La Fortuna, Costa Rica, also known as La Fortuna de San Carlos, is located in the Northern Highlands, around 2.5 hours from San Jose’s international airport (SJO) and a bit more from Liberia’s international airport (LIR).
The town is centered around Arenal Volcano and offers a diverse range of adventure and nature activities. Despite being a tourist destination, La Fortuna retains a charming small-town vibe, with a lovely park and church at its heart, surrounded by fertile agricultural lands. The area is affordable, although options are more limited than in larger expat cities.
Arenal Volcano is highly active, ranking in the top 10 or top 20 most active volcanoes globally. La Fortuna is less than 10 kilometres (6 mi) from the peak and less than 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the Arenal Volcano National Park entrance, west of the peak. Other local attractions include La Catarata de la Fortuna waterfall, hot springs, adventure parks, and activities around Lake Arenal.
La Fortuna lies on the eastern side of Lake Arenal, with expats typically traveling to the San Jose region for shopping and travel. Expats residing on the western side of the lake tend to travel to Liberia instead.