Things to do in
Alajuela Province

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Our most recommended things to do in Alajuela Province

La Fortuna: Waterfall, Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Tour

1. La Fortuna: Waterfall, Arenal Volcano 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. Afterward, you will be taken back to your accommodation.

La Fortuna Waterfall, Volcano and Hanging Bridges Combo

2. La Fortuna Waterfall, Volcano and Hanging Bridges Combo

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in the La Fortuna area, and travel to Arenal Volcano to hike the paths surrounding the mighty mountain. Get back to nature in Arenal Volcano National Park, where most of the 850 species of bird identified in Costa Rica can be found. Look out for other wildlife, such as white-faced capuchin monkeys, jaguar and deer. Marvel at the stunning landscapes of a secondary rainforest at the base of the park, and a primary rainforest with amazing biodiversity amongst the hanging bridges. Walk through the rainforest on a network of 15 suspension bridges of various levels of difficulty in Mistico Park. Then, cool down with a swim in a natural pool at La Fortuna waterfall.

Arenal Volcano: Lost Canyon Canyoneering Adventure

3. Arenal Volcano: Lost Canyon Canyoneering Adventure

The rugged, mountainous terrain near the Arenal Volcano is ideal for canyoneering. Combine rappelling, down-climbing, river tracing and the huge and breathtaking waterfalls hidden in the Lost Canyon. Start off by doing a fun 4x4 off-road adventure on the “Jungle Limos” as you head about 15 minutes into a quiet mountainside community. Your guides will give you a thorough safety talk about important rappelling and down-climbing techniques. You’ll get high-quality technical climbing gear such as a harness, helmet and gloves, and you’ll get to practice your first descent on a small, 150-foot (45 meter) waterfall. There you are, on a sturdy platform looking down into the depths of a massive tropical waterfall. You’ll rappel down for the thrill of a lifetime! Make your way along the river by down-climbing and rappelling a series of 6 waterfalls that get gradually bigger and bigger. You’ll finish with an exhilarating 200-foot (60 meter) guided rappel! The hike back up takes about 10 minutes, but take your time to enjoy the intense rainforest that surrounds you. At the top, you’ll arrive to the Canyon Café where you can change into your dry clothes and then sit down to your best meal in Costa Rica!

Poás Volcano, Coffee Plantation & La Paz Waterfall Gardens

4. Poás Volcano, Coffee Plantation & La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Experience Costa Rica's nature and culture on this full-day tour San José. Your first destination is the Doka Estate coffee plantation, where you'll learn all about the ancient techniques of producing some of the best coffee in Costa Rica and around the world. Experience the careful process involved in the cultivation, harvesting and roasting of the Golden Bean before tasting the delectable product. After your coffee tour, continue to Poás Volcano National Park, where there is a noticeable change in temperature and beautiful scenery in a cloud forest. Climb up Poás Volcano, an active stratovolcano that most recently erupted in 2017. The crater of the volcano is over a mile across and 1,050 feet deep, making for breathtaking views. Hike on a trail to the beautiful Botos Lagoon as you learn about the different ecosystems in the park. Then, continue to La Paz Waterfall Gardens and enjoy a buffet lunch of traditional Costa Rican dishes. After lunch, explore the lush tropical rainforest. See the flowing white rivers, spectacular waterfalls, birds, butterflies, monkeys, and hummingbirds before returning to San José.

La Fortuna: Sloth Tour in the Wild

5. La Fortuna: Sloth Tour in the Wild

The Arenal area is well known for its diverse wildlife, and as well as the 2 different Sloth species: two-toed sloths and three-toed sloths. Another most wanted species sought for their colors, unique features and history are the multicolored toucan and the blue jeans dart frog. On your search for these three beautiful animals, your knowledgeable guide will drive you around La Fortuna's beautiful spotting areas, where you will search for wildlife together. Birds, iguanas and monkeys are among the animals that you might also encounter whilst on this enjoyable safari. Breakfast and snacks are arranged according to the customers' best interest, and all the animals that you will encounter on this tour will be in their natural habitats. At the conclusion of your tour, you will be returned back to your nearby accommodation.

La Fortuna: Evening Frog Safari

6. La Fortuna: Evening Frog Safari

After beginning your tour at 5:45PM, you will be able to live the experience of the only natural frog sanctuary in La Fortuna by night. This is your opportunity to view colorful frogs and other wild animals of the rainforest when they are more active and more easily observed. At least 28-species of frogs have decided to make the Arenal Oasis ponds their home. The native plants of Arenal are carefully maintained, in order to create the perfect habitat for these amphibious creatures. This unique private wildlife reserve sits inside a rainforest refuge that connects the tropical areas of the Arenal Volcano and the Burio River. Your local guide will prepare you with a flashlight to assist you in finding these unique creatures, and at the conclusion of your tour you will be returned back to your La Fortuna accommodation.

From La Fortuna: Rio Celeste Full-Day Tour

7. From La Fortuna: Rio Celeste Full-Day Tour

Start your full-day tour with a scenic drive from La Fortuna to the Tenorio Volcano National Park. Head out on a 4-hour hike that will take some effort but is definitely worth it. At the end of the hike you’ll have reached the Rio Celeste. The river’s blue color is the result of a chemical reaction between 2 merging rivers having different volcanic minerals. This rare phenomenon creates a fairy tale-like beauty. Visit a waterfall and a lookout point for great views and see the place where the river changes color. Your guide will point out local wildlife on this adventure as well. After your hike, enjoy a delicious lunch before the drive back to La Fortuna.

La Fortuna: Guided Twilight Wildlife Safari

8. La Fortuna: Guided Twilight Wildlife Safari

You will be picked up from the lobby of your hotel in La Fortuna, and after 25 minutes of driving you will arrive to the Peñas Blancas River. Before you begin your tour, your guide will provide you with an orientation talk about how to conduct yourself while you are seating in the boat. Following this, your tour will begin. You will ride in your raft at dusk, as the sun is just starting to fall, and enjoy the mystical way the light disappears from the sky, leaving you in the peaceful darkness of the jungle. Your bilingual river guide who are trained as naturalists will do the rowing, while you relax and enjoy the abundant nocturnal wildlife of the Peñas Blancas River. With the boat's specially designed lighting system, you will then embark on a magical journey, discovering that most mammals are in fact nocturnal. Upon exiting the river you'll visit the "Hidalgo Family Home”, where you will have the opportunity to experience and appreciate a piece of Costa Rican culture, and get a taste of a traditional Costa Rican snack.

Costa Rica: Río Balsa Half-Day Rafting Adventure

9. Costa Rica: Río Balsa Half-Day Rafting Adventure

See amazing wildlife and enjoy plenty of whitewater fun on this half-day rafting adventure, right near the base of the Arenal Volcano! Perfect for families and first-timers! Challenge yourself as you paddle through fun and safe rolling rapids with names like "Congo Loco" and "Rock around the Croc", plus the challenging “Las Dragas” section. Then play around in tranquil river pools in an isolated rainforest river canyon. Your professional, experienced bilingual guides will give you a safety talk and paddling instruction, lifejackets and helmets before you begin. You'll spot wildlife including monkeys, sloths and tropical birds such as ospreys, Oropendolas and toucans. This unique river trip is the perfect combination of adventure and nature. We call this our “Whitewater & Wildlife” tour. Enjoyable for kids and adults alike! After nearly 30, fun, easy-rolling rapids, you’ll have some delicious fresh fruit and end at our private take-out to change into your dry clothes in our dressing rooms. We then take you to have a delicious, home-cooked, traditional Costa Rican meal, which is guaranteed to please!

From San Jose: 3-Day Tortuguero National Park Excursion

10. From San Jose: 3-Day Tortuguero National Park Excursion

Explore the protected Tortuguero National Park in the Limón Province, reachable only by airplane or boat. Take in the wealth of biodiversity in its eleven different habitats, including rainforest, mangrove forests, swamps, beaches, and lagoons. Trip itinerary: Day 1: After an early morning hotel pickup, admire the biodiversity of a primary forest through the window as you drive past Braulio Carrillo National Park. Sample a delicious Costa Rican breakfast during the drive. Mid-morning, board a comfortable boat and travel along the Tortuguero Canals. Be enchanted by the surrounding paradise and its varied flora and fauna. Then, enjoy a refreshing cocktail and a delicious lunch at the hotel. After lunch, tour the canals and take incredible photos for the rest of the afternoon. Arrive at Pachira Lodge (or similar) for a delightful dinner and a restful night's sleep. Day 2: Discover the flavors of Costa Rica with breakfast at the Lodge. Then, hike along the Lodge's private trail and work up an appetite for lunch. After lunch at the Lodge, visit the Sea Turtle Museum, the beach, and the picturesque village of Tortuguero. In the evening, enjoy dinner at the Lodge again. Day 3: After breakfast at the Lodge, head back to San José, stopping for lunch at El Ceibo in Guápiles on the way. Arrive back in San José in the afternoon.

Frequently asked questions about Alajuela Province

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What people are saying about Alajuela Province

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 1,196 reviews

I highly recommend going on this excursion!!!! I am never the person to leave reviews, but I was honestly blown away by all that we did and got to see. Be prepared to spend the entire day as it lasted far beyond the 10 hours that is stated, but it’s so worth it! Our tour guides were Enrique and Isaac and they were phenomenal. They were very easy going and knowledgeable, they helped make the experience as enjoyable as it was. You will be doing a lot of hiking and climbing up and down steep and uneven stairs/terrain getting to the volcano as well as the waterfall (500 steps). I am not an avid hiker or even an outdoorsy person so some of this was a bit challenging, if you feel intimidated don’t let that stop you! There were people of all hiking levels on this trip. From seeing the volcano/the lava fields to climbing over rocks to take a dip next to a waterfall you will be impressed by the beauty around you. Ending the day in a hot spring with drinks was a great ending to the day! 11/10

great way to see 3 big activities in one day trip. Had Erica as our guide, she was amazing!, brought her telescope to help us see the local animals. She found sloths, 3 different species of snake, frogs, a tarantula, howler monkeys and a few beautiful local birds. Great local knowledge and history chats about the region. Would definately reccomend. Our driver Jorge was super helpul as well, punctual pick up and super clean bus.

This was such a cool experience. So much came out at night that we'd not seen in the entire week of day activities we'd done. From bats picking bugs off the surface of the water to a baby owl hiding in a tree to a family of monkeys having dinner above my head, this was a great tour.

Was a first time rafter and was so scared because I can't even swim...but I thoroughly enjoyed this experience and would def do it again .....and they guy took great pictures and motion videos that I'm still waiting to get soon

The experience was seemless and flawless. The driver pointed out toucans as we drove and then helped us with our luggage onto the boat.