La Fortuna Waterfall Costa Rica

Friday 1 Dec, 2023
One of the most iconic attractions in La Fortuna. The Waterfall is a must-do in town.
La Fortuna Waterfall
La Fortuna River Waterfall

The Fortuna River Waterfall is located into a preserve of approximately 210 acres, situated on the southwest side of La Fortuna, this biological reserve adjoins the Arenal Volcano National Park next to Chato Hill, integrating the protective zone of Arenal. The preserve has an average altitude of 520 meters above sea level, and it is almost entirely covered by exuberant rainforest type.

Waterfall History

70 meters high waterfall
70 meters high waterfall

La Fortuna River Waterfall was one of the first tourist attractions available in La Fortuna Town. The Preserve was acquired several years ago by the town and managed by the local Development Association (Adifort) and sometime later they built a trail and a road to make it accessible.

The public area of the preserve accessible to the visitors is called popularly like the Waterfall, at the entrance, there is a big parking lot, a building where the tickets are sold, and the affluence is controlled by the park workers. After paying for your ticket, you will walk through a hanging bridge to get to the area where we find the restaurant and the bathrooms. In this area, you will have access to the lookout, which is a great place for a selfie with a panoramic view of the waterfall at your back. From here, there is a trail that comes straight to the waterfall base. This trail is a great access, quality built, with railings, thought about in safety and comfort, to help the clients with the steep way.

The Project

All the money that comes in for entrance fees is used by Adifort to improve and build local roads, schools, parks, public infrastructure, and social aid programs for the inhabitants of La Fortuna. Thus, every person who visits the waterfall is helping the town with many help and infrastructure programs. Nowadays, the road to the waterfall is well paved, and the facilities and trails into the preserve are well-kept and clean all the time. Another important fact is that this project gives employment to several people in town directly and so many others indirectly.

The Waterfall

This beautiful cascade suddenly breaks into a cliff and falls down for 70 meters to a small lagoon at the base of the river. Swimming near the waterfall is forbidden as it is dangerous to approach the waterfall as the water stream can take you. But we can swim around it to a safe distance and in the rest of the river to enjoy great fresh and pure water to boost your energy up. Once you walk through the 530 steps and make it to the waterfall, you will find a great and spacious viewpoint to catch your breath and take the best pictures. We recommend you to explore the river a bit, you will be amazed by the lush and green and maybe you can spot a bird or butterfly.

Swimming at the waterfall
Swimming at the waterfall

Interesting Facts about La Fortuna Waterfall
  • • Height: 70 meters
  • • Preserve Size: 210 acres.
  • • Altitud: 520 meters above sea level
  • • Trail length: 530 steps

What's the best way to visit La Fortuna River Waterfall?

The waterfall preserve is easily accessible from La Fortuna Town. Despite that is very easy to get there, many visitors make most of their trip and decide to take a walk or a tour to visit it. Let's see some choices.

Driving: It is quite easy to get to La Fortuna Waterfall by car. The waterfall is located 5 km away from La Fortuna Town. You can adjust your Waze or Google map with the address, or you can drive through road number 702 for about a mile and then make a right at La Fortuna Waterfall detour and take the concrete road straight to the Waterfall for about 2 more miles.

By Taxi: A cab or UBER could charge between $10 to $15 depending on the time and quantity of people. The trip takes less than 10 minutes.

Hiking: This is maybe the most popular way to get to La Fortuna Waterfall. Lots of people do this to have some exercise, but also to relax and enjoy the area and the views. Normally you see people walking or running around this road. There is a very useful sidewalk from La Fortuna Town which takes you directly to the concrete road which goes to the waterfall.

Horseback Riding: Everybody loves horses, we do as well. And so many visitors use the horses to visit the waterfall all year round. The tour takes you through a farm that goes close along the paved road, crossing rivers, forests, and pastures to finally get to the Waterfall entrance. The tour normally takes around 45 minutes on the horse, and it is very funny, it is highly recommended for the whole family. Seven Tours offers this tour with the best guides and horses in town.

From La Fortuna to La Fortuna Waterfall
From La Fortuna to La Fortuna Waterfall -> Open map

Do I need a guide?
Really depends on how much you would like to know about the area. it is true that you can always go on your own and get great pictures and enjoy the trip. But we must say that a tour guide really makes the difference if you are looking for more information, and to spot more wildlife and know what are you seeing at that moment. Guides around La Fortuna are very knowledgeable and always is a plus to have one.

Guided tours near the waterfall
Guided tours near the waterfall

Is a tour available if I don't have a car?

Also, you can plan your visit with a tour, Seven Tours takes you to the Waterfall with a guided tour. This is an easy way to go to the waterfall without driving or paying a taxi twice, and get the best of this place with all the information and safety that a tour and a guide can offer.

Can I combine my visit to the Waterfall with something else?

Absolutely. Our clients usually combine their visit to the Waterfall with the visit to Arenal Volcano, also with the Hanging Bridges, and a full combination tour that includes these 3 activities and a visit to the waterfall to have a plenty experience of La Fortuna area.

Check out these activities that include La Fortuna Waterfall