Monday, 9 October 2017

A Trip to Costa Rica: La Fortuna

 Part 3 of our Costa Rica trip took us to La Fortuna, sitting comfortable in the very green basin of the Arenal volcano. La Fortuna was the first place where we wished we'd had some extra time, as it was a truly beautiful area with a lot to look at and we managed to do quite a lot here - but didn't come even close to ticking off all the things we'd wanted to do.



 There was also some delicious food options available here! We loved this breakfast from the Red Frog Coffee Roaster.


 La Fortuna was a particularly artistic and crafty area. We loved a lot of the bright and creative designs here. There were a few pictures we found that would look absolutely perfect on our walls, but sadly were just too big to bring back with us.




 I am actually ashamed to tell you that we did not hike in the national park itself. We really wanted to, but ultimately there just wasn't the time for it. We did a few shorter hikes which were great, but we didn't make it anywhere near the volcano or to the waterfall. If we were to return to Costa Rica this is definitely something we'd change, I think the hikes here are probably some of the best you could do.

  What we did do, was go on a chocolate tour. I've done a few before but it was Chris's first time, and he learned a lot. We got to try a lot of Costa Rican fruit (why is the avocado just SO GOOD here?!) and took a box of dark chocolate brownies away with us. Although, admittedly, they didn't last very long.





 What we did do however, was visit some hot springs! I love hot springs, and it was Chris's first experience with them. I do think this is definitely something you should do if you're in the area. If you don't want to spend the money, there are some free alternatives available but they are a bit, well...they're not luxurious. They are eventually water running under a bridge with lots of graffiti, and if that suits you then awesome! If not, plenty of alternatives are available. In fact, if you're driving, you'll probably drive down a long road featuring nothing but big fancy hot springs and resort hotels.

  We went with Ecotermales Fortuna and were very happy with our experience. The pools were beautiful, and it wasn't too busy at all so quite often you could get a pool to yourself. There was also a bar right next to one of the springs, and it sold genuinely some of the best cocktails I've ever had. I'd definitely recommend you stop off here for a few hours, but I'd advise against the dinner - it was quite expensive and one of our least favourite meals of the whole trip. I don't know if all the health claims made are true, but I definitely made the effort to bathe as much of my sunburned shoulder as possible - and finally stopped sneezing for the first time in a few days!


 We also did a frog tour at the Arenal Oasis Eco Lodge, and we're glad we did. It was quite expensive at $40 each, but we saw lots of different frogs and a couple of snakes as well. These red eyed tree frogs are surprisingly pretty in person, and we learned a lot about them. There are cheaper alternatives if you want to find frogs in this area, but the others all involve enclosures and terrariums and we preferred to go and find them out in the wild as anything else felt a bit too much like something we could just experience at London Zoo.

Overall, would I recommend La Fortuna? Yes, absolutely. La Fortuna was probably our favourite place and there is a LOT to do here. We spent two nights here and it definitely was not enough. I would suggest at least three, ideally four - particularly if you want to do a greater variety of hikes or want to try out some other hot springs or nature walks. It's an absolutely beautiful place with a lot of variety, and I don't think you'd be able to get bored here.
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