Alajuela Province
History & Heritage

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Our most recommended Alajuela Province History & Heritage

Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall, and Hot Springs Tour

1. Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall, and Hot Springs Tour

Escape into the nature of the La Fortuna area. Walk by the river and follow a trail to a panoramic viewpoint. Visit a Maluku Indian village and trek through a forest, lava fields, and farmlands before relaxing at a natural hot spring resort. Be collected at your accommodation and be driven to the beginning of the forest walk. Trek on the easy track along the crystal clear La Fortuna river. En route, hop on a tractor cart uphill to a panoramic viewpoint. Spot the next location from a distance then begin the return walk down a jungle staircase. Halfway down is a high suspension bridge to cross. The trail leads further down the huge canyon, which was shaped by a volcanic mega-eruption. Encounter the spectacular La Fortuna waterfall. Be amazed by the lush vegetation on its 70-meter high walls, the huge volcanic rocks at its foot, and the water splashing down in its massive pool. Bask in its beauty or even take a refreshing dip. Return to the viewpoint then walk down to the little village of the Maluku Indians. Seated in their Palenke (main house), enjoy a rest while listening to an interesting story about their culture, art, and history.  After being active for a few hours, the time has come to relax and enjoy a typical hot lunch. Next to the restaurant is a butterfly garden and frog pond that you can explore until your food is served.  Reenergized, take a 15-minute ride to the park at the foot of the Arenal volcano. Being the trek through the primary forest where you can see huge trees with giant roots. Besides a variety of birds, the forest is host to monkeys, sloths, and coati. Leave the forest and each the highest viewpoint that exists around the volcano and absorb the most spectacular panoramic views of Lake Arenal, the jungle, the valley, the lava fields, and most of all the Arenal that towers over you.  Conclude your tour at the natural hot spring resort. Relax in its soothing warm water for about an hour and enjoy a volcanic mud facial and a complimentary cocktail. At around 6:30 PM, you will be taken back to your accommodation.

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La Fortuna: Rainforest Chocolate Tour

2. La Fortuna: Rainforest Chocolate Tour

Visit a cocoa farm in the rainforest with majestic views of Arenal Volcano. See where cocoa is grown, processed and produced and unearth the hidden secrets of local chocolate production. This interactive experience lets travelers eat as much chocolate as they want while learning about the history, culture, and traditions of this popular Costa Rican sweet. In this 2-hour hands-on program, have the opportunity to learn interesting facts about cocoa and chocolate, its origin and history. Participate in all aspects of the production process, from the harvesting of the fruit, drying, and grinding of the seeds.  Discover why the cacao tree was very important to ancient cultures. Find out how cacao was not only used as a ceremonial drink, but its seeds were also used as currency because of its economic value, in many regions of Mesoamerica, including Costa Rica.

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La Fortuna: Arenal Volcano and Waterfall Tour with Lunch

3. La Fortuna: Arenal Volcano and Waterfall Tour with Lunch

After bing picked up from your hotel, begin your adventure in El Silencio Private Reserve, walking several kilometers through lush secondary forest with your local guide.  Along the way, discover one of the best viewpoints of the Arenal Volcano and observe a variety of regional plants, wildlife, and stunning volcanic rock formations as you pass by Arenal Lake. Learn about the Colossus of Arenal and its direct influence on the economy and local culture. Later on, travel for around 20 minutes to La Fortuna Waterfall and enjoy cooling off in the crystalline waters of this pristine location. After working up an appetite, enjoy a delicious lunch: a traditional Casado made up of rice, beans, salad, mashed potatoes, tortillas, and fried plantain. Choose between fish, chicken, pork, beef or vegetarian and sip on tasty juices before being transported back to your hotel.

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La Fortuna: Horseback Riding at Mistico Park, Arenal Volcano

4. La Fortuna: Horseback Riding at Mistico Park, Arenal Volcano

Combine the adventure of horseback riding on Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park's trails and being in the midst of the tropical forest, while learning about its history. Get acquainted with your horse during a brief introduction and saddle up. Stand in awe of the density of the forest and the access to the pastures located in the park's highest hills. Enjoy an incredible view of Arenal Volcano and its lake. Enjoy a brief on-foot visit to one of the park’s hanging bridges during a break. Feel as if life is moving slowly as you take your time to marvel at nature’s beauty, sounds, and colors, and experience the energy in the air.

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La Fortuna: Night-Time Arenal Rainforest Walk

5. La Fortuna: Night-Time Arenal Rainforest Walk

Once you have been collected from your accommodation, you will make your way to the Arenal Forest where your tour will begin. Whilst there you will learn that 60% of the fauna in this forest is awake when it is dark. This results in increased sightings of many animals, insects, amphibians, and more, that usually can't be seen throughout the day. The trail you will take is located in the Arenal area near the Arenal Lake. It lies in the middle of 56 hectares of tropical primary and secondary rainforest, which offer fantastic biodiversity. The trail was built from a holistic and responsible approach regarding its impact on the environment, allowing you to enjoy the marvelous world of the night without feeling guilty about your environmental footprint. This nocturnal rainforest walk will give you a different perspective of the ecological interactions that Costa Rican rainforests offer. This will prove a great opportunity to see, feel, and hear the pura vida life at night time. At the conclusion of your experience, you will be returned back to your tour starting point.

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Arenal Lake: Kayaking and Bird Watching Experience

6. Arenal Lake: Kayaking and Bird Watching Experience

Your Arenal Lake tour starts with a 25-minute drive from your hotel. Throughout the drive, your guide will provide you with a brief idea of the logistics of the tour. Before you start kayaking on the lake, your guide will give you a safety orientation talk and will teach you how to maneuver the kayaks. You will then begin your 2-hour journey kayaking on the lake. Stopping for a snack of fresh local fruit after paddling for 1.5-hours. Experience the inspiring beauty and tranquility as you glide across the mystic waters of the Arenal Lake, Costa Rica’s largest and most breathtaking lake. You can enjoy the spectacular views of the powerful Arenal Volcano. Paddling these calm waters will give you the opportunity to enjoy the wildlife that surrounds the lake such as monkeys, iguanas and a large number of tropical birds. The beauty and energy of this amazing Arenal Volcano will truly penetrate your soul.

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Combo Cooking Class and Salsa Dance Lesson

7. Combo Cooking Class and Salsa Dance Lesson

The best way to learn about a new culture is to learn about what the locals eat. Costa Rica has an amazing cuisine that is healthy, natural, and actually very easy to learn how to cook. Take some of the best local recipes back home with you after this cooking experience. These cooking classes are a great way to get to know other travelers and hang out with a knowledgeable local chef. As soon as you finish cooking, you will be able to sit down to the delicious meal you helped cook up and chat about the "Pura Vida" of Costa Rica. Make sure you have brought your dancing shoes to Costa Rica, because next up you will head to the dance floor to learn how to dance to latin beats. There is no better way to spend an evening in La Fortuna than cooking, eating, and dancing like a local.

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La Fortuna: Chocolate Plantation & Waterfall Tour

8. La Fortuna: Chocolate Plantation & Waterfall Tour

Start the tour with pick up from your hotel in La Fortuna. First, head to the base of the extinct Cerro Chato Volcano, where you will hike down to the bottom of one of the largest waterfalls in the Northern Zone, La Fortuna Waterfall. If weather conditions permit, you can swim in the crystalline pools that flow from this impressive waterfall and take advantage of some beautiful photo opportunities. Admire the incredible natural scenery, birds, rainforest, and enthralling sounds.  After spending a little time here to relax and refuel, set off down the road to the cacao plantation to learn about the chocolate-making process. Find out about how the cacao tree is known locally as the 'Gift of the Gods'. Discover how in ancient times, cacao was used not only as a ceremonial drink but also as currency exchange in many parts of Mesoamerica, due to its high economic value. After learning about the process and history of chocolate making, be impressed to find out what real chocolate looks and tastes like, and its wide range of health benefits. At the end of your tour, return to your hotel in La Fortuna where you will get dropped off.

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La Fortuna: Arenal Volcano Hike

9. La Fortuna: Arenal Volcano Hike

Costa Rica has around 112 volcanoes and Arenal Volcano is one of the most active in the country. From 1968 to 2010, there has been plenty of flowing lava, eruptions, and pyroclastic clouds. For years this mountain has been considered the most important attraction in the area. Surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful scenery, take an exciting hike on its trails which will lead you to the old lava fields and some amazing lookout points. Your specialist nature guide will provide you with information about the natural sites you come into contact with during the walk, as well as some insight into the history of the volcano.

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From La Fortuna: Guided Naturalist Walk on Hanging Bridges

10. From La Fortuna: Guided Naturalist Walk on Hanging Bridges

Witness the exuberant primary forest of El Arenal from a fresh perspective on a guided walk through the rainforest canopy. Follow trails and bridges of varying lengths and heights. On this 3-kilometer walk, benefit from hotel pickup and drop-off in La Fortuna and learn all about the natural history of the environment from your expert guide. Discover a variety of flora and fauna, such as birds, mammals, reptiles and many different types of plants and trees. Come and discover the marvelous secrets hidden in this wildlife sanctuary and admire breathtaking views of both Arenal Volcano and Arenal Lake.

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What people are saying about Alajuela Province

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 64 reviews

Carlos was an excellent tour guide. He was very attentive and was very fun and polite. We loved the waterfalls! The hike was great exercise. It isn’t bad but I wouldn’t go on this if you have bad knees or severely out of shape. The lunch was delicious. The Hot Spring were very private and really cute. They are much less crowded than the big establishments like Baldi. Carlos also helped all our kids with the hikes and interacted with them in an endearing way. Thanks so much Carlos for being a great guide!

This was definitely worth every penny! Lots of uphill climbing but once at the top, the views were incredible. Carlos was amazing. Caring, knowledgeable, and punctual. I enjoyed this very very much and would do it all over again.

This was so fun! The guides were fun and friendly, it was lovely to see Arenal up close, to swim, and then the hot springs were a perfect ending.

Excellent experience! Katherine and Patricia were knowledgeable and wonderful. Location was perfect. I’d definitely recommend.

Learnt a lot and had a lot of fun! What more to ask