Before hiking at Arenal National Park, we stopped in La Fortuna. The city was named “The Fortunate” after volcanic eruptions destroyed the surrounding villages in 1968. We were only there for a few hours, but had enough time to walk the city from end to end, hit a few shops, and enjoy lunch at an outdoor bar/restaurant.
A lot of the restaurants have an open outdoor feel, and there are quite a few resorts, hotels and hostels in the area. It’s a good stop for backpackers along the way and we saw quite a few passing through. While reaching the cities edge, we stumbled on a bar called Rockoco that appeared to be built around a bus. It caught our attention and we enjoyed a brew inside. There was a stage set up and it seemed like a great place to hang at night.
La Fortuna is a hub for many of the great activities Costa Rica has to offer. Most of the resorts feature spas and hot springs, which are pools naturally warmed from the volcanic activity underground. Also available are atv rentals, zip lining, horseback tours, and more. While in the area we did a safari boat tour in the Penas Blancas River where we saw all sorts of wildlife ranging from howler monkeys to crocodiles.