Top things to do

Top Choice Waterfall in Tilarán

Viento Fresco

Driving between Monteverde and Arenal, there is no good excuse for skipping this stop. Viento Fresco is a series of five cascades, including the spectacular Arco Iris (Rainbow Falls), which drops 75m into a refreshi…
Top Choice International in Nuevo Arenal

Gingerbread Hotel & Restaurant

Don’t miss the chance to eat at one of the best restaurants in northwestern Costa Rica, right on the lake. The larger-than-life, New York–trained Israeli chef turns out transcendent meals from the freshest local ing…
Top Choice Cafe in El Castillo

La Ventanita

La Ventanita is the ‘little window’ where you place your order. Soon enough, you’ll be devouring the best chifrijo (rice and pinto beans with fried pork, capped with fresh tomato salsa and corn chips) that you’ve ev…
Top Choice Park in Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal

Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal

From 1968 until 2010, Volcán Arenal was an ever-active and awe-striking natural wonder, producing menacing ash columns, massive explosions and streams of glowing molten rock almost daily. While the fiery night views…
Sports in Tilarán

Vuelta al Lago Arenal

They say that it’s virtually impossible to circumnavigate the lake. But they have never participated in the Vuelta al Lago Arenal, an annual event in March, when some 4000 cyclists do just that. It takes two days – …
Soda in La Fortuna

Soda Mima

Nothing fancy from afar, the love radiates outward from Don Alvaro's kitchen to warm your belly and your heart. Cheap, delicious casados (set meals) and gallo pintos are standard fare, but add some marinated peppers…
Cafe in Nuevo Arenal

Tinajas Arenal

With glorious sunsets and a dock for boat access, this is a hidden gem. The chef – who works in tandem with his talented mom – has created a menu of traditional favorites and new surprises, using fresh seafood and o…
Italian in La Fortuna

Anch’io Ristorante & Pizzeria

If you have a hankering for pizza, you can’t do better than Anch’io, where the crust is crispy thin, the toppings are plentiful and the pie is cooked in a wood-fired oven. Start yourself off with a traditional antip…
Arts & Crafts in La Fortuna

Hecho A Mano

There’s no shortage of souvenirs for sale in La Fortuna, but this unique shop is something special, carrying an excellent selection of arts and crafts by local and national artists. You’ll find representative pieces…
Soda in San Luis & Tronadora

Brisas Del Lago

If you don’t mind a little detour, here is your lunch stop between Monteverde and Arenal. Simple Tico fare is done with panache at this dressed-up soda. They marinate chicken breasts in their own BBQ sauce, skewer T…