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La Fortuna Waterfall Questions?

Old Jun 5th, 2009, 07:51 AM
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La Fortuna Waterfall Questions?

Hi, gang! We were interested in doing the La Fortuna Waterfall, but we won't have a car. I remember asking at the front desk about getting a taxi there and back, and they said it would be $50 - that seems really expensive to me. Does anyone know of a tour that goes there? The only ones I've seen involve horseback riding, and unfortunately my husband is allergic to horses. If a taxi took you there, how would you get back? Is there an area with a phone where you pay your entry fee, or do any taxis hang out around there? Thanks for any info. you can provide.
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Old Jun 5th, 2009, 08:41 AM
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Just saw a You Tube video by D'Angelo and another guy - forgot his name. They have lots of videos on CR, so usually comes up when u search on anything Arenal. Per video, cab ride from LaFortuna inexpensive. Will you be in town for anything?
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Old Jun 5th, 2009, 10:44 AM
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Vgirl - that $50 taxi might be a private one that the hotel contracts with, hence the $50(!) price tag. The waterfall is less than 4 miles from the center of town so a cab ride can't cost you more than $10 max.

Apart from walking, you can hire their version of a dune buggy - picture a giant Humvee, extra wide and open on all sides with "wheels" you would expect from a tank, something you would use to navigate a static field of lava flow - and you can get to the area where you would normally "park" the horses. When I was there last year, we parked the horses, went to an observation platform and then from there hiked down to the falls.

I also heard of folks getting to the observation deck via car so that might be another explanation for the $50 cab ride quote.

There's a nonprofit org who administers the falls and I think they're the same company who "owns" the observation deck right in front of the falls themselves and only tourists who book with them get to use this deck. The deck allows you to get to a picture-perfect vantage point without having to navigate the slippery rocks to the left of the falls. There was a security guard there who manned the chain barring access to other tourists.

I think the name of the org is ASPROADES and I would contact the La Catarata Ecotourism Lodge.
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Old Jun 5th, 2009, 10:46 AM
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Addendum: we rode horses to the observation deck near the horse parking lot. I saw the dune buggy navigating its way alongside us as we rode, we didn't actually take the dune buggy but I know it's an option. Unfortunately, I don't know the company who owns it.
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Old Jun 5th, 2009, 09:06 PM
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You don't mention your starting point, but I'll assume La Fortuna. During my December visit to La Fortuna, I just walked over to Parque Central (the area in front of the church), where 15 or so taxis are always waiting. The price for a taxi ride to La Catarata was $7; same for the return ride. I had estimated 1/2 hour for the hike down to the falls, 1-1/2 hours to explore the area, 1/2 hour for the hike back up, and so I asked the driver to return to the falls parking lot in 2-1/2 hours to pick me up. The taxi showed up exactly on-time. I'm guessing you could also ask the ticket office to call for you. As far as the Catarata observation deck, it is located at the beginning, right before you start your descent to the falls. There was no one controlling access, and it appeared to be open to the general public. The deck is a great vantage point for photos.
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Old Jun 6th, 2009, 02:23 AM
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So do you guys think the waterfall is worth seeing? We've done the Peace Lodge, etc.
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Old Jun 6th, 2009, 12:33 PM
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Yes you should go, the waterfall is great. It was not privately administered, I think it is part of the national park system. We also took a taxi and asked him to come back, no problems, It was about $6,3 yrs ago. Wear your bathing suit and you can swim in the pool near t he waterfall. It is beautiful. The hike back up can be challenging for some people.
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Old Jun 6th, 2009, 01:04 PM
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Here's another option for you. We took an inexpensive taxi from our hotel (Silencio del Campo) to the waterfalls. We decided to walk back into town, about 3 miles. The walk was on a dirt road and we were entertained on the way watching zip liners cross the valley and a group of howler monkeys in the trees. We stopped along the way for a drink and snack at a local restaurant before entering the town. It was a pleasant way to get back to the town and dinner.
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Old Jun 11th, 2009, 06:36 PM
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Thanks, everyone - so would you say about 2 or 3 hours there would be about right?

Is there any place to buy drinks or water there?
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Old Jun 16th, 2009, 08:01 AM
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Just topping again, can you guys tell me if there's any place to buy water/drinks there, or is that something we should bring along? I appreciate all the help!
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Old Jun 16th, 2009, 03:38 PM
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vgirl - Since you're not going by horseback, I would bring water just in case. There should be at least a few places en route from which you can buy water or if you're heading out from downtown La Fortuna then you definitely have your pick of where to get drinks. While I took the horseback riding option with a tour company and they had brought a water cooler and set it up at the observation deck for us, I drank the water I'd brought on the way up.

When our shuttle dropped us off at the stables, there was a small store there that sold drinks and snacks but I don't remember whether the tour company we went with owned it so I don't know if they're open every day or only on days when there's a tour group.
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Old Jun 17th, 2009, 04:31 AM
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Okay, thanks, E; we'll bring something along just in case.
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Old Jul 13th, 2009, 09:32 AM
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Hey, guys - just wanted to give you feedback that we loved the waterfall. I didn't realize there was a separate little "beach" area down that little set of steps to the left. That was really cool - the water was much calmer there than under the falls, and so crystal clear and blue that we could see trout in the water. And we did find a little gift shop on the premises that sold souvenirs and cold drinks just in case anyone else goes. We thought it was definitely worth seeing!
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Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 02:19 PM
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Topping for ParkerSunshine.
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