I’m really excited to interview Nikki Solano of Pura Vida! Eh? about La Fortuna, Costa Rica. Nikki’s tips for the best things to do in La Fortuna are awesome because she and her husband have been exploring Costa Rica since 2007. They have been searching for exciting and eye-opening experiences that we feel are worth your time and money. And now they’ve written books and run a tour company to help you create awesome memories of your time in Costa Rica. Nikki is sharing some of her favorites with us in this episode.
La Fortuna, Costa Rica
La Fortuna is known as the “gateway to the Arenal Volcano National Park.” It is a small town about 3 hours northwest of Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose. The Arenal Volcano is still active and its lava flows and thermal activity heat the hot springs dotted around La Fortuna. The dormant volcano, known as the Chato Volcano, has a crater lake and trails in the rainforest that lead to La Fortuna Falls.
The city is also the epicenter for adventure travel. You can explore the hanging sky bridges where you’ll find incredible bird watching. White water rafting and waterfall rappelling are popular with adrenaline seekers. And then you can relax in the naturally-occurring hot springs, many of which are located near the local hotels and resorts.
Weather in La Fortuna is consistently warm. The dry season runs from January to April and is the best time of year to visit. Rainfall is common throughout the year but happens the most from September to November. Budget-conscious travelers should plan to visit during the wet season from May to December. The prices are lowest during this off-peak time of year.
If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.
Getting around La Fortuna
La Fortuna is in the middle of Costa Rica’s two international airports. Most people fly into either Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) or Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) and then arrange ground transportation to La Fortuna.
La Fortuna is in the middle of both airports and is about 3 hours away from either one. You can take a city-to-city inclusive tour and make stops along the way (about $100 per person). Or you can rent a shared shuttle (about $50 per person) or a private service ($200 to $250 for the vehicle) to go directly to La Fortuna. A public bus is also an option at $10 per person, but the trip will be much longer as it makes its stops.
Nikki says that there are many different ways to travel around Costa Rica and what you decide will depend on your vacation itinerary. Nikki offers some great tips on what type of transportation to use on her blog post – Costa Rica Transportation: 12 Ways to Get Around Costa Rica.
Places we talked about on the podcast
Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Nikki Solano about La Fortuna, Costa Rica. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.
- Red dots = best places to eat in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
- Green dots = best things to do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
- Yellow dots = best places to stay in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Who is Nikki Solano?
Nikki Solano flew to Costa Rica for the first time in 2009. Immediately, she fell in love with the consistently warm weather, the landscape lined with beaches and waterfalls, and the genuinely friendly people greeting each other with a smile. To her, Costa Rica is as close as it gets to paradise, and she’s felt at home ever since.
One of her favorite things about living in Costa Rica is the pura vida lifestyle that encourages her to notice the little things: the sweet trill of a marimba instrument, the comradery that comes from “fútbol fever,” and the savory crunch of chicharrones. What she loves most, though, is how much Costa Ricans love Costa Rica, and how proud they are of their beautiful country.
She wrote a book called “Moon Costa Rica” that is an essential guide for anyone traveling to Costa Rica. Additionally, Nikki created six different sites and resources to cater to travelers and help them have the time of their lives while visiting. Her valuable resources are:
- Pura Vida! Eh?
- The Costa Rica Travel Blog
- DIY Costa Rica
- The Costa Rica Trip Planning 101 E-Course
- Reach Out Costa Rica Travel Philanthropy Project
Here are a few articles that she’s written:
- 40+ Common Questions About Costa Rica and Our Answers to Each!
- Arenal Hot Springs Guide: 12 Hot Springs in La Fortuna Costa Rica
- When to Go to Costa Rica According to Cost, Weather, Wildlife and More!
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Stay tuned for our next episode
Listen to the next episode when Sofie Couwenbergh of Wonderful Wanderings and I talk about Leuven, Belgium. We’ll explore the Old Market, walk in the Botanical Garden, and climb the Library tower for the best city views. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.