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5 BEST Night Tours in La Fortuna +Our Honest Review

5 BEST Night Tours in La Fortuna +Our Honest Review

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Costa Rica is world-famous for its wildlife, but many of its most interesting creatures are nocturnal. So if you want to see rare frogs, possums, anteaters, and more, then a night tour in La Fortuna is a must. 

La Fortuna is a dream destination for wildlife lovers and adventure seekers. From ziplining to touring local waterfalls, there are so many amazing things to do in La Fortuna. In fact, we loved it so much that we ended up living here for a while! 

The best way to spot wildlife at night is by joining a tour. These tours are largely run by local experts in the area, and they really love teaching people about the importance of the natural world in La Fortuna. We loved having a guide who knew the landscape well and made sure that we didn’t miss anything under the cover of darkness. 

We highly recommend adding a night tour to your Costa Rica itinerary. After participating in plenty of night tours in La Fortuna, we’ve rounded up our top five picks to make sure that you get to see as much of its amazing wildlife as possible. 

About the Wildlife in La Fortuna at Night

blue jeans poison dart frog at night in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Blue Jeans Dart Frog!
A lizard sits on a plant on a night tour in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
A small lizard!

The wildlife in La Fortuna is amazing during the day, but a whole host of different creatures come out to play after dark. 

Nighttime is the best time to see an array of Costa Rica’s unique tropical frogs such as red-eyed frogs, gladiator frogs, and the rare blue jeans frog. Many of the country’s snakes, lizards, and other reptiles are also nocturnal, so you’ll get to see plenty of those too! 

There are also many famous birds to see, such as the black-and-white owl, and you’ll be able to spot diurnal birds (birds that are active during the day) sleeping in the trees. Having a guide is really handy for spotting snoozing birds, as they know exactly where they like to sleep. 

La Fortuna plays host to a whole range of nocturnal mammals at night too. It’s the best time to spot ocelots, and if you’re really lucky you might even see a jaguar! We’d be here all day if we listed absolutely all of the creatures you might see in La Fortuna at night, but you’re likely to spot lots of sloths, bats, kinkajous, olingos, possums, and plenty of monkeys. 

A night tour is also a great way to see some of Costa Rica’s most interesting insects. You can see tarantulas, snails, beetles, and we even saw a bullet ant! This species is said to have the most painful sting on the entire planet, so we were very glad to have our guide with us to point out this tiny beast.

Related Read: If you’re staying in San Jose but interested in taking one of these night tours, we’ve made the trip for you! Check out our guide on the best stops from San Jose to La Fortuna.

Best Night Tours in La Fortuna

1. Night Walk Around the Arenal Volcano

A green snake on a night tour in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
So cool!
A red eyed tree frog in Costa rica on a La Fortuna night tour
Green Tree Frog!

Arenal Volcano is one of the must-visit volcanoes in Costa Rica and turns out, it’s also one of the best places to spot wildlife at night in La Fortuna. This Arenal Volcano walking tour takes you on a guided hike around the foot of the volcano to spot the fascinating nocturnal creatures that live here. 

There’s so much to see in this area, but some of the top creatures to spot include howler, squirrel, and white-faced monkeys. You might even see coatis, which I always find so cute! There are also tons of frogs and reptiles around, such as bocaracá vipers, red-eyed tree frogs, and toads. The guides are very passionate and take the time to point out the park’s amazing flora, like orchids, bromeliads, and different ferns and mosses. 

This tour is also a great opportunity to spot plenty of sleeping birds, like toucans, parrots, and hummingbirds. Costa Rica is actually known for the extensive species of birds that thrive here.

One of our favorite parts of this tour was seeing the sky light up with fireflies. It created a really magical atmosphere in the rainforest.

We love going on tours in La Fortuna because the guides are super knowledgeable and friendly. They take their time to teach you about the natural history of the area, like how the Arenal and Cerro Chatos volcanoes were formed. Plus, they are super helpful when it comes to snapping amazing photos of the surrounding wildlife – after all, it’s only right that you get some amazing pictures to make everyone back home super jealous. 

The meeting place for this tour is Mirador el Silencio, and they also offer round-trip transportation to nearby hotels. The tour costs $49 USD per adult and starts at 5:30 pm, and the guided walk lasts about 2.5 hours which is plenty of time to spot a whole host of nocturnal wildlife. This is a great option for families, and children 3 and under are free. We also love that it’s a small group tour with a maximum of 10 people.

If you’re ready for a fun evening spotting wildlife around Arenal Volcano, reserve your spot online here!

2. Rainforest Night Walk and Authentic Costa Rican Dinner

A tarantula on a night tour in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Tarantula!
blue jeans poison dart frog on a night tour in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Another dart frog!

This night walk and dinner tour was one of the best experiences we’ve had in Costa Rica – we saw so many amazing creatures! 

You’ll be picked up around 5 pm and then you’ll go on a 1.5-hour guided hike around La Fortuna’s mirrored lakes to the frog sanctuary. You’ll get to see both the biggest and smallest types of frog in Costa Rica – the bullfrog and the dart frog – as well as glass frogs and red-eyed tree frogs. Basically, if you’re into amphibians, this is the tour for you!

On top of a rainbow assortment of frogs, we also saw a huge green lizard and even a bullet ant, which made us super thankful that we were with our guide – you do not want to get stung by one of those bad boys. There are also sloths and toucans in the area, as well as tons of insects like beetles and some huge crickets. 

After the nature walk, you’ll enjoy a traditional Costa Rican dinner, which will be cooked over a wood-burning stove. While there are plenty of amazing restaurants in La Fortuna, there’s something special about a locally prepared meal, and we can honestly say that the one we got on this tour was one of the best we’ve had in the entire country. 

This tour costs $65 USD per person and lasts approximately 4 hours. The price includes entry to the frog reserve, hotel pickup and drop-off, and a delicious family-style dinner, so we definitely think it’s a great value for the money. 

See how many frogs you can spot by booking this highly-rated night walk – it has tons of 5-star reviews you can read before you book!

3. Night tour through the Tropical Forest at Tifakara

A frog on a night tour in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
A small frog!
Two red eyed tree frogs in Costa Rica at night
Two red-eyed tree frogs in Costa Rica at night

This Tifakara night tour is a self-drive option, so it’s a good way to save money if you’ve already got a rental car in La Fortuna. It begins at the Tifakara Lodge (which is one of the most amazing places to stay in La Fortuna, just FYI) and then takes you on a guided night walk through the rainforest near the Arenal Volcano. 

You’ll get to enjoy an hour-long walk through two different frog sanctuaries on this tour, so this is another fantastic way to see all of the multicolored frogs in La Fortuna. You’re likely to see blue jeans frogs, glass frogs, and red-eyed tree frogs, just to name a few! Plus, there are plenty of sloths, snakes, tarantulas, and beautiful flowers as you go. 

After the tour, you’ll receive a complimentary beer, wine, or cocktail by the pool at the Tifakara Lodge, which is the perfect way to round off the evening. The lodge is nestled right into the rainforest, so you might get lucky and spot even more wildlife while you’re enjoying your drink! 

This is a small group tour with a maximum of 10 people, so you’ll receive plenty of attention from your guide and have lots of opportunities to ask questions. It’s a great option for anyone limited on time as it only lasts an hour. This tour costs $32 USD per person and begins at 7:15 pm.

If you’re looking to fit a quick night tour into your busy schedule, reserve this 1-hour tropical forest night walk online here.

Related Read: While you’re visiting La Fortuna, it’s worth checking out the best hanging bridges in the area. Walking through and over the trees like this is an experience you don’t want to miss!

4. La Fortuna Ecocentro Danaus Night Tour

A lizard on a night tour in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
A lizard on a night tour in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

You’ll spot bats, reptiles, and frogs galore on this nighttime jungle tour in La Fortuna! You’ll meet at the Daunus Ecocenter, which is a 10-minute drive from the town center, so this is another great option for those who are driving in Costa Rica

From the Ecocenter, you’ll begin a 2-hour guided walk through the jungle to spot a whole host of nocturnal wildlife. The Ecocenter is very close to Sloth’s Territory, so you’re likely to see lots of these cute creatures lazing around in the trees, as well as tons of frogs, bats, and creepy crawlies! You can also spot ringed kingfishers resting in the trees as well as sleeping butterflies. 

This is another small group tour of no more than 10 people, and your guides will help you capture picture-perfect snaps of the animals and insects you see along the way. The tour guides really know their stuff, so you’ll be sure to learn plenty of details about the creatures you see and discover more about La Fortuna’s vibrant plant life, too. 

This tour requires a booking of at least two people with a cost of $73-$80 USD per person (although we’ve seen it even cheaper than that on Viator!). It lasts for 2 hours and you can choose to go at 5:30, 6:30, or 7 pm, so it’s easy to fit in even if your schedule is already pretty full. We personally recommend going at 5:30 pm because this is when the wildlife is the most active. The daytime creatures are settling in for the night and the nocturnal species are just waking up, so you get to see even more action! 

If this sounds like the perfect night tour for you, purchase your tickets in advance.

5. Frog Watching Night Walk

Green tree frog on night tour in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Green tree frog!
large frog at night in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Toad!

There are 149 known species of frogs in Costa Rica, and while we can’t promise you’ll see them all on this frog watching night walk, it’s certainly a good place to start!

The tour begins at one of the top ecolodges in Costa Rica, the Arenal Oasis Eco Lodge, where you’ll meet your guide and head out on foot to explore easy walking trails. This tour takes off at 5:45 pm, which is the perfect time to spot an abundance of frogs because the daytime species haven’t gone to sleep and the nocturnal frogs are just waking up and starting to make noise.

Your guide will take you past frog ponds and through the forest to see tons of different species. You’ll even have the chance to see glass frogs, which are almost impossible to spot in the wild since they’re translucent and do an amazing job of blending into their surroundings.

You might catch a glimpse of some blue jeans frogs or black and green poison dart frogs too. It’s so cool to see these creatures in their natural habitat, and being with a guide who can teach you interesting facts about these animals really adds to the experience.

More than likely, you’ll also see plenty of other creatures such as snakes, crickets, spiders, and birds along the way.  

This walking tour costs $52 USD per person, and the group size caps at 8 people so it’s a super personal and close-knit adventure. The guides are so passionate and enthusiastic, and they really have an amazing ability to spot tiny creatures we would never have seen on our own! 

We love this tour, and if you want to experience exploring the area around this incredible eco lodge yourself purchase your ticket tickets with Viator.

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

What to Wear on a Night Tour in La Fortuna?

blue jeans poison dart frog on a branch on a night tour in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Blue jeans poison dart frog on a branch on a night tour in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

You’ll need to wear some comfortable, closed-toed shoes to protect your feet from the forest floor. It’s still pretty warm at night in La Fortuna so it’s a good idea to wear lightweight, breathable clothing.

We also recommend wearing long pants and long sleeves, as bugs and mosquitos abound in these parts! Bring insect repellent and a flashlight too, as you’ll be in the rainforest most of the time. 

Related Read: Costa Rica offers some of the best nature reserves and national parks worldwide. Make sure to read our guide and check out some of our favorites on your next visit!

Other Things to do While You’re in La Fortuna

Arenal volcano in Costa Rica
Arenal Volcano!
Traditional coffee brewer in Monteverde
Traditional Costa Rican coffee brewer in La Fortuna!

With a night tour checked off your itinerary, there are so many other things to do in La Fortuna you won’t want to miss! These are just a few of our top picks:

  • Arenal Volcano – Arenal Volcano is the centerpiece of La Fortuna! You can wander the trails at Arenal Volcano National Park on your own or as part of a hiking tour. For more unique volcano views, take to the sky aboard the Sky Tram, fly by on an ATV ride, or take a leisurely sunset cruise on Lake Arenal.
  • Hanging bridges – Make sure to walk among the treetops! The Mistico Hanging Bridges are some of the best around here. There are 14 total bridges here with 6 of them being hanging bridges. It’s a fantastic place to spot wildlife especially if you join this guided tour
  • Visit a rope swing – El Salto, or “the rope swing,” is a hidden paradise with a swimming hole, more waterfalls, and a local vibe. You can easily walk to El Salto from town and swing into the refreshing waters – or ask the locals where it’s safe to jump!

Where to Stay in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Bailey in a spa at Casa Luna Hotel, La Fortuna
Casa Luna!
View from Balcony at Casa Luna La Fortuna
The view from our balcony at Casa Luna!

Because La Fortuna is such a big tourist town, there are a ton of amazing places to stay. We even wrote an entire blog about the best hotels in La Fortuna. However, to make it super easy, we’ve narrowed it down to our top places for each price point. So keep reading to find one that suits your needs (and budget!).

The Springs Resort & Spa at Arenal – $$$

For arguably the most luxurious hotel in La Fortuna, check out The Springs Resort & Spa at Arenal. While the rooms don’t come cheap ($600 USD+), it’s a bucket list place to stay that’s perfect for visiting Costa Rica on a honeymoon!

You’ll find 28 hot spring pools here, making the resort the perfect place if you really want to relax. There’s also a resort-style pool, a fitness center, a swim-up bar, hot tubs, and a spa and wellness center. You can reserve a room at The Springs Resort & Spa at Arenal on Booking.com.

Casa Luna Hotel & Spa – $$

Those with a medium budget should check out Casa Luna Hotel & Spa. I stayed here on my first visit to La Fortuna and loved it. The property is beautiful, with a large pool and four hot tubs surrounded by nature. You can also enjoy the tropical botanic garden at the hotel.

Casa Luna Hotel & Spa is near Arenal Volcano National Park, and all the rooms have views of the volcano and the rainforest. The hotel also includes a delicious breakfast, and rooms run about $200 USD a night. Casa Luna is located a short drive from town, and you can reserve a room online on Booking.com here.

Selina La Fortuna – $

One of the go-to budget options is Selina La Fortuna. I’ve stayed in Selina hostels around the world and this is a great one. It has a fun party atmosphere and a great co-working space where we spend a lot of time.

Selina La Fortuna is located right in the middle of town, so you have easy access to great bars and restaurants nearby. Rates begin at $26 USD for a one-night stay in a dorm and $124 USD for a one-night stay in a private room. You can check availability and book on Booking.com or through Hostelworld.com.

Getting Around Costa Rica

Bailey with our rental car near Rio Celeste Costa Rica
Our rental car!

How you choose to get around Costa Rica is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make when planning your holiday here! How you do it depends on your budget, travel style, and comfort level. 

Renting a Car

Without a doubt, the number one way to explore Costa Rica is in a rental car. We book rental cars on the Discover Cars website as we have had good experiences with them in the past.

One of the things you need to watch for when renting a car in Costa Rica is the mandatory insurance that the government requires you to have. There are a lot of very cheap rentals that don’t include this mandatory insurance (TPL) in the original booking price, but there are also ones that do. To avoid additional surprise charges when you pick up your rental car, be sure to rent a car that includes the mandatory insurance when you book.

Thankfully, on Discover Cars it’s easy to tell apart the companies that include the mandatory insurance and those that don’t. The trick is you can’t pick any car on their website. In the picture below, you can see this rental car, with pick up in Jaco, includes the TPL. That means the mandatory insurance is included in the price. Any cover you get above that is extra.

Of course, I still suggest getting the full coverage offered by Discover Cars, which covers you even more.

You can browse cars on Discover Cars here.

TPL Cover Costa Rica
TPL Cover Costa Rica

Book Shuttles

If renting a car isn’t in your budget, you don’t feel comfortable driving in Costa Rica, or you just don’t like driving, shuttles are the next best option. There are hundreds of shuttle routes available all over the country, and they are very affordable.

Shuttles in Costa Rica are specifically for tourists and often include pick up and drop off at your selected hotels and airports. The drivers also speak some English, and the vehicles have air conditioning. You’ll also be guaranteed a seat when you book a shuttle (which isn’t the case with the public bus system.)

To get the best price, use the website Bookaway. They compare all the offers and prices of shuttle companies in Costa Rica so you get the best price! Honestly, we have saved so much money using Bookaway! 

You can search for shuttles online on Bookaway here.

Public Bus

Lastly, you can use the public bus system. On short journeys, such as from San Jose to La Fortuna or Uvita to Manuel Antonio, this system is great. However, the longer the journey the more hassle and time spent on a bus. It’s undoubtedly best to save the public bus in Costa Rica for short and straightforward trips!  

The public buses are definitely the cheapest way to get around Costa Rica, but they are not always very reliable and schedules often change without notice and delays are to be expected. The buses can also be very crowded and hot – so just be prepared!

It’s also good to speak some Spanish if you plan on riding the public bus since most drivers and ticket booth operators don’t speak English.

Pura Vida!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie at Poas Volcano Crater in Costa Rica
Thanks for reading!

Joining a night tour is such a unique activity to do in La Fortuna. You get to see tons of different animals like birds, snakes, spiders, and plenty of frogs. It’s a really cool experience and it’s amazing to hear the sounds of the rainforest at night.

We hope you enjoyed this list and maybe even found a night tour you’re excited to take! We have tons of blogs about Costa Rica and would love to pass on some of our favorite recommendations so you can have an awesome vacation. We’ve listed some articles below and hope you enjoy them!

Best Activities for One Day in San Jose, Costa Rica

11 Things You NEED To Know About Shuttles in Costa Rica

7 BEST Places to See Turtles in Costa Rica