South & Central America Travel

La Fortuna Costa Rica on a Budget

Low cost ideas in beautiful La Fortuna

Location: La Fortuna Costa Rica

As full-time travelers we are very cognizant of staying on budget.  We always say we are not on

La Fortuna Costa Rica on a Budget


vacation…this is our real life.  And to continue living in this manner, we must stay within our means. So we were looking for low-cost ideas in Costa Rica, and we found you can enjoy La Fortuna Costa Rica on a budget.

Here in beautiful La Fortuna Costa Rica there are dozens of guided tour options to some really amazing places.  Everything from Bird Watching to Ziplining.  From Cycling to River Rafting.  Our entire Costa Rica budget could be blown here in our first stop.

La Fortuna Costa Rica on a Budget

Beautiful Arenal Volcano

Since we practice frugal travel, we came up with this list of less expensive and almost free things to do in La Fortuna Costa Rica on a budget.  If you too are a budget traveler, you might find these suggestions useful;

Hike to La Fortuna Waterfall – From our Airbnb we walked about 4 miles to the La Fortuna Waterfall  it’s a pretty steep road and it was a great workout.  We were blessed with clear blue skies and spectacular view of the volcano, which rarely comes out of the clouds.  Arriving at the waterfall our entrance fee was $18 but worth it to walk down the

La Fortuna Costa Rica on a Budget

La Fortuna Waterfall

500 steps and enjoy the cool waters of the falls.

Sloth Watching/Bird Watching Tour  – We paid $60 for an early morning guided tour to search for sloths. The great thing about this tour is you have a guarantee that you will see sloths and if you don’t, you get all your money back! And the tour

La Fortuna Costa Rica on a Budget

Smiling Sloth

includes a full breakfast! We saw four sloths and one baby too.

Breakfast at Arenal Oasis with Bird Watching – have a breakfast for less than $5 at this hidden oasis and enjoy a spectacular display of birds while you eat.  Arenal Oasis has strategically placed feeders and we saw a huge variety of amazing birds including Toucans while we ate. Arenal Oasis also has a night

La Fortuna Costa Rica on a Budget


walk that sounds fun, but we didn’t do that.

Tabacon Thermal River – just outside of La Fortuna in the small area known as Tabacon you can find a FREE hot springs experience in the thermal river.  This river completely changed after the last eruption of the Arenal Volcano and now is a flowing thermal river. Read more.

Springs Resort with Tubing on the River – For $68 we enjoyed a full day at the gorgeous Spring Resort.  Rooms here cost a minimum of $500 a night – way out of our price range – so getting a day pass was much

La Fortuna Costa Rica on a Budget

Tubing on the Arenal River

more within our budget.  A day pass provides you access to all the dozens of thermal pools as well as use of their changing rooms and showers.  Oh and the view! Wow! Worth a million dollars.

La Fortuna Costa Rica on a Budget

The Springs Resort and Spa

Tubing at Springs Resort- For an additional $35 at the Springs Resort and Spa we had a blast tubing down the Arenal River with a guide and other guests.  Super safe with just enough “rapids” to make it exciting.  The River was very warm and we really felt it was worth the money.

Self guided cycle tour – there are many options for GUIDED cycling in the area, but if you are an experienced and confident cyclists you can set out on your own with a bike rental.  Several kinds of bikes are available for rent around La Fortuna for one day or longer treks. Read more.

Sodas – no this isn’t a drink.  A traditional fast food and delicious restaurant in Costa Rica is called a

La Fortuna Costa Rica on a Budget

Lunch at Soda Del Rio in La Fortuna

soda.  Here you can get the choice of the day, or one of several “typico” plates that will include your meat of choice, rice, beans, vegetable, salad and probably a fried banana .  All for about $6.  You can’t beat it.

Yoga – Looking for some zen while in La Fortuna? Take one or more of the amazing yoga classes with Amanda at La Fortuna Yoga .  For $10 I enjoyed  one of the best yoga classes I have ever had.  Amanda offers multiple classes most days including Vinyasa and Hatha.   I went to four classes during our week in La Fortuna.

People come to Costa Rica for the beaches – but spending some time in the beautiful rain forest and the small town of La Fortuna is a great way to enjoy the amazing nature of Costa Rica.  And you can do it on a budget!




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  • Reply Tanya Korteling

    This is such a great post, we’re going to Costs Rica later this year and also on a budget a long-term travellers so I’ll definitely be referring back to this. Thankyou!

    January 26, 2019 at 2:29 am
    • Reply Laureen

      You will love it! Have fun!

      January 26, 2019 at 4:42 am
  • Reply Laureen January 26, 2019 at 1:58 pm
  • Reply karen

    Costa Rica is so on my list. I think I would get lost amongst all the wildlife. kx

    January 26, 2019 at 11:44 pm
  • Reply Rosa

    Wow it looks like you had an amazing stay in La Fortuna, Costa Rica is one destination on my list and you’ve convinced me even more!

    January 30, 2019 at 5:27 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Thanks! We are loving Costa Rica.

      January 30, 2019 at 6:38 am
  • Reply Christina Daggett

    January was such a busy month. I finally have a chance to catch up on your blog. Your post about your spa time in Korea was really humorous. Sounds like your having a great time in Costa Rica. It makes me want to do more outdoor activities, this spring in Banja Luka, Bosnia. It’s been a long winter, though The Republic of Georgia has been a good place to spend it. In Banja Luka we want to do some hiking, horseback riding, and some white water rafting. I enjoyed catching up on your blog. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

    February 5, 2019 at 10:04 pm
    • Reply Laureen

      Thank you Christina!

      February 7, 2019 at 4:06 pm
  • Reply Jamie

    Hi! Is it worth coming at beginning of July? I know it is the rainy season.

    May 24, 2019 at 1:32 pm
    • Reply Laureen

      Sorry I can’t speak to how it is in July. We were there in January and it rained then too. It’s probably the wettest part of Costa Rica.

      May 24, 2019 at 6:12 pm

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