Complete Guide to La Fortuna with Kids

La Fortuna in Costa Rica is such a great place for families. It is full of adventure, water, jungle, and really cool hotels. Read on to find the best things to do in La Fortuna with kids. Stay, play, and eat in La Fortuna.

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Guide to La Fortuna with kids – perfect for families!

Hotels in La Fortuna

High-End Hotels in La Fortuna

The Springs Resort and Spa– If you are ready and willing to splurge, this is the place. With 15 pools, 5 restaurants, a waterslide, hot springs on site, and really nice rooms, it’s everything you could want.

Plus, it can sleep up to 8 people in select rooms. You can even book a villa that’s larger than the average home and sleep up to 18 people.

Tabacón Resort – if you’ve done any research into where to stay in La Fortuna, you’ve likely come across Tabacón. It’s one of the better known hotels in La Fortuna, and its hot springs are magazine worthy.

Los Lagos Hotel La Fortuna pool and slide

The waterslide of Los Lagos

Mid Range Hotels in La Fortuna

Arenal Observatory Lodge – not only is this family friendly with a kid’s pool and playground, but it’s one of the best views of Arenal Volcano. Enjoy a restaurant on-site and included breakfast. It is more of a natural setting, so don’t expect TV, a mini-fridge, or even A/C.

Los Lagos – I’m a little partial to Los Lagos as we chose to stay here (read more about Los Lagos). This is a nicer resort and we felt it was a great value! There are pools, waterslides, hot springs, breakfast included, and even a fun nature trail to walk through.

Volcano Lodge – pools, hot springs, swim-up bar, and even a playground for the kids.

Hotel Magic Mountain– Enjoy a swim-up bar, free breakfast, pool, children’s pool, and a convenient drive to restaurants and shops.

Budget Hotels in La Fortuna

Loma Real Hotel still has A/C and a pool to keep you comfortably cool any time of year. Plus, wi-fi and breakfast are included.

Hotel la Pradera– Enjoy free breakfast, a pool, and a restaurant on-site.

Bijagua has a pool, children’s pool, A/C, and you can even borrow the bicycles!

Hotels with Hot Springs

If you’re main concern is making sure there are hot springs on-site at the hotel, check out these hotels with hot springs in La Fortuna

The Springs Resort – $$$$$$


Baldi Hot Springs – $$$$

Paradise Hot Springs Resort – $$$

Los Lagos Resort – $$$

Volcano Lodge – $$$

Miradas Arenal and Hot Springs – $$

What to do in La Fortuna with Kids

Where to even start?! There are so many things to do in La Fortuna with kids.

>>> On your way from the San Jose airport, get out and stretch at Poas Volcano National Park. It’s not an all-day experience, so it’s the perfect little stop. <<<

Mistico Hanging Bridges 2

Mistico Hanging Bridges

Mistico hanging bridges is the perfect place to take kids in Costa Rica. It’s not long of a hike (about 2 miles) and goes over 16 bridges hung from steel cables up in the canopy of the jungle.

The trail is easy enough for little ones.

>> Read more about Mistico Hanging Bridges <<

You can do it on your own or with a guide, but I highly recommend getting a guide. We didn’t get one and felt like we were missing out when we passed groups with guides. They were always looking at animals that we couldn’t seem to find.

Zip line Through the Jungle

I’d say one of the most classic things to do in La Fortuna is to zip line through the jungle.

Kids 7 and up can participate in this fun zip line adventure through the trees.

What makes this zip line tour so special? Not only does is give you great views of the surrounding volcanoes, but it also takes you over La Fortuna waterfall.

This tour is highly-rated and family-friendly.

Spend the Day at Club Rio

Even if you are not staying at the swanky Springs resort, you can still get a day pass and participate in all the fun.

The family can go tubing on the river, kayak, go horseback riding, visit the wildlife sanctuary, go on a night walk, and more! There’s enough here to spend a half-day or full day, whatever you prefer!

Get more info here

Soak in Some Hot Springs in La Fortuna

There are plenty of hotels that have hot springs that you can get a day pass to, like Tabacon, Los Lagos, Baldi Hot Springs, the Springs Resort…

You can also visit the local hangout spot in the river that hosts hot springs and a rope swing. It’s FREE to visit 🙂

To find it, drive through town and toward Tabacon. Just as you pass Tabacon, you’ll more-than-likely see a few parking attendants flagging you over to a parking spot. This is the parking for the free hot springs.

While the hot springs in the river in La Fortuna are free, please be ready to pay parking attendants for watching your car while you visit!

La Fortuna Waterfall vertical eye level

La Fortuna Waterfall– things to do in La Fortuna with kids

La Fortuna Waterfall is a bit iconic in Costa Rica. It’s tall and gorgeous, and the perfect place to spend your morning.

Beware of the 500+ stairs it takes to get down (and back up!) Kids can handle these like a champ. But if they don’t, there are benches around the corners to take a rest. And don’t worry, plenty of people are stopping to catch their breath.

>> Read more about La Fortuna Waterfall <<

Go on a Chocolate Tour – things to do in La Fortuna with kids

This is totally for the kids, wink wink.

Ok, adults will also enjoy this too. On this chocolate tour, you’ll learn about the cacao plant, how it grows, is processed, and produced. Talk about a sweet hands on experience!

Penas blancas safari float river eye level

Take a Safari Float down the River

Please, please book this experience. It’s gentle, and the perfect thing to do with kids in La Fortuna.

My kids loved floating down the river as the guide took us to monkeys, birds, and even crocodiles (but not too close on that one!) Plus, you get some awesome food at the end. Play and eat. Perfect!

>> Read more about the safari float experience! <<

Take a Horesback Ride through Arenal

This is a great, family-friendly thing to do in La Fortuna. This tour will take just your group out on horseback for 3 hours. You’ll ride through a beautiful farm near Arenal, all while stopping to enjoy the plants and animals your guide will help point out.

You even get to do a river crossing!

Kalambu Hot Springs – perfect for kids in La Fortuna!

The water is always warm at this waterpark!

Kalambu Hot Springs is the perfect family-friendly thing to do in La Fortuna. There are plenty of waterslides and water toys for the kids to enjoy. Adults will love the taller slides as well.

And it all lands into a geothermal pool.

Though if you need a break from the slides, you can hop in one of the pools aside from the slides. One is for adults and the other is open to the whole family. Both have a swim-up bar though.

There’s a restaurant on site, “Besa mi Burro” (don’t translate that for the kids 😉) serving typical lunch food and the classic Costa Rican Casado.

Good to know:

Bring your own towel if you can. If not, you can pay to rent some.

There are changing areas on site.

Open everyday 9am to 8pm.

Play at Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal is a beautiful place to bring kids in La Fortuna.

You can enjoy paddle boarding, kayaking, or even a sunset cruise with a gorgeous backdrop to your activities.

Enjoy a Food Experience (and Eat the Results!)

If you really want to have a cultural and immersion experience in Costa Rica with the kids, try eating with a local family! You’ll learn about food grown in the area, cooking styles and dishes, and preparation of a meal.

After the meal is done, you’ll get to sit down and be part of the family for a bit as you enjoy the meal together.

Stroll Down the Bogarin Trail

The Bogarin Trail is the perfect hiking trail for kids in La Fortuna. It’s a flat, 1.5 mile trail filled with plants and animals. It’s known as one of the best places to find sloths!

The trail isn’t far from town, making it easily accessible if you’ve got some extra time.

2022: To go on your own, it’s a $15 entrance fee. If you’d like a tour, it’ll cost $25/$50 (kids/adults) for a group tour or $40/$60 for a private tour.

You can reserve a spot in advance on their website.

Arenal National Park sign

Visit Arenal Volcano National Park

Arenal Volcano National Park is a beautiful place to get in some easy hiking. Plus, the reward at the end is always beautiful views of Arenal, and even Lake Arenal.

We hit the Coladas Trail, which was about 2 miles and ended on lava rock. What kid doesn’t like climbing around on hardened lava?

>> What you need to know about visiting Arenal Volcano National Park <<

La Fortuna Sodas Rodriguez casado

Where to Eat in La Fortuna with kids

There are plenty of places to eat in La Fortuna if you’re looking for traditional restaurants.

Travesía is a highly rated place full of meats to your liking.

La Parrilla de María Bonita has burgers, salad, quesadilla, chicken parm, as well as steak.

Tiquicía offers more traditional Costa Rican meals in their restaurant.

But if you truly want an authentic, local eating experience, try one of the many sodas around La Fortuna. These tend to be more affordable as well. We tried many sodas, with our favorite being Soda Viquez.

Where to Get Groceries in La Fortuna

If you have a rental and are looking to cook at home, there are plenty of places to get groceries in La Fortuna as well.

First, there are so many Mini Supers. These are basically convenience stores and would have basic items and foods that you might see at a large gas station stop in America.

For a larger selection check out Palí, which will have a bit more than the mini super. The Cristian Supermarket is also a big step up from the mini super.

For the best selection, the grocery store in La Fortuna you’ll want to visit is Mega Súper. This grocery store is much closer to a traditional grocery store you would see back in the US and with decent prices.

One minute of our favorite adventures in La Fortuna:

Top 4 Nature Experiences with Kids in La Fortuna

The Guide to La Fortuna with Kids

As I mentioned, there are just so many things to do in La Fortuna with kids. I hope this helps you plan the perfect trip to La Fortuna. Try as many experiences as you can, and Pura Vida!

Deciding on a jungle destination? Compare La Fortuna vs Manuel Antonio

Get Excited with these coloring pages!

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  1. I traveled to Costa Rica solo but I can only imagine how much fun it is for and with kids! The hanging bridges brought back the kid in me also tbh haha

  2. Loving this guide on the best things to do at La Fortuna, Costa Rica with kids. And, honestly, great resource for adults!

  3. Loved this post! We visited La Fortuna in January and enjoyed many of the same experiences. We did the float trip and had a day with Mr. Bogarin himself. I kept thinking how much my grandkids would enjoy the area. Thanks for the nudge to plan a trip with the littles.

  4. I am sure the pictures do not do this place justice on how gorgeous it is. I am adding this to my bucket list

  5. I keep hearing SO many good things about Costa Rica.. It’s great to know you can visit with kids, too!

  6. Wow! what a fun destination. The Springs and Tabacon look amazing. I would love zip lining across the jungle canopy. I also love those hanging bridges.

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