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fortuna waterfall front aerial view with pond_
 - Costa Rica

Fortuna Waterfall Guided Hike

Fortuna Waterfall Guided Hike

Destination: Arenal

Highlights

  • View the tallest (230 feet) and most accessible waterfall in Arenal
  • Wade in the shallow waters of La Fortunita River - 132 ft (40 m) away from the waterfall

Facts

  • Yearly visitors : 230,000
  • Waterfall Water Volume : 344 gallons per second
  • Waterfall Height : 230 feet (70 meters)
  • Water Weight : 1 ton & 300 kilos
  • Location : 2 miles from La Fortuna town
  • Hours of Operation : 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Tour Time Length : 2-3 hours
  • Hours : 8 a.m. up to 4 p.m. (last tour)
  • What is Included : entrance fee to waterfall, guide, transportation, and bottled water
  • What to Bring : water shoes, change of clothes, towel, a camera and your cell phone

Leaping off the cliff 230 feet above, La Fortuna Waterfall plunges into a small circular pool surrounded by moss-draped canyon walls dating back to 45,000 years. Roaring and frothing, the whitewater churns into a small stream.

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The water flows under rainforest towering trees through rocks into La Fortunita River where you can wade in and cool off in its shallow waters. It is fun to play with small minnows and Manchaca fish that rub against your skin. The riverbanks are sandy and lined with large boulders where you can sit to enjoy the view and a log for hanging to dry your clothes while you enjoy the water.

To get to La Fortuna Waterfall you will have to brave a slightly arduous 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 feel the 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.

Just past the entrance, there is a small souvenir shop where you can buy drinks and snacks. Continue to the first viewing platform right next to the beginning of the steps.

About the Surrounding Area of La Fortuna Waterfall

Set in among seven volcanoes dating more than 90,000 years, the head water of La Fortunita River runs for 4.3 miles (4 km) between Los Perdidos Volcano and Cerro Chato, gushes downhill to form La Fortuna Waterfall and continues to join La Fortuna River and after 18.6 miles it flows into Penas Blancas River.

The volcanoes around the area are Cha-cha Guita, Cha-cha Guita Two, Los Perdidos One, Los Perdidos Two, Cerro Chato, and Arenal, which is the youngest volcano in the country (7,000 years).

Fortuna Waterfall Guided Hike in Pictures

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