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La Fortuna

La Fortuna is the Wheel of Fortune in Tarot.

I love this card because 1) when it shows up in a spread it’s frequently an indicator of a successful outcome, and 2) it’s a reminder that everything changes, and when you’re at the bottom you’re already on your way back up.

It’s also a town in the heart of Costa Rica.

After Devin and I celebrated our 26th wedding in Costa Rica (you can read up on our journey to get married 100 times in 100 countries HERE), we took a VERY LONG DRIVE (5 hours plus lunch) from the West Coast beach town Nosara to the volcanic Arenal region and parked ourselves for a week in La Fortuna. A brother of a friend advised me that visiting Costa Rica was all about beaches and mountains, so I designated one week for each.

La Fortuna seemed like a great base town for a couple of travelers who didn’t want to rent a car and drive unfamiliar mountain roads ourselves. Plus a plenitude of Costa Rican nature activities (which is why you go to Costa Rica) are available here–hot springs, white water rapids, rain forest animal watching, the volcano, and ziplining/horseback riding/ATV/rafting/hiking options for every level of adventurer.

I chose an Airbnb at the base of a very active volcano. This was the view from our front yard.

Arenal Volcano

Quick Happy Marriage Tip: I need a cold room to sleep. My husband prefers a kiln. Boooking 2-bedroom Airbnbs with A/C for me makes us both happy. The private jacuzzi didn’t hurt either.

I told Devin when we were booking our flights to Costa Rica that it was ALL ABOUT THE SLOTHS: I wanted to see sloths!  Our first day in La Fortuna we took a tour outside of town in a nature preserve called Sloth Territory and came across a new mommy sloth high up in the trees, nursing her 4 day old baby. (Photo taken on my phone through a telescope.)

See the ridiculously adorable 17 second movie  version HERE.

My favorite Costa Rican breakfast with gallo pinto (rice and beans)

Tropical fruit drinks with every meal (and between). This time I’m drinking Soursop. I don’t remember what Devin had.

I thought the La Fortuna Waterfall would be our “easy day.” Somehow I missed the piece about a 500-step staircase to get down to the base of the waterfall… and 500 steps up. My legs ached for days. But it was soooo worth it! The water was cool, not cold. Perfect for swimming and recovering my shaking legs after that long climb down. The climb back up took forever!

Devin quit his descent at the first bridge. Devin doesn’t do bridges. Which means that I knew when I booked the hanging bridges tour, I’d be on my own for that, too.

By the way I’m afraid of heights. And these bridges are way higher and wobblier then they look. And once you get to the middle it’s terrifying! And gorgeous.

This one is called the “Oh My God!” bridge. 45 Meters high (about 150 feet in the air–insane!!!), super long, super wobbly. I totally got why Devin doesn’t do bridges. And of course I looked down…


I also saw birds and sloths and snakes and a monkey with a baby on its back…

I was really on the fence about going white water tubing where you slam against rocks and slide down waterfalls in your own inner tube. (This is me seriously considering bowing out of that tour.)

Way more effort and adrenaline than I anticipated, and I LOVED IT!!!!

I did two things that terrified me (bridges and inner tube) and had the time of my life. I should have tried ziplining too. Next time.

The volcano creates hot springs, which was a welcome relief after a week of 10,000-step days. (And something Devin and I could do together.) Plus daily massages. And more fruit drinks, of course.

Happily all our Costa Rican restaurants and activities were open air, and our Airbnbs meant no shared hallways or shared ventilation systems: great for pandemic safety. We ALWAYS masked up for indoor markets, cab rides, airports and airplanes. That’s the law in Costa Rica, and it makes sense to me. Cause not only do we want to stay healthy, we also want to protect the people who welcome us into their country.

No matter where I go and how marvelous the trip, nothing in the world feels better than crawling into my own bed when I return. I’m always surprised at how much I love where I live after I see it fresh from being away.

Which is kinda the point of traveling, isn’t it?  Physical distance gives you a fresh perspective. This can be especially helpful when circumstances are dramatic, like they are now.

P.S. I posted more photos and videos from this trip and others on my Instagram account at




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