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La Fortuna Waterfall

La Fortuna Waterfall

Quick Facts

  • Location : 2 miles southwest of La Fortuna
  • Altitude : 1,135 feet above sea level
  • Hours : 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
  • Entrance Fee : $10

A 230-foot cascade pours from the mouth of a cliff into the choppy-bluish waters beneath La Fortuna Waterfall.

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To get there you'll have to brave a slightly perilous set of 488 stairs that wind down the side of the cliff toward the falls with stunning views of rainforest canopy and ancient tree buttresses. Along the way, you'll probably need to stop and let visitors returning to the top pass you on the narrow staircase, but don't expect them to thank you – they're not being rude, they're just out of breath.

It all pays off once you reach the bottom and witness Arenal's largest waterfall. A thunderous roar echoes through the circular enclave that's been eroded through thousands of years. Moss cakes the high rock walls surrounding the falls.  Two separate viewing areas offer different perspectives to take in the falls, plus you can walk out onto the rocks right beside the bank of the tumultuous plunge basin.

The water from the falls flows into a small river where guests can wade in and cool off. The banks of the river are sandy and pocked with large boulders and a log for hanging your dry clothes while you enjoy the water.

The Basics

It's not only the largest waterfall in the area, it's also the most accessible. Biking and horseback riding tours are among the different ways to experience the waterfall, but not necessary as travelers can drive right up to the guest center at the entrance of La Fortuna Waterfall. Just past the entrance, there is a small souvenir shop where guests can buy drinks and snacks.

La Fortuna Waterfall in Pictures