugar cane, and pineapple.
Other activities include hiking through cloud forests in neighboring towns, wind surfing on the lake, and horseback riding and hiking can be arranged in the same trip. Also visit nearby watering holes and rivers in to cool off.
As mentioned before, Costa Rica prides itself on sustainable tourism. It also promotes products that reflect sustainability, like wood cut in a sustainably conscious manner or recycled goods. Many products and businesses are often certified by some organization that measures its sustainability. One such certification to look for is the little green frog used by the Rain Forest Alliance. Not all products have certifications, but it is something to look out for while traveling and searching for the perfect souvenir.
You can easily find many of these products in the small shops in La Fortuna. There is also a farmer’s market on Fridays in the Salon Comunal where you can get traditionally made tamales and other local food treats, locally made herbal detergents, soaps and essences, and lots of fresh produce.
Wood products – rustic furniture, statues, and carvings.
Recycled art – recycled paper stationary, paper art, old tire sculptures, and more.
Coffee and coffee products – a coffee lovers paradise, Costa Rica has all you can dream of and La Fortuna carries it all, in addition to chocolate-covered coffee beans.
Paintings – sold by locals, paintings include images of Costa Rican scenery and natural life, which reflect much Costa Rican daily life in the present and past.
Options range from small cheap (and delicious) local restaurants to 5 star dining. Just walk the main drag and you most definitely find something.
Carlos Cuadra Cruz – Cost Rica Full Guide- land line 50624798340, cell 50686046166, firstname.lastname@example.org, or facebook: Costa Rica Full Guide
Carlos is an excellent, experienced, and very knowledgeable guide. Highly recommended. Can be contacted in English or Spanish.
Jose Ademar – Arenal Vida Campesina- 50686399412
Major flights land in Alajuela, close to the country’s capital, San Jose.
Private Car: From Alajuela, it is about 2 hours by private vehicle to La Fortuna. Follow the Interamerican Highway (Carretera Interamericana) towards Puntarenas. After an hour, you will get to the intersection of San Ramon where you will take a right towards La Fortuna (Arenal). From there, follow the signs. You will go through the towns of La Tigra and Chachagua. It is a pretty direct highway.
Local Bus: If going by local bus, take a taxi and tell the driver to take you to the bus stop near the Mall Internacional where buses leave for La Fortuna or Ciudad Quesada. If you get a bus to La Fortuna, (06:15 am, 08:40 am 11:30 am) you will not have to change anywhere along the way and the trip will take about 3 hours.
If you get a bus to Ciudad Quesada, you will have to change buses at the bus station in Ciudad Quesada. The bus schedule for buses going from Alajuela de Ciudad Quesada is 5:00AM, 5:30AM, 6:15AM, 7:00AM, 8:00AM, 9:00AM, 10:40AM, 11:30AM, and every hour until 7:10PM. There are two direct buses that pass at 7:30AM and 5:30PM.
There are two options to get to La Fortuna from Ciudad Quesada: 1) Buses that go through Chachagua (a longer trip by maybe a half an hour), and 2) Buses that go through El Tanque (faster). The schedule for Chachagua is 06:00 am, 10:30 am, 12:30 am, 03:30 pm, 05:15 pm, and 08:00 pm. The schedule for El Tanque is 5:30 am, 08:30 am, 09:30 am, 10:00 am, 11:40 am, 01:00 pm, 01:30 pm, 03:30 pm, 05:00 pm, 06:00 pm, 09:30 pm.
The total travel time when changing buses will be about 4 hours.
For more information check out the community tourism website here.