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“Nice waterfall to see but don't go out of your way.”

La Fortuna Waterfall
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: La Fortuna Waterfall Ecological Reserve Our fortune of crystalline waters Located in Central America, Costa Rica, in the northern plains, just 4 kilometers from La Fortuna, a piece of nature is hidden, a bit of green gold, which sustains our community and makes us proud of its beauty: The La Fortuna Waterfall. A place so near, and yet so far from the sounds of the quaint town. The Waterfall Ecological Reserve is complete with a parking lot, souvenir shop, restrooms, changing rooms, and a snack shop. The reserve is visited by more than 1000 tourists a year, who come to enjoy this piece of heaven, a continuous water flow which fascinates all who behold it. From the time of your arrival, the staff will treat you with the full attention that you deserve. The initial bridge will allow you to observe the marvelous flora and fauna as you reach the first observation point, giving you a preview of what you will discover after descending 600 meters. Once you begin your journey down, you will observe all kinds of birds, including the ever popular toucan, which is often found in this area, feeding on insects. Along the expedition, you will discover the true colors of nature and the adrenaline felt climbing down and back up 480 natural steps, with appropriate rest areas along the way. Later, the view will clear, allowing you to admire our true fortune of crystalline waters. As you continue down, you will discover a dry waterfall, over 5000 years old, in which water flows only during the rainy season, in addition to our waterfall with a constant water flow, both of which are studied each year by Canadian geology students. Both rock formations were formed by the magma poured out of the Arenal Volcano, thousands of years ago. Finally, we can fully enjoy this splendid touch of nature; the pure waters of the La Fortuna Waterfall and its 70 meters of height, which reflect the magnificent power of Mother Nature. More than 100,000 tourists from around the world have come for a simple visit, to film movies and TV programs, and even to celebrate their wedding, each leaving with incredible memories. Once you climb down to the base of the waterfall, you can fully enjoy the refreshing crystal clear waters, a desire of all human life. Take the time to enjoy safe and fun recreation in harmony with our natural resources, including coexistence with the fish which nurture this piece of heaven…our fortune of crystalline waters. We are non-profit organization runs the waterfall, using the entrance fee to help maintain different projects for improving the life of the population of La Fortuna. Our work are focus on social projects, infrastructure improving and protection and maintenance of natural resources of La Fortuna.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed September 2, 2013

I'd stop by if you're in La Fortuna but if you miss it, I don't think it's a big deal.

$10 entrance fee
You hike downhill steps to get to the waterfall. It took about 10-15 min.
The hike back up was a little more tiring obviously and that took about 25 min.
I'd be sure to wear shoes because it can slippy due to the rain.
There's a little snack shop and restrooms once inside the entrance.

The waterfall itself is a good size and pretty impressive! You can't swim at the pool of the waterfall due to the strong current but you can swim in the waters a lil downstream. The water is definitely clean and cool.

Overall, its a nice waterfall but it's also just like any other waterfall.

Thank Michelle G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,093 - 5,097 of 7,924 reviews

Reviewed September 2, 2013

It is quite a long hike down a lot of steps to the waterfall and there are no facilities at the bottom at all, so be prepared for this and take with you some water and also a small picnic if you are planning to stay a while. If you plan to swim, I recommend having your swimmers on, or change at the top. If you are on your own, minimise the items of value you take with you, as there is nowhere to store them down at the Falls. There was one security guard when I was there, but he was focussed on ensuring the safety of swimmers ....preventing them from getting too close the Falls. The area close to the Falls itself is quite noisy, but you can find more peaceful spots. There also appeared to be some walks you could do.
And if you prefer the quiet to more enjoy the surroundings, then I suggest you visit early in the morning, when there are less people and it is cooler.

It's not all about the Falls however. Make sure you look around you. At the lookout before the descent to the Falls, I saw a sloth. It was still there when I returned - only closer. It was the best view I had of a sloth in my time in Costa Rica.

You can do an organised trip to the Falls or take a taxi from the town. I had little time, so I took a taxi and the staff at the Falls rang the taxi driver for me to take me back to town.

Thank PWSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2013

The waterfall was one of the many highlights of our visit to Costa Rico. If deciding between activities, zip line, hike and soak in the hot springs make a complete day and a good nights sleep.

Thank Decade4LivingLife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2013

Our trip to La Fortuna was to relax, enjoy nature and hit the hot springs. The Waterfall is run by the locals to benefit the locals. As I understand it, the money raised stays in the area to improve tourism, schools, public safety, etc.
The $10 donation is well worth it for the view of an amazing waterfall. You have the option if you're not in shape to see the waterfall from the top over the forest (see photo), or if you're up for the 480 stair challenge, then enjoying the waterfall from the bottom, and feeling the rush of the cool mist and shear power of that much water; is well worth it. Take your time, and enjoy this 10 minutes from downtown La Fortuna.

Thank TamarindoMirador
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 2, 2013

A definite visit if you're in the area. Absolutely beautiful! One thing to mention though... The stairs down to the waterfall are very steep and would be dangerous to someone who's a little elderly or not in good physical shape. There are plenty of warning signs though. That being said, this was one of my favorite things to see and truly worth it! Bring a suit and jump in the lake at the base of the falls. Amazing!

1  Thank George W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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