La Fortuna, Costa Rica

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Arenal Volcano as seen from downtown La Fortuna, Costa Rica.
Baldi Hot Springs resort, Fortuna, Costa Rica.

La Fortuna is the name of a district and a small city located in San Carlos, in the province of Alajuela, Costa Rica.

Originally called "El Burío", La Fortuna was founded in the mid 1930s by settlers that came from Ciudad Quesada, Grecia (canton), Alajuela and other parts of the region. In 1968, the Arenal Volcano erupted to the west, killing all in its path, including 82 people. The eruption did not touch the village of La Fortuna. This catastrophe, nonetheless, helped change the destiny of the whole region, making it one of the most visited touristic destinations of Costa Rica.

La Fortuna has the airport which is nearest to the Arenal Volcano, though many visitors also arrive via auto mobile, to the resorts and hotels in La Fortuna, Castillo, Palma, Monteverde, or Tilaran. Arenal is often cited by scientists as being in the top ten or top 20 of the world's most active volcanoes.[1] La Fortuna is less than 10 km from the peak of Arenal and less than 20 km from the entrance to Arenal Volcano National Park (the entrance is west of the peak, whereas La Fortuna is east of the peak).

Other than the volcano, La Fortuna has tourist attractions such as the La Catarata de la Fortuna, a waterfall that falls from a height of 70 meters, several resorts with natural hot springs temperate enough to bathe in, other day spa services, and day-trips which involve horseback riding, whitewater rafting, hanging bridges, a "sky tram," zip-lines, mountain bike, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, and ATV or dirt bike rentals, "butterfly farm" and Venado Cavern tours, bungee jumping, Laguna Cedeno, El Salto Swimming Hole, and canyoneering.[2]

La Fortuna has a medic station but serious injuries require a medivac (or long travel on roadways), a police station (and another is on the way to El Tapon), gas station, 3 banks, 3 groceries, restaurants (in addition to those in the resorts), post office, and hardware store.

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Coordinates: 10°28′17″N 84°38′43″W / 10.471396°N 84.645374°W / 10.471396; -84.645374