La fortuna

La Fortuna Travel Blog

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just getting onto highway 1 near la sabana park

I spent a week in Costa Rica. As with most of my trips, I did lots of research before going. I like to find out about the area and what fun things are available. I didnt make any reservations as i prefer to "work it out" when i get there.

I'd spent a couple days in San Jose and figured it was time to move on. I had the desk lady at my hotel (Dunn Inn) to arrange a rental and a few tours in La Fortuna. They ended up being booked with Avanti Rent-a-car and anywherecostarica tours.

Rubbed me the wrong way because they didnt drop the car off last night (sunday) like they said they would. I have an 11am tour for today.

I'd searched and searched for decent driving directions and found a couple that were okay. I still wanted to leave very early to allow for driving AND "getting lost" time. They finally showed up with car at about 9am. Took care of the necessary paperwork, shuttle tour times and I'm off.

For orientation purposes (working from east to west) Av Central, Paseo Colon and Highway 1 are all the same street. Avanti has a office on Paseo Colon. Go west until it dead ends at La Sabana Park and turn right. Follow the signs that say Airport and/or San Ramon. Once you get to San Ramon just follow the numerous signs that direct you to La Fortuna.

I wanted to mention that when I was searching for driving directions I kept coming across references about how bad costa rican roads were. I didnt see it.

at SJO airport
They were paved and either 2 or 4 lanes the whole way.

No problem for me getting to town. I didnt get turned around until I got there. To get my bearings I stop, ask directions and pick up a couple tourists maps. After spending an hour lost....eeerrrr...I mean sightseeing around town i make it ontime for my first tour. It was the Sky Tram and Sky Trek (ziplining). The tour launch spot is quite a ways off the main road. The sign says 7km. This section is unpaved and pot hole filled. Must been what all the fuss was about. anyway, 25-30mph was a comfortable speed for me in my small SUV.

Fitted for safety equipment and ride the trolley(?) to the top of the mountain. Once there we get operating instructions and do the first 2 of 8 lines. These are short. At the end of the second line is the "chicken trail".

 Its for people who decide they dont like it and want to ride the trolley back down. This is decision time. Once you start the 3rd line there's no turning back. You have to do them all. One person in our group opted to turn back. Of the remaining lines the longest was (not quite) but close to half a mile. The fastest had you moving at 50mph. It was a great experience and I'd do it again in a heart beat.

Guess its time to get a place to lay my head for the night. I decided on Arenal Lodge(.com). Its closer to town than a few of the other places on my list. The entrance road is closer but the actual hotel is also WAY off of the main road. The road was narrow, curvy and rough. Like driving on cobblestones. When I get there I liked what I saw. To me the hotel was nice and comfortable. Onsite amenities include hot tub, infinity pool, work out room, restaurant, full bar, pool table, one computer and a sitting area around a fire place. They free upgraded me to a suite. Arenal volcano was right outside my balcony. Shower, get dinnner and watch a little television until I fall asleep.

Africancrab says:
Nice blog, great photos
Posted on: May 23, 2012
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just getting onto highway 1 near l…
just getting onto highway 1 near …
at SJO airport
at SJO airport
just follow the signs
just follow the signs
right turn clyde
right turn clyde
the main strip in san ramon
the main strip in san ramon
main strip dead ends...go left
main strip dead ends...go left
right at first light
right at first light
go left when you get to the church
go left when you get to the church
small school
small school
trucks like this can really slow d…
trucks like this can really slow …
what the?!
what the?!
nice little drop off too
nice little drop off too
guess im getting close :-)
guess i'm getting close :-)
looks like i should turn here
looks like i should turn here
sky tram and sky trek
sky tram and sky trek
the overview
the overview
starting platform
starting platform
going up
going up
looking down
looking down
the long bumpy road in...way off f…
the long bumpy road in...way off …
instructions
instructions
the chicken trail
the chicken trail
LOL...LOL....so much fun
LOL...LOL....so much fun
the curvy cobblestone road to aren…
the curvy cobblestone road to are…
took while still driving
took while still driving
my suite
my suite
volcano was blocked by clouds
volcano was blocked by clouds
tub left..shower right
tub left..shower right
shrimp and rice
shrimp and rice
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La Fortuna
photo by: jeannajumps