Top things to do

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. Chef Eyal is the larger-than-life, New York–trained Israeli chef who turns out transcendent meals from the freshest local fare.…
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 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…
Top Choice Steak in La Fortuna

Benedictus Steakhouse

Turn off the highway and drive about 1km up a steep, rough dirt road to arrive at this spectacularly situated steak house (tricky to find in the dark, so arrive before the sun goes down). You’ll be rewarded with a g…
Top Choice Cafe in El Castillo

La Ventanita

La Ventanita refers to the ‘little window’ at Kelly’s house where you place your order. Soon enough, you’ll be devouring the best burrito or chifrijo (rice and pinto beans with fried pork and capped with fresh tomat…
Waterfall in La Fortuna

Catarata Río Fortuna

You can glimpse the sparkling 70m ribbon of clear water that pours through a sheer canyon of dark volcanic rock arrayed in bromeliads and ferns with minimal sweat equity. But it’s worth the climb down and out to see…
Homewares in La Fortuna

Neptune’s House of Hammocks

On the road to La Catarata de la Fortuna, it sells soft drinks and hammocks (US$50 to US$170). Take a breather and try one out.
Nature Reserve in La Fortuna

Ecocentro Danaus

This center, 2km east of town, has a well-developed trail system that’s good for birding, as well as spotting mammals such as sloth, coati and howler monkey. The price of admission also includes a visit to a butterf…
Cafe in La Fortuna

Rainforest Café

We know it’s bad form to start with dessert, but the irresistible sweets at this popular spot are beautiful to behold and delicious to devour. The savory menu features tasty burritos, casados, sandwiches etc. There’…
Soda in La Fortuna

Soda Viquez

Travelers adore the ‘local flavor’ that’s served up at Soda Viquez (in all senses of the expression). It’s a super-friendly spot, offering tasty tipica, especially casados, rice dishes and fresh fruit batidos. Price…