La Fortuna Hotel Guide: Where to Stay Near Arenal Volcano

Last Updated: February 22, 2024

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 the list and give our insider tips on where to stay in La Fortuna/Arenal. Our recommendations are given from budget to high end, and we made sure to note their location.

La Fortuna Hotel Guide

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 rent a 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 near 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.

Another thing to keep in mind when comparing hotels is that some options are a 30 minute or more drive from the downtown.

Budget Hotels in La Fortuna

Argdivan Hostel

If you’re traveling on a budget, check out Argdivan Hostel. This small hostel is located just outside downtown La Fortuna on a quieter side street but still very close to restaurants and stores. The main draw is the large second floor terrace for relaxing. The hosts are friendly and helpful. Shared dorms, $10-15. Private room, $33. Private room with kitchenette and balcony, $50. Check Rates and Availability Here.

Blue and green open air building
The open-air space at Argdivan Hostel. Photo credit: Argdivan Hostel 

La Fortuna Waterfall Bungalows

Another good budget option is La Fortuna Waterfall Bungalows. This small hotel has only a handful of cabins. The wooden cabins are rustic and charming, with high ceilings, a nice fan over the bed, and air conditioning. It’s located on the road to La Fortuna Waterfall so just outside the downtown. $60 for a one-bedroom bungalow. $110 for a two-bedroom bungalow. Check Rates and Availability Here.

Hotel Monte Real

Hotel Monte Real is another option close to the downtown, but 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 and sits next to a scenic stream. $70-100, double occupancy. Check Rates and Availability Here.

Recommended Hotels in La Fortuna - Hotel Monte Real
Hotel Monte Real just outside of downtown

Selvita Lodge

Selvita Lodge is another good option on the road to La Fortuna Waterfall. This location is not within walking distance to the downtown, but 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 TV. $80-110, double occupancy. Check Rates and Availability Here.

Hotel Rancho Cerro Azul

Our last recommendation for budget lodging is Hotel Rancho Cerro Azul. This family-run lodge has several comfortable cabins made of beautiful local wood. Some are large enough for families. Each cabin has its own porch with a hammock where you can enjoy the gardens and rainforest views. One even has a jacuzzi. $85-140, 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. The Observatory is certified for sustainability in Costa Rica. $100-210, double occupancy. Check Rates and Availability Here.

La Fortuna Hotel Guide - Arenal Observatory Lodge
View of Arenal Volcano from a Smithsonian room at the Observatory

Heliconias Nature Inn and Hot Springs

We have stayed at Heliconias Nature Inn and Hot Springs and loved it. This is a small lodge run by a very friendly local family. They have bungalows set in the rainforest and a few treehouses 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 floor-to-ceiling windows and overlook the vegetable/pineapple garden and small coffee field.

The property now has some hot springs right on site.

$170-340 (double occupancy). Check Rates and Availability Here.

La Fortuna Hotel Guide - Heliconias Nature Lodge
Deluxe Bungalow abutting the jungle at Heliconias Nature Inn

Hotel Lomas del Volcan

Hotel Lomas del Volcan is a longstanding favorite in the Arenal area. They have several freestanding wooden cabins (around 50), each with a private porch and volcano view. Each has either 1 king bed or 2 queen beds, A/C, and a TV. The property has a gorgeous new pool as well as a restaurant. Located on a side road about a 5-10 minute drive from downtown. $150-330 (double occupancy). 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. 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. $215-330. Check Rates and Availability Here.

aerial view of hotel grounds showing villas and pathways
Aerial view of Hotel El Silencio del Campo. Photo credit: Hotel El Silencio del Campo

Arenal Springs Resort & Spa

For a resort experience with a more authentic feel, check out Arenal Springs. It has spacious, clean rooms with good volcano views, but the main draw is the big, multi-layered pool and hot springs onsite (hotel guests only). The property is spread out, with several nicely equipped bungalows with modern touches.

Arenal Springs is located about 10 minutes from downtown La Fortuna. They are certified for sustainability in Costa Rica.

$300 (double occupancy). Arenal Springs also has larger master suites that can hold up to 10 people. Check Rates and Availability Here.

Arenal Manoa & Hot Springs

Arenal Manoa is another great choice for a small resort with hot springs. We have stayed here and enjoyed it. The hot springs are small, but nice, and the large cool water pool is good for the daytime when it is 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. For those looking to splurge, they also have a new suite with a private pool. 

Arenal Manoa is located about a 10 minute drive from the downtown. The restaurant on-site is good. Arenal Manoa is certified for sustainability in Costa Rica. $230-500, double occupancy. Check Rates and Availability Here.

La Fortuna Hotel Guide - Arenal Manoa
Pool at Arenal Manoa with Arenal Volcano in the backdrop

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. $175-700 (double occupancy). Check Rates and Availability Here.

Amor Arenal

Amor Arenal is a newer high-end hotel in the Arenal area. This adults-only lodge (ages 13+) is set in the thick rainforest just outside town. The gorgeous wooden casitas are spacious and have luxe features, including a large walk-in shower and spring-fed plunge pool. The grand windows allow you to take in the jungle surrounds. The property has a spa, gym, yoga center, and meditation deck. $675-750 (double occupancy). Check Rates and Availability Here.

Two colorful chairs under a wooden pergola
The elegant Amor Arenal. Photo credit: Amor Arenal

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. Tabacon Resort is certified for sustainability in Costa Rica. $450-750 (double occupancy). Check Rates and Availability Here.

La Fortuna Hotel Guide - Tabacon Resort and Hot Springs
Orchid Room at Tabacon Thermal Resort and Spa

The Springs Resort & Spa

Another well-known luxury 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 in a secluded location on a side road. Rates range from $600 for a spacious guestroom for 2 people all the way to $4,000 for a multibedroom villa holding 18 people. Check Rates and Availability Here.

Nayara Gardens and Nayara Springs

The most sought-after resort in La Fortuna is probably the Nayara Gardens 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 (adults only), where each villa has its own private plunge pool fed by hot springs, is the perfect getaway for couples. $700-1,400 (double occupancy). Check Rates and Availability Here.

La Fortuna Hotel Guide - Nayara Springs Resort
Private plunge pool at Nayara Springs. Photo credit: Nayara Springs


Those are our picks for hotels in La Fortuna/Arenal Volcano. As you can see, there is something for just about everyone, whether you prefer intimate, family-run lodges or five-star resorts with all the amenities.

Where is your favorite place to stay in La Fortuna? Leave us a comment below.

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Last Updated: February 22, 2024

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.