Its official name is La Fortuna de San Carlos, it is the closest to the Arenal volcano, at 1.633 m; it is only separated by 6Km of foothills. It is located at 250 meters altitude and has an excellent view of the volcano; its attractions are a waterfall, hot springs, a lake, canopy circuits, caves, horse rides and excursions to the nearby Caño Negro refuge. In La Fortuna there are banks, gas stations, hotels, discos, internet, supermarkets, rent a car and tourist information offices.


Marcial Jarquín was the first inhabitant of La Fortuna who arrived in 1930, from Nicaragua, he lived in what today is known as Hacienda el Río Fortuna. In 1932  other inhabitants arrived among them Rufino and Isolina Quesada, Juan Ledesma, Porfirio Rojas, Elías Koper, Alberto Quesada, Juana Vargas Ricardo Quirós, José; Garro, Julio Murillo.  This community was a quiet tranquil village of the Los Ángeles de San Ramón district until 1950 when with La Tigra, they decided to become part of the county of San Carlos. It is known with the name of Burio, and then the name was changed to La Fortuna. In 1952 along with la Tigra, it was declared the seventh district of San Carlos  a La Fortuna. In 1968 Volcano Arenal which until then was a harmless mountain, erupted and buried the community of Pueblo Nuevo and it killed almost a hundred of its inhabitants. The land of the area lost a lot of their value and many of it inhabitants left. Nevertheless, little by little, the spectacular eruptions of the volcano began to attract tourists. Their arrival was improved with an asphalt road in 1982.

How to arrive and leave

By Bus

Autotransportes San Carlos Tel (506) 2255-4318/ 2255-4300/ 2255-0567/ Tel (506) 2460-5032/ 2460-5064. Located 600 meters to the north of the la Merced Church in San José (the old bus stop for Puntarenas). Direct services for San José leave 6:15 a.m, 8:40 a.m and 11:30 a.m, leaving from Street 14, 5th Avenue. The price of the tickets is approximately 6 US$ this journey takes between 4 to 4 1/2 hours, depending on the traffic and road conditions. From San José to Ciudad Quesada and after you can take another bus service to La Fortuna. Daily every 45 minutes, from 5:00 a.m until 7:30 p.m., leaving Street 14, 5th Avenue. The prices of the ticket is about 6 US$ and the journey takes about 4 hours, depending on the conditions of the traffic and the highway. In La Fortuna the buses leave from the park at 12:45 p.m and 2:45 p.m. The journey costs 6 US$.

By Car

It takes about 3 hours from San José via San Ramón depending on the traffic and the condition of the roads. San José going via Ciudad Quesada will take about three hours depending on the traffic and the conditions of the roads. Liberia International Airport in Guanacaste via Nicoya approximately 3 hours, depending on the traffic and the condition of the roads.

From San José:

From the International Juan Santamaría Airport, take the road that will get you to  Puntarenas driving for about an tour and then you will get to the San Ramon intersection, take a right and you will pass through the east side of the city and to the west of the hospital, there you will find a signpost for Villa Blanca and Bajo Rodríguez, continue along the way until you get to La Tigra, Chachagua until La Fortuna. Another route is: On the same road from San José to Puntarenas driving 1.15 hours turn right at the Naranjo intersection and you will find a signpost that says Zarcero and Ciudad Quesada. Continue driving straight through the villages of Florencia, Santa Clara (take a right turn , Jabillos, La Vega, El Tanque and drive 6 km to the west, on route to La Fortuna.


From Liberia:

Head towards Cañas on the Interamerican highway coming back towards San José, for approximately 1.30 hours, you will get to the village of Cañas, then you will take a left turn towards Tilarán and drive around Arenal Lake passing by  Nuevo Arenal. After you will get to the Lago Arenal dam, you will continue the road for about 15 Km, until you get to the center of la Fortuna.

Taxi – Boat – Taxi

Exit from La Fortuna 8:30 a.m and 2:30 p.m. Exit from Monteverde 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The transport is via Monteverde is the quickest way between Volcano Arenal and Monteverde. It takes 3 hours, and they pick you up at your hotel if you make a prior reservation, they will then take you by minibus to the Lago Arenal dam, where you will get on boat that will cross Lake Arenal in 45 minutes and getting to Río Chiquito, where another minibus will wait for you to take you on a 1.5 hour tour passing by the villages until you get to Monteverde, cost 45 US$ per person.


Tel (506) 2479-9605. Located next to the park, opening hours from 6:00 a.m to 10:00 p.m. With a professional, responsible service, with comfortable cars and some bilingual chauffeurs.