La Fortuna, Costa Rica

La Fortuna is a small city in Alajuela, Costa Rica at the base of Arenal Volcano. It’s named “The Fortunate” after Arenal erupted and only spared this city, making it one of the country’s most visited tourist destinations. The trek from Jaco to La Fortuna was not a short one, but we thought it would be worth the 8 hour day to visit the famous volcano and hot springs. But Mother Nature (and just luck in general) doesn’t always work with travel plans, and she wasn’t on our side this time. The tropical rain storms were constant once we arrived, and the typical view of the volcano from the town was covered in a thick layer of clouds. The hostel we chose to stay at was a huge disappointment, with horribly unorganized staff and less than acceptable rooms (don’t go to Hostel Backpackers La Fortuna), so we were a bit bummed out.

We’d heard Baldi Hot Springs was the best place to relax in La Fortuna so we spent a day there and despite the rain, it was a beautiful. The springs features 25 natural hot spring pools of different temperatures with waterfalls, swim up bars, in-pool lounge chairs, and more.

It wasn’t busy because of the weather so we enjoyed our day hopping between pools and taking advantage of having the luxurious springs to ourselves.

The Baldi day pass comes with a complimentary dinner at the resort's restaurant at the base of the volcano. Although it was still cloudy, you could see the vast base of the volcano from our table. Dinner was great, and we left feeling grateful for a relaxing day (and excited knowing we were heading back to the coast in the morning).

Although we did not have the best luck with the weather or our accomodations in this town, I would still say it's worth a visit. Everything we heard about hiking the volcano was extremely positive. People said it's a tough hike, but it's a challenge worth taking. 

Kaitlyn Sydney