La Fortuna is a destination for almost every type of traveler. It offers a huge selection of lodging that ranges from budget-friendly hostels to mid-range hotels with volcano views all the way up to the most luxurious resorts. In this guide, we’ll help you narrow down the list and give you our insider tips on where to stay in La Fortuna/Arenal. Our recommendations are listed from budget to high end, and we made sure to note their location.
Tips for Finding the Right Hotel in La Fortuna
One of the biggest factors in deciding on a hotel in La Fortuna is location. If you do not plan to have a rental car, you will need to rely on taxis or the bus to get around. And because things are more spread out in this area, many people find it easiest to stay in the downtown. This is where most restaurants, shops, and other amenities are located. Note that the downtown tends to be on the loud side so pick a place outside the center if this is important to you.
If you will have a car, you will have more flexibility. Many of the best choices for lodging are outside the main area of town on the road leading to Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal. This is where you will find lush rainforest and some fantastic volcano views. One thing to keep in mind when comparing the options is that some hotels are a 30 minute or more drive away from the downtown.
Budget Hotels in La Fortuna
Arenal Hostel Resort
If you’re traveling on a budget, check out Arenal Hostel Resort. This hostel is located in the middle of downtown La Fortuna. It has its own restaurant, bar, and pools. The vibe is cool, and because of the variety of rooms offered (both dorms and private), it draws a diverse crowd. Shared dorms starting at $10 a bed; private rooms, $40-70, double occupancy. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Another good budget option is Hotel Bijagua. This small hotel is right outside town on the road going to the volcano. The private rooms are simple, but clean and comfortable. People love the beautifully landscaped grounds, but the friendly staff is what makes their stay. It’s a good option for those traveling with kids, with a nice pool and larger family rooms. $50-85, double occupancy. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Hotel Monte Real
Hotel Monte Real is another option in the downtown, but is far enough out so that it isn’t loud. We stayed here on one of our first visits to La Fortuna and really enjoyed it. It is only a short walk to the main area of town, restaurants, and shops. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, and offer amenities like A/C, TV, and hot water. The property has a nice pool. $70-100, double occupancy. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Selvita Lodge is on the other side of La Fortuna, on the road leading to La Fortuna Waterfall. This location is not within walking distance to the downtown, but is an inexpensive taxi ride away. Selvita offers a handful of rustic, but clean and spacious, cabins. It’s family run, and many guests say it feels like a homestay. Cabins have a private hot water bathroom, air conditioning, and cable TV. $70-110, double occupancy. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Hotel Rancho Cerro Azul
Our last recommendation for budget lodging is Hotel Rancho Cerro Azul. This small, five-cabin hotel is also located on the road to La Fortuna Waterfall, about 1.5 kilometers outside town. The cabins are made of beautiful local wood. Each has its own porch with a hammock where you can enjoy the gardens. The lodge is run by a welcoming local family. $80-130, double occupancy. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Mid-range Hotels in La Fortuna
Arenal Observatory Lodge
One of our favorite properties in the Arenal area is the Observatory. This lodge is as close to the volcano as you can get so has incredible views. The property is located more remotely, next to the national park, so the grounds see a lot of wildlife. Staying here also means you can access the lodge’s many trails through the rainforest. If you want to stay here, it’s best to have a car, as the drive to La Fortuna is about 30 minutes. Rooms range from budget-friendly options in La Casona building to nicely appointed Smithsonian Rooms and Junior Suites. $90-200, double occupancy. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Heliconias Nature Lodge
We loved our recent stay at Heliconias Nature Lodge. This is a small lodge run by a very friendly local family. They have bungalows set in the rainforest and a few treehouse rooms too. Rooms are nice and clean and have plenty of amenities (A/C, TV, mini-fridge, restaurant on-site). It is about 25 minutes outside La Fortuna so a good drive away, but its country location is part of what makes it special. For the best rainforest views, stay in a Deluxe Bungalow. We loved the Glass Bungalows too, which have cool floor-to-ceiling windows and overlook the vegetable/pineapple garden and small coffee field. $150-200. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Hotel El Silencio del Campo
For a little more comfort, but with more character than a resort, there’s Hotel El Silencio del Campo. They have individual bungalows and also their own thermal pools and spa on-site. The location is good; the hotel is on the road going to Arenal Volcano, only a short drive to town. This is one of the most popular hotels in the area so be sure to book in advance. $180-220, double occupancy. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Arenal Springs Resort & Spa
For a more affordable resort, check out Arenal Springs. It has spacious, clean rooms with good volcano views, but the main draw is the big, multi-layered pool. The property is spread out, with several nicely equipped bungalows with modern touches. Arenal Springs is located about 10 minutes from downtown La Fortuna. $150-240, double occupancy. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Arenal Manoa & Hot Springs
Arenal Manoa is another great choice for a small resort with hot springs. We stayed here recently and loved it. The hot springs were small, but nice, and the large cool water pool was good for the daytime when it was warmer. This is a very family-friendly resort, but it draws all types of travelers. Accommodations consist of bungalows (2-units per building). Each has a nice outdoor sitting area surrounded by gardens and overlooking Arenal Volcano. The restaurant on-site is excellent. Arenal Manoa is located about a 10 minute drive from the downtown. $120-250, double occupancy. Check Rates and Availability Here.
High-end Hotels in La Fortuna
Lost Iguana Resort & Spa
Lost Iguana is a more affordable high-end resort in the Arenal area. The resort is located outside town near Mistico Hanging Bridges and has nice views of the volcano. With romantic suites as well as rooms that can be connected, it is a good option for both couples and families. The property is built into the hillside and has two pools, one regular and one heated (not hot-spring fed). Because this option is well outside town, it is best with a rental car. $175-500, double occupancy. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa
Tabacon is one of the area’s most famous hotels. Its elaborate hot springs resort is a destination in itself for day visitors, but if you stay at the hotel, you can use the springs for free. Tabacon has a variety of rooms. All are well equipped and modern, with A/C, cable TV, and a mini bar. It is located outside town on the road going to Lake Arenal, about 15 minutes away. Because it is a resort, it has a few restaurants/bars to choose from. $300-450, double occupancy. Check Rates and Availability Here.
The Springs Resort & Spa
Another popular high-end resort is the Springs. With beautiful, well-maintained rooms, five restaurants on-site, 28 hot springs pools, and even its own adventure park, this place has just about everything you would need. Although the property is fairly large, it doesn’t have too many rooms so service is still personalized. The Springs isn’t far from town, but is in a secluded location on a bumpy dirt road. $350-700, double occupancy. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Nayara Hotel and Nayara Springs
The most sought-after resort in La Fortuna is probably the Nayara Hotel and its luxe sister property, Nayara Springs. These eco-friendly boutique hotels have beautiful grounds, excellent food and service, and nice volcano views. The Nayara Springs, where each villa has its own private plunge pool fed by hot springs, is the perfect getaway for couples. $300-1,000, double occupancy. Check Rates and Availability Here.
Those are our picks for hotels in the La Fortuna/Arenal Volcano area. As you can see, there is something for just about everyone, whether you prefer intimate, family-run lodges or big resorts with all the amenities.
Where is your favorite place to stay in La Fortuna? Leave us a comment below (Email subscribers, click here to post your comment online.)
Looking for more information to plan your visit? Check out these posts:
- La Fortuna: What to Expect from Costa Rica’s Most Popular Destination – If you’re visiting La Fortuna, you will want to read our destination guide all about it. Learn how the Arenal area is set up, the best things to see and do, where to eat, and more.
- Costa Rica Rental Car Discount – If you’re staying outside town, a car is your best option for getting around. Check out our discount to save 10% and get free extras.
- Monteverde Hotel Guide – If you’re planning to head to the Monteverde cloud forest after your time in La Fortuna, check out our hotel guide for ideas on where to stay.