We moved on today to Arenal La Fortuna. We took a shared shuttle with Caribe shuttle I can highly recommend them as the vehicle’s are of good quality and they are very reliable. The journey of 157 miles took us around five hours and cost just over £100 for the both of us Although the buses are a lot cheaper, we would have had to travel to the capital San Jose to get a connecting bus onto La Fortuna, and would have taken a lot longer. Also what we read about the area around the bus station in San Jose and the fact we would have arrived at night we decided it wasn’t for us.
The town of La Fortuna is situated nearby the Arenal volcano which is said to be a young volcano as it’s only around 7500 years old “it doesn’t sound very young to me”. It lay dormant for hundreds of years, but in 1968 it erupted suddenly and destroyed the town of Tabacón. It carried on spewing its lava until 2010, but has been dormant ever since.
The town of La Fortuna has apparently grown considerably over the years. With the explosion of activity’s around like thermal springs, spa resorts, horse riding quad biking and many nature trails. Many of these activities are not cheap but you don’t have to pay their prices. There are some hot springs at a place called Rio Chollin, which is a bus ride away from town. Whilst on the subject of bus travel I must mention Red Lava Tours. They come highly recommended in the Lonely Planet, and from first hand experience I can recommend them too. We went there to enquire about getting a bus to Canó Negra which is a wetland national park near the Nicaraguan border. We spent about 20min going through our option with the proprietor Sonia, a really lovely lady. She was the font of all knowledge on all things to do with transport. After which we decided that sometimes it’s not always best to do things totally independent, and to travel by public transport. So we booked a tour to Cano Negra with Sonia at Red Lava and we were not disappointed. More on that in my next post.
Our first few days we just chilled and settled into the town of La Fortuna, it has plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from, also lots of shops to browse around, mostly very overpriced. We originally booked only four nights staying at the Arenal Country Inn it was quite a bit over our nightly budget but we expected that accommodation would be as Easter is a big thing here, as it’s an annual week long holiday. But it was nice, beautiful gardens nice spacious rooms. So as we had fell in love with La Fortuna we are staying another three nights, but moved hotels one below our nightly budget and equally as nice. The Secreto Garden Inn overlooking the volcano.
Top Tip if you want a good plate of local food then visit a Soda. Sodas are family run businesses and offer great selection of local food. Whether you are a meat eater or vegetarian you will find something to your liking and at a very inexpensive price