La Fortuna is contained within Arenal Volcano National Park, which houses the great volcano.  Mount Arenal is thought to be quite young as volcanoes go, less than 3000 years.  It has been very active in the past 35 years, almost continuously erupting, beginning in 1968 with a huge explosion that blew away one whole side of the mountain and destroyed nearby villages.  Since that time, periods of high activity at Mount Arenal have occurred about every ten years resulting in more large explosions of lava, ash and rocks and large, constant lava flows.  In the late 1990's the volcano became very active once again with frequent explosions which continue to this day.

Today La Fortuna is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Costa Rica, mainly because of people wanting to catch a glimpse of Mount Arenal.  Excursions are available for viewing the volcano but getting close to it is not recommended for anyone, especially unescorted hikers, because of its explosive nature.