La Fortuna is easy to access by public transportation, but nearby attractions such as the hot springs, national park and Laguna de Arenal require a bit more of an effort without internal combustion. Luckily, you can rent cars at Alamo (479 9090; www.alamocostarica.com; cnr Av Central & Calle 2; 7:30am-6pm) or Poas Rent-a-Car (479 8418; www.carentals.com; Calle 2), 100m west of the church, for similar rates to those you will find in San José or in Liberia. Trust us – it’s worth having your own wheels.
Some hotels rent bikes to their guests, though Bike Arenal (479 9454; www.bikearenal.com; Av Volcán; half-day US$6-12, full day US$9-18) has the best variety in town. It also offers guided bike tours. Note that cycling after dark is illegal in La Fortuna.
The classic mountain-bike trip to La Catarata is a fairly brutal, if nontechnical, 7km climb, although we’ve heard stories of hardy pack-a-day smokers who’ve made it (just barely). Another good trip is cycling the paved Laguna de Arenal loop, though you need to be prepared to change a flat tire or two as the road is in a truly terrible condition.