La Fortuna Waterfall
Nature & Wildlife Areas • Waterfalls
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7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
The Fortuna River Waterfall is a natural area managed sustainably by Integral Development Association of La Fortuna (ADIFORT), a non-profit organization, having as its main objective to ensure the well-being and growth of La Fortuna community; projects that are possible to run thanks to funds raised by the visit of each tourist to this natural space. La Fortuna Waterfall is located in a biological reserve with an area of 210 acres of transition premontane tropical wet forest, part of the Arenal Volcano National Park and is located at 520 meters over the sea level, where there are sources of our mountains and the waters of La Fortuna River. To observe this splendid 70 meters high waterfall, visitors must pass a path of approximately 530 steps, which offers greater security to its passage and comfortable areas for rest and hydration through a forest with native trees of the area.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Admission tickets
from $18.00
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
9,496 reviews
Excellent
6,083
Very good
2,545
Average
696
Poor
122
Terrible
50

Astria
Dallas, TX54 contributions
Jul 2022
This was a great waterful. Very beautiful. You don't have to rent a tour or a 'skip the line' ticket. The lines were not long at all, and it wasn't a problem to purchase a ticket right at the main entrance. Children over 8 are $18. You get a wristband for all day access - you can leave and come back. There are showers, a restaurant and bathrooms at the top, then you make your decent down 500 stairs to the waterfall. The stairs can be a bit much, but there are places to take breaks and sit along the way. We saw little children, elderly people with canes, etc. walking it. They just took breaks. The water is very, very cold. The waterfall part itself is pretty deep, so good swimmers are recommended there, although the current pushes you away from the actual waterfall becuase it's so strong. The other side is more of a running river area. It's a little warmer, and great for kids. Our boys (ages 10 and 12) played for hours. There are fish around (not pretty, just interesting to swim with them) and it does get crowded. There are places on the rocks to put your bags if you don't want to leave them in your car/in lockers at the top of the stairs, etc.) It's easy to get to via GPS. You'll likely end up following a tour bus anyway. We went closer to the end of the day (the park closes at 5 p.m.) and the crowds weren't terrible.
Written July 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rowan H
Cairns, Australia1,316 contributions
Oct 2022 • Friends
e visited the La Fortuna waterfall today as a group of 3 based in La Fortuna and here are a few of my tips if you’re planning a trip here.

* Logistically you can just get a Uber here from town. You don’t need to visit it as part of a tour or pay for car hire. This only cost about 3100 colon for the ride one way.

* Its 18 USD entry or you can pay in colon (11325). There are card facilities available. Unlike Volcan Arenal national park you can pay in cash, you don’t need to use card.

* At the time we visited there was no line for ticket so I cannot see any reason to purchase the ‘skip the line’ tickets.

* Given its only 5km from town a good idea is to Uber to the waterfall and then walk back (its uphill going to the waterfall but downhill going back to town). A advantage is this approach is that you can stop at El Salto, a free waterfall a couple of km’s out of la Fortuna on the way back.

* This place reportingly sees 100000 visitors a year. That’s a lot of people for a fairly small attraction. Consider coming here at opening time (0700am). We arrived at 0800 and there were already tour buses rocking up. The space you visit is quite small so it gets crowded quickly, even with a dozen people.

* Keep an eye out for wildlife. We saw 3 toucans on the tree adjacent to the first mirador on our way in.

* The waterfall itself was absolutely stunning and the infrastructure leading to it was very well designed and maintained. Yes, there is 500 steps but that’s not too bad, just take some regular rest breaks.

Overall a attraction that surprisingly lived up to its significant hype.
Written October 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CONatureGirl
Denver, Colorado239 contributions
May 2022
This was a fun hike...those 500+ stairs are no joke! But it was beautiful, just take your time, we saw monkeys in the trees on the way down. We were short on time and couldn't swim in the water, but lots of people were doing so - I'd recommend it, it truly is beautiful. The falls are gorgeous and you realize how big they are when you are standing right there. I was concerned the price just to hike to it, but they have to maintain the property, trail and showers, so it makes sense. It's worth it for the beautiful view and more so if you have time to swim and make an afternoon or morning of it.
Written June 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Leannie
Hanoi, Vietnam1,207 contributions
Apr 2022 • Couples
This is a stunning waterfall and you can have a swim and it certainly makes for some stunning photos. However entrance is way over priced for this activity and it is just 500 steps to a waterfall and back.
The shop was laughably expensive, one tour book on plants of Costa Rica with the rrp in the back of 9.99 and they had the cheek to sell it for 45.00!
Written April 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Alex L
Silver Spring, MD31 contributions
Dec 2020
La Fortuna Waterfall is a must-visit opportunity while in the Arenal area. But an immediate word of caution: there are 500 stairs leading down to the base of the waterfall from the entrance. I've run several marathons/halfs and consider myself relatively fit for a middle-age fellow. But the descent and ascent on those stairs left my calves sore for half a week, and I had to stop to rest at least twice. Please take the strenuousness into account, particularly if you have young children or family/friends with mobility issues. There are several places to stop and rest, including benches, and there are handrails throughout the park that can help keep your balance. If taking your time is an option, then I recommend it. Plus, by taking your time, you are able to witness much more of the flora and fauna on the way down/up the stairs. Closed toed shoes are recommended as is a water bottle. Sunscreen is unnecessary as the park is fairly shaded, though bugspray might be good addition just in case. The descent and ascent took my wife and I a little less than an hour, but we were literally the first people in the park on a weekday. I'd recommend 2 hours for most folks during a typical tourist season.

Once you reach the bottom of the stairs, you will see a most magnificent and powerful waterfall. The day we visited followed several days of heavy rain and so swimming was not allowed. But on most days, they will allow visitors to swim in the pools nearby to the waterfall. Wear a swimsuit just in case. There are no bathrooms at the base of the stairs, and so make sure that you take advantage of the two sets of bathrooms at/near the entrance.

There is a gift shop onsite (in fact I think there are two) in addition to a butterfly garden and an orchid trail. We took advantage of the garden and trail after ascent in order to taper our legs from the "burn" of climbing 500 stairs in 15 minutes. Cost to enter was $15/per and totally worth it. Take your cameras for some incredible opportunities to photograph not only the waterfall but also the surrounding wildlife and trees. Quite majestic.
Written December 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

chuddington
London38 contributions
Feb 2022
I feel bad leaving a low review about a very beautiful place. The truth is, it's just a waterfall. Once you have walked down it is possible to swim in the very cold water, paddle in the river and walk back up the 400 or so steps. That's it. Nice facilities, plenty of staff to whistle at you and tell you not to go here or there and going back up is a great work out. But it is very much a crowded honeypot tourist place and for that you are paying a hefty entrance fee. At $18 a head this is more expensive than a worthwile full day visit to a full size national park, of which Costa Rica has many.
Written March 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Fiona E
3 contributions
Feb 2022
A bit Disney Land - pay a ludicrous amount to see a fairly average waterfall by Costa Rican standards. Very busy - far better waterfalls out there that you can have to yourself. A bit naff, in short.
Written February 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TravelGalPaulaJ
Washington DC, DC5 contributions
Feb 2020
Feb 2020- $18 entrance fee
We allowed ourselves 3 hours at the sight which included about an hour for lunch at the restaurant OUTSIDE of the park (our mistake).

We were warned about the 500 steps down and more importantly the 500 steps back up! On the way down (the easy part) we saw a few groups of people resting at the landings. Some of the landings had benches others had areas for you to stand and catch your breath. The climb up is an effort, but it's not a race or timed so, definitely doable for people of all ages an conditions....just pace yourself.

I was more concerned about the slippery rocks! But the view is amazing! Do yourself a favor, especially if you live in a big city....stop and take in nature's beauty!

You can do this solo, with a group, family, children (though I would be careful with young ones), couple. You do not need a guide.

Bring a towel, swim clothes if you plan to get in the water (plan to get in the water), and good walking shoes for the stair (hiking boots not necessary), and water.

I think there may have been some other attractions there (butterfly farm maybe...but we did not spend anytime there).
Written February 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We are very happy that you enjoyed visiting us. See you soon back! ❤️ #lafortunawaterfall #anexperiencetoenjoy
Written February 15, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

DoodleDuckie
Yorkville, IL160 contributions
Jun 2022 • Family
The La Fortuna waterfall was gorgeous and it was fun going in the water. However, holy lord are there a lot of steps. I suggest being in good shape for this one because it was pretty hard coming back up and my legs were sore for the rest of the trip! This is one that you should probably skip if you are traveling with senior citizens and maybe young kids too. I’m glad I saw it, but no way would I do those steps again!
Written June 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

middle_aged_mom_12
KC229 contributions
Dec 2020 • Family
Ok, so the falls are beautiful, and fascinating, but unless you are in shape enough to travel down several steep flights of steps (530+ steps) and then back UP those steps again to leave, you may want to skip it. It cost us $18 per person for the privilege of nearly having heart attacks trying to climb the stairs back up.
Some people enjoy swimming here also at the base of the falls. A company owns a zip line that begins not far from the top of the falls, so you can enjoy hearing people screaming and whooping as they send another person down the zip line.
Written December 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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La Fortuna Waterfall (La Fortuna de San Carlos) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about La Fortuna Waterfall

La Fortuna Waterfall is open:
  • Sun - Sat 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

La Fortuna Waterfall admission prices can vary. Entrance tickets currently cost $18.00, while a popular guided tour starts around $20.00 per person. See all 81 La Fortuna Waterfall tickets and tours on Tripadvisor

La Fortuna Waterfall can be crowded, so we recommend booking e-tickets ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund. See all 81 La Fortuna Waterfall tickets and tours on Tripadvisor