Picturesque Waterfall In The Rainforest This Way

Pura Vida! Ever since we visited Costa Rica for the first time, we seem to never get enough of their worry free way of life and their stunning landscapes, as we explore. It’s always a question in our house of when are we going back. The same will happen to you. Haven’t met anyone who dose not love Costa Rica and everything it offers with their Pura Vida (pure life or worry free) way.

Once you’re here, there are so many places to see and so little time, so make sure to head to The Fortuna River Waterfall , which is part of the Arenal Volcano National Park.

The waterfall, surrounded by the lush rainforest is located  right outside the La Fortuna town. It offers stunning views from below, as your hiking the trail down, and from above, as your gliding on a zipline. This maintained hiking trail leads to a perfect opportunity for cooling off with a swim on a humid day or just to capture the moment with your camera. 

You have over 500 steps to help you get to the bottom. Take your time and enjoy the nature around you, but don’t touch it.

What You Need To Know About The Waterfall

Fee:  Foreign Adult $ 18 

         Resident w/ID $ 9

         National Student w/ID $4

         Child 0 -8 years old is Free

Hours of Operation: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. (4 p.m. is latest to head down)

Time to Spend: 1-2 Hours (only takes 10-15 mins to get down)

Elevation: 520 meters or 1,706.04 ft

Best Season: Dry Season (Jan-May)

Parking: The lot is free and is usually busy with cars and tour buses. Still be cautious on leaving valuables in your car where people can see. 

Facts: Fortuna River Waterfall is 70 meters (~230 ft) high. There are about 530 steps down to the waterfall, but the path was redone in the last few years, which made it much easier and safer for visitors.  The centered has toilet facilities, a restaurant, showers, souvenir shop, and an orchid garden. 

Official Website:

Warning ⚠️
Last time we were at the waterfall, in March of 2018, you could not swim under the waterfall. The current and flow was too high and dangerous.

Dismiss alert

The Old Walk Down

The New Walk Down


How To Get Here

Address:   Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos 106 – 4417, Costa Rica


  • 8 min by car from La Fortuna city center
  • 4.8 km 
  • Road to Reserve off of Route 702


  • A legit taxi service from La Fortuna city center to the waterfall will be about $10 (5,900 Colón)
  • 8-10 min drive


  • If you enjoy hiking, then go ahead and walk to the reserve. We have seen people walk up the road before (please use caution, cars drive up it too)
  • 1 hr 12 min to walk approximately 

Info On Hike

It was mentioned prior, but the hike down dose include about 530 steps. They have made the path down much more hiker friendly with handrails most or way, new sitting areas to rest, and water fountains as well. We have seen many types off individuals of all ages hike down and back up. The trick is just taking your time and drinking plenty of water. 

Driving through La Fortuna.
Driving through La Fortuna.
There are rest stops along the hike to take a few minutes and enjoy the beauty, or catch your breath.
There are rest stops along the hike to take a few minutes and enjoy the beauty, or catch your breath.
The bottom of the waterfall area you can swim in as long as it hasn't been raining prior. The rain can increase the flow and make it more dangerous.
The bottom of the waterfall area you can swim in as long as it hasn’t been raining prior. The rain can increase the flow and make it more dangerous.


What To Bring

  • Hiking Shoes
  • Breathable clothing to hike in
  • Raincoat 
  • Water
  • Waterproof Camera
  • A swimsuit or towel 
  • Snacks
  • Biodegradable Sunscreen
  • Biodegradable Insect Repellent 

Other Things To Consider

Hot Springs: Try a day pass or stay at one of the hot springs in the area. The natural pools are extremely relaxing and a must do in the area. 

Ziplining: Try viewing the waterfall from above, as you look down. If you are going to be doing some adventure activities, then this is one we recommend doing. On the canopy tours you will view the La Fortuna waterfall as well as the Pino Blanco waterfall. Another option is always Canyoning in Los Canyon as well.

White Water Raft/Float Tour: You can grab a rafting expedition from La Fortuna for either the Sarapiquí River or the Balsa River. If you have a family then try a Safari Float Trip instead. 

Bike Arenal: Being surrounded by the rainforest while riding a bike can be a majestic feeling. The area offers many types of tours to suit your needs or level if you wish to explore with a bike. (We have been in town when a big bike race was happening and it was very cool to see so many people on bikes through the different roads). 

Chocolate Tour: Do I really have to say anything more than chocolate to make you want to go? In addition, it can be enlightening to know the process that chocolate goes through. On some tours you might also have the option of coffee or eco-farming for a tour.

If they offer, try to see how much sugar juice you can manually squeeze from the sugar cane.  


Budget Hotels

Mid-Range Hotels

High End Hotels/Boutiques

Looking for some more things to do in Costa Rica? Then here’s a Guide on the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, which is a 3 hour drive from La Fortuna. 

Have you hiked Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve? Did you enjoy yourself and would you recommend it to others? Have any other trails or places we should see, let us know in the comments section. Thanks for taking a look at our site and don’t forget to subscribe for future articles and tips. 

The information on this website has come from research and by experiencing it ourselves.  Opening hours, trail closures, prices, etc. are always subject to change. We try to keep up to date on any new information, or tips to help make your adventure more enjoyable. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s