One of the most intimate mountain destinations for travelers seeking that extra-special something that sets the destination apart from the major tourist hubs is La Fortuna de San Carlos, otherwise known simply as La Fortuna. Nestled in the shadow of one of the most active volcanoes in the world—Arenal Volcano, which has been continually erupting since 1968 on an average of 41 times per day—and smack-dab in the middle of some of the most beautiful countryside in the world with surging waterfalls, hot springs, and lush countryside, La Fortuna is beyond breathtaking; it is an adventure without compare, and one that must be experienced first-hand to understand completely. This is Costa Rica at its finest.
The only way in is by road, and you can either take a bus from one of the surrounding cities such as San Jose, San Ramon, or Tilaran, or you can hire a private shuttle. It is not recommended to drive because the roads are poorly marked, so unless you are looking for a little extra adventure, stick to public transportation.
Once you arrive in La Fortuna, prepare for a cultural adventure. Accommodations are fairly modern since this is a major tourist destination, and while the volcano itself is the primary reason most people come here, there are also plenty of other things to see and do in the surrounding countryside, such as Lake Arenal, Fortuna waterfall, the Arenal Butterfly Conservatory, or tours through the surrounding rain forests. This is one of the best places to hire a horse and go on a horseback ride through the wilderness with a guide, and the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge is considered to be one of the most biologically-diverse places in Costa Rica. Soak in one of the many hot springs, go white-water rafting, hiking, or simply relax and enjoy the beauty of La Fortuna with the volcano in the background. Either way, you're in for a treat.
The Monte Verde cloud forest reserve is a green island in the top of the mountain. Most of the mountain's Pacific side is deforested and used for cattle feed, but east side is generally prote…