Our friend, driver, and tour guide, Mauricio, picked up Tezzy and me at 7:30 in the morning because we wanted to get an early start heading out to La Fortuna. La Fortuna is somewhere we’ve wanted to visit ever since moving to Costa Rica, so this time we took the opportunity during the Easter weekend. From our casa in Grecia, it takes about 2 – ½ hours to reach La Fortuna. On the way, we passed through Zarcero and San Carlos. We also stopped along the roadside when Mauricio spotted a huge Annona tree and picked a couple of sweet and tasty fruit for Tezzy and me.
We arrived at Hotel Villas Vista Arenal in La Fortuna a little early but only had to wait about 15 minutes for our room to be ready. The staff was accommodating even though we were an hour early checking in. The hotel is situated right on the main thoroughfare, where all the best restaurants are within walking distance. I think I like La Fortuna. La Fortuna is a tourist town, and there were lots of visitors, both Ticos, and expats. Most restaurants were packed.
After settling in, we visited Garra – Pata restaurant, next door to our hotel, and enjoyed a tasty but rather expensive meal. Remember that La Fortuna is a tourist town and restaurants tend to be more expensive. After lunch, we headed back to our Cabanas to rest and recoup with full bellies.
We wanted to find out the time of Easter Mass at the local Catholic church, so we hitched a ride with Heiner, the hotel manager, who just happened to be going our way toward the center of town, only 15 minutes down the main street. After that, we stopped at La Choza de Laurel for freshly ground and brewed coffee right at your table and roasted chicken cooked over wood chips for dinner.
Our Cabanas and swimming pool have a bird’s eye view of the Arenal Volcano, and it is a majestic sight and something that I’ve heard so much about and wanted to see for a long time. Its presence of it is awe-inspiring and beautiful.
After breakfast on the following day, Easter Sunday, we paid a visit back to Parroquia San Juan Bosco La Fortuna church to celebrate mass in the spirit of Easter. The church had a full house, and I noticed busloads of young tourists from the US, perhaps on a pilgrimage for a holiday. After services, there was a procession around the corner and back to the church’s entrance. What a beautiful scene!
Tezzy and I had decided to spend the rest of the day at one of the most popular hot springs in La Fortuna. So, we chose Baldi Hot Springs, only about 4.7 kilometers from our hotel. We hailed a taxi and asked him to take us back to the hotel to gather up our spa gear and to wait a few minutes to drive us to Baldi Hot Springs, which he happily did.
The thermal waters of La Fortuna originate from the Arenal volcano’s underground activity, which is combined with the large amount of rain that falls in San Carlos throughout the year. Therefore, one of the advantages of Arenal Hot Springs is that they do not emit sulfur odor, as happens in other parts of the world, because the volcano does not contain large amounts of reserves of this mineral.
The crystalline waters, without bad smell, with regenerative minerals, and surrounded by tropical vegetation: create an ideal atmosphere of relaxation for the body and mind, which you cannot miss during your visit to La Fortuna.
We spent most of the day at the hot springs, first having a sumptuous buffet lunch and then off to the hot springs; it was very relaxing and therapeutic. We topped off the day with drinks at one of the many bars near the entrance.
I had no idea that there were so many fabulous restaurants in La Fortuna. There are restaurants for every taste and palette. Now keep in mind that La Fortuna is a tourist town, so most restaurants are a little pricey. Tonight, we decided on Indian cuisine and dined at India Curry House. I have not eaten Indian food in years, and it was delightful and delicious. I enjoyed Chicken Curry Masala, plain rice and Cheese, Garlic Naan Bread, and Tezzy had Fish Coconut Curry. The outdoor eatery was packed to capacity, and we waited nearly 45 minutes to be served after placing our order, but the wait was well worth it.
Monday, our last full day in La Fortuna, we had the pleasure of sharing lunch and cervezas with Michael Alan, a YouTube influencer with TravelCostaRicaNow.com, at the Rainforest Café. I’ve been following Michael’s channel even before moving to Costa Rica and arranged a meetup during our stay in La Fortuna.
It was a wonderful Easter weekend in La Fortuna, and I highly recommend you add La Fortuna to your bucket list. Pura Vida!