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activities in La Fortuna / Arenal

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Palm Coast, Florida
posts: 8
reviews: 2
activities in La Fortuna / Arenal

My fiance and I are planning on coming to CR May 2013 for our honeymoon! I think we're going to rent a car from SJO and drive to Manuel Antonio for a couple days, then drive to La Fortuna for the remainder of our trip.

I think we'll have 3 full days here, and my fiance can't sit still so I want to plan as many adventures as possible.

We're looking for recommendations for:

- rafting companies (class III to IV)

- ATV or bicycle tours

- hiking

- any other adventures recommended

- I think we're going to do zip lining in MA

Any ideas/recommendations are appreciated! Thank you!

Telluride, CO
posts: 82
reviews: 10
1. Re: activities in La Fortuna / Arenal

When in La Fortuna, I would recommend Wave Expeditions for your rafting and rappelling needs. They have a cool tour that includes both rappelling and rafting all into one exciting day. I would look at the Toro River, it's class III - IV rapids, you should be good as you are at the start of rainy season. As for ATV, bike, hiking look at Jacamar Naturalist Tours, they can arrange all of those tours. If you are not staying at a hotel with hot springs Jacamar offer's a tour the includes a hiking tour of Arenal Volcano and then Tabacon hot springs with dinner. It's a nice romantic tour. I also like the Arenal Hanging bridges tour, that one is pretty neat.

As for Manuel Antonio people will chime in with their recommendations for ziplining. I prefer Midworld, they are safe, professional and they have one of the longest if not longest cable in Costa Rica. Their tour will also include breakfast or lunch depending on the time you go.Another fun tour is the Damas Island Esturary Kayaking tour that is in Manuel Antonio.

Hope this info finds you well have fun!!!

Palm Coast, Florida
posts: 8
reviews: 2
2. Re: activities in La Fortuna / Arenal

Awesome, thanks for the great feedback!!

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
posts: 4,100
reviews: 123
3. Re: activities in La Fortuna / Arenal

Desafio and Sunset Tours are two great tour companies in the Fortuna/Arenal area. They have good websites if you want to check them out. We used Rios Tropicales for rafting and loved them - very fun but still safety conscious. For hiking, do the waterfall, the Hanging Bridges, and a volcano hike if you want to - no current lava flow though. We've also done the La Roca canyoning trip with Sunset Tours, and it was amazing - lot of waterfall rappels, a zipline, hanging bridge, etc. We like Eco Termales and Tabacon for hot springs. The Cano Negro tour is a nice way to see wildlife if you're up for an all day tour. Proyecto Asis is a cool animal rescue center if you want to get close to wildlife. If you change your mind about zipping in the area, Sky Trek is amazing.

Atlanta, GA
posts: 307
reviews: 1
4. Re: activities in La Fortuna / Arenal

I second Wave Adventures, they're great. Love the new restaurant and cultural experience they';re doing on the Balsa run. I also like the canyoing tours. La Roca, which is new is really fun, Pure Trek is nice as well,

posts: 181
reviews: 11
5. Re: activities in La Fortuna / Arenal

Desafio is excellent and they've got the best food.

Houston, TX
posts: 78
reviews: 49
6. Re: activities in La Fortuna / Arenal

Highly recommend the repelling tour through Desafio! We are adrenaline junkies and you won't be disappointed!

For hiking I would recommend the Arenal Observatory Lodge. $6/person. All trails are marked as easy except the Old Lava Trail and Cherro Chato volcano. Both of those are marked difficult. Old Lava Trail is approx 45 min round trip. A challenge for sure, but a short lived challenge. Cherro Chato says 4 hrs round trip, but I say 4.5+. We are in good shape, made almost no stops up/down the trail and it took us 4:20. The entire 4 hrs is not difficult either. First 30 min is easy, next 30 min is slightly moderate at best. You have a 1+ hr hike up that is definitely difficult and then the 1+ hr back down that is difficult. Then return via 30 min of moderate and 30 min of easy. It's truly a challenge, but worth doing! Take your time. Stop frequently. If it takes you 6 hrs so what! Who can say they have hiked to the top of a volcano?!

Rancho Margot in El Castillo offers a good 2 hr horse back riding tour for $35. Great view of the volcano and the lake.

Stand Up Paddle (SUP) would be another fun option.

We stayed outside of La Fortuna in El Castillo. Was more centrally located to all the adrenaline junkie activities we wanted to do. We had a 5-15 min trip to most of our activities vs if we had stayed in La Fortuna we would have had a 45+ min drive to all we wanted to do. Check out Birdsong Arenal for an absolutely AMAZING place....wake up daily to full view of the volcano, romantic, exclusive, etc.....

Palm Coast, Florida
posts: 8
reviews: 2
7. Re: activities in La Fortuna / Arenal

your post was great, thanks so much!!! :) i am so excited to go!

Rochester, New...
posts: 65
reviews: 74
8. Re: activities in La Fortuna / Arenal

Hi clpayne- I'm confused. Isn't Arenal Observatory Lodge a hotel? Do they let non-guests in for $6 to use their property?

Malmo, Sweden
posts: 8
9. Re: activities in La Fortuna / Arenal

We just returned from our second trip to Costa Rica and it was awesome.

We had three full days at Arenal. On our first day we went on a private 3 in 1 tour: Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall and volcano hike with Erick ( www.tarabatours.com ). It was amazing. Erick is a fabulous guide with a tremendous knowledge of the local flora and fauna and we really enjoyed being on a private tour. We saw lots of different birds, an agouti family, several coaties, peccaries, monkeys, a sloth, two snakes, a tarantula and all kinds of bugs. So if you are interested in wildlife and nature, I highly recommend doing a tour with him.

On our second day we went ziplining with Sky Trek. It's a great experience and really fun. In the evening we went to Ecotermales. A lovely place and very relaxing

On our third day, we drove to the Venado Caves and joined one of their guided tours of the caves. We got completely soaked and dirty but it was a gorgeous adventure. There are lots of bats inside the cave....

Have fun and enjoy your honeymoon

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 43,356
10. Re: activities in La Fortuna / Arenal

Yes Arenal Obsevatory Lodge will let anybody IN for $ 6.00 ...anybody!

For rafting around Arenal...nobody can beat DESAFIO...incredible nice safety record...and all ICT credetntials and follow all Health Dpt...safety and operations prtotocols...great group of river guides!

For Pacuare Riveer maybe our most popular commercial river to run...RIOS TROPICALES!


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