This blog may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy for more info.
Sweet treats and vacations just go together and luckily if you’re staying in La Fortuna, you can have both! We love tasting our way through the countries we visit, so while living in Costa Rica, a chocolate tour (or three!) was an absolute must for us.
Who knew we could love Costa Rica more? Well after indulging our sweet tooth on some of the chocolate tours in La Fortuna, we definitely did! These tours let you try tasty chocolate all while embracing the local culture and meeting the people behind these delicious creations. That’s a win-win in our books!
La Fortuna is one of the places in Costa Rica that has some of the best chocolate tours in the country and honestly, the world. Cacao plants are difficult to grow and require “Goldilocks” growing conditions that are just right and happen to be found in this part of Costa Rica.
Chocolate plays a significant role in Costa Rica’s culture and visiting chocolate plantations is a great way to get a farm-to-table look at how this treat is made.
While you’re exploring the nearby volcanoes, lush jungles, and waterfalls in this area, taking a break to eat and learn about chocolate is a day well spent! We’ll take you through the very best chocolate tours in La Fortuna to choose from so you can find the one that’s right for your trip.
Our Top Choice for a Chocolate Tour in La Fortuna
If your mouth is watering already and you don’t have time to read through all the options, not to worry! Our top choice is this North Fields Chocolate and Coffee Tour. It combines two of the things Costa Rica is most known for and tasting both local chocolate and freshly brewed coffee is a perfect way to spend a few hours. You’ll get to walk around the fields and then tour individual stations to see (and help with!) the entire process.
The highly-rated experience (it has hundreds of 5-star reviews!) is on a family-run farm and the $43 USD cost includes transport from La Fortuna. You can book tickets for this chocolate tour online here!
About Chocolate in Costa Rica
La Fortuna, Costa Rica has been producing top-quality chocolate for many generations – we’re talking around the 15th century!
The Indigenous people in this area thought of it as a sacred and valuable crop (we can relate!). Cacao was believed to be a gift from the Gods and used for religious rituals, celebrations, and even currency. Today, it is one of Costa Rica’s biggest exports.
Chocolate begins its journey from the cacao plant which looks similar to papaya. Cacao trees are challenging to grow because they need a really specific climate. The trees are only able to naturally grow in a small area along the equator that gets a good amount of rain. Combine this with the need for sun, well-drained and nutrient-rich soil, and protection from wind, and it’s a challenging crop to grow.
During a good chocolate tour, you get to walk through the fields and see cacao trees up close while a guide explains the intricate chocolate-making process. First, the cacao pods are grown and hand-picked selecting only the finest fruit. It’s then fermented and sun-dried. Next, the pods are roasted over a fire before the seeds are cracked and the shells are removed.
It’s then stone ground before being put through a process called “conching”. This step works to mix and stir the cacao butter to make it less acidic and gritty. This gives it that velvety melt-in-your-mouth texture we all love so much. Then, it’s time to add sugar and other ingredients to enhance the flavor like honey, chili, coconut, milk, and even corn, before it is put into molds.
Touring the farms is a great way to see how local chocolate goes from cacao bean to finished chocolate bar! We’d say to bring along a bag to carry home the extra chocolates you buy, but if you’re anything like us, we doubt you’ll have many leftovers!
What are the Best Chocolate Tours in La Fortuna?
1. North Fields Chocolate and Coffee Tour
Topping our list is this North Fields Chocolate and Coffee Tour that combines not one, but two of our favorite things – chocolate and coffee. We knew coffee was a labor of love but after going on this tour (and helping brew a cup of our own!), we had a whole new appreciation for our morning java.
We like this excursion because it’s at a family-run farm on a beautiful property near La Fortuna. During the tour, you’ll visit 8-10 “tasting stations” where there are samples of chocolate, coffee, and sugar cane. Along the way, your guide explains everything and even got us involved in the process. One of my favorite parts was helping mix the chocolate!
This La Fortuna chocolate tour starts with pick up from your hotel and then a quick 6-minute drive to the farm in the hills. Once you arrive, a guide is ready to meet you and take you through the fields to see the coffee beans and cacao plants and explain the farming methods and cool facts about these crops.
After you return from the fields, there are shaded stations to see the roasting processes and get those tasty samples! With all the info we learned, it gave us a whole new appreciation for what we were eating.
The outing lasts about 2.5 hours and there are multiple start times (8 am, 10 am, 12:30 pm, 2 pm, and 3 pm) to choose from so it’s easy to fit into your Costa Rica itinerary. While the chocolate and coffee are the main draw, we did find this tour had a bit of a sightseeing component to it as well! The location of the farm is gorgeous with stunning views. Bring your camera as there are lots of tropical birds hanging around!
The tour is $43 USD per person and kids aged 6-12 receive a discounted rate of $33 USD with anyone 5 and under joining for free. If you are under 20 minutes from La Fortuna, transportation is also included in this price.
This tour is family-friendly and the outdoor location and farming processes are just as fun for kids to learn about as adults. There were a few kids on our tour and they were especially excited to help out with the chocolate making!
2. Eden Chocolate Tour
If your heart is set on tasting delicious, organic chocolate this tour by Eden Chocolate is our pick! It takes place at a local organic farm near La Fortuna. We really enjoyed how interactive our time was here – they do a good job of getting you involved in every step of how chocolate is made.
The tour starts with a stroll through the farm fields to see the different parts of the cacao plant and to pick only the freshest fruit. Then we headed back to the ranch for a front-row seat to the entire chocolate-making process.
The best part for us was the end when the samples come out! We tried some of the best dark chocolate I’ve ever had and got to make a tray of our own chocolate bonbons – customized to how we liked. You can even take some of the bonbons home … if you don’t eat it all right away (we didn’t have any leftovers!). There are also a variety of different ingredients you can choose to add to your chocolate bonbons including salt, coconut, and nuts.
Throughout this tour, we felt really welcomed and learned so much. The guides are incredibly passionate and it’s not hard to get excited about tasting chocolate! Plus, the groups are small with a maximum of 15 people, so you don’t feel rushed or lost in a crowd.
I’d recommend wearing comfy shoes as the farm is quite large and there’s a fair amount of walking. There are traditional tools used to grind the beans and some fun surprises like jumping on a makeshift exercise bike to help!
The farm’s grounds are also beautiful to wander around and full of wildlife. If you haven’t taken a sloth watching tour in La Fortuna yet, you just might be in luck! We saw a few sloths hanging around in the trees here along with iguanas and toucans.
The tour doesn’t include transportation so you’ll have to get yourself the 15-minute drive (7 miles/11 km) to the Eden Chocolate Plantation location. This is a super easy drive if you’ve rented a car in Costa Rica or a quick taxi ride. You can choose between a few different start times (8 am, 10 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm) with tours lasting about an hour and 45 minutes.
The cost is $33.90 USD per person, but we’ve seen deals when booking on Viator for even cheaper! There’s even a nice little shop selling boho-style souvenirs like cute dream catchers.
Related Read: If you’re flying into San Jose before your tour, read up on our tips for getting from San Jose to La Fortuna!
3. Rainforest Chocolate Tour from La Fortuna
Calling all chocolate fanatics! This Rainforest Chocolate Tour provides unlimited chocolate to eat. Yup, you read that right – it’s basically like an all-you-can-eat buffet of chocolate! But that’s not all that drew us to book this tour (although it didn’t hurt!).
We also love that this tour dives deep into the origin, history, and cultural importance of chocolate as well as all the components in making it. It made us feel a lot more informed about all that chocolate we were eating! You’ll also learn about, and taste, the traditional cacao drink that has been part of Indigenous traditions for centuries.
Supporting eco-tourism is something we like to do and it was really nice to see how passionate everyone here was about sustainable farming practices and chocolate production. We find that your guide does a lot to set the tone of your experience and our guide was great! All the guides here really go the extra mile to make the experience fun for all ages – there were some very happy kids eating chocolate right off a spoon!
The entire experience is 1.5 hours as you follow the process of making chocolate from start to finish while sampling delicious treats throughout. You can choose between morning or afternoon start times and there’s no need to rush off either. They have a nice patio with rocking chairs and a tiny store that sells more chocolate (shocker!) so you can pick up a few treats to take back with you.
If you’re looking for a tour in town, this is a good option as the chocolate plantation is located only a 4-minute drive from downtown La Fortuna. The tour costs $30 USD for adults, $22 USD for kids 6-12 years old, and free for 5 and under.
For a tour with unlimited chocolate samples close to La Fortuna, you can reserve your 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.
- 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!
4. Don Juan Chocolate and Coffee Tour
If you only have time for one chocolate tour, the Don Juan Chocolate and Coffee Tour has a lot going for it! Not only is it one of the best chocolate tours in La Fortuna, but it also doubles as a coffee tour!
I think the only thing that makes chocolate taste better is pairing it with a fresh cup of coffee! This tour is the best of both worlds taking you into the heart of a plantation that specializes in both chocolate and coffee. Plus, it has some incredible views of Arenal Volcano!
Starting with a good ol’ cup of joe, the guides at Don Juan will teach you how coffee is grown, processed, and turned into the delicious drink you start your day with. From bean to cup, we walked through every step of the process and gained a new appreciation for how much work goes into every cup of coffee. You’ll then get to taste your creation – trust us it will be the best coffee you’ve ever had.
Once you’ve got your caffeine boost, the chocolate tour begins. Much like with the coffee tour, you’ll get walked through every step of how your chocolate bar is made. Walking through the fields your guide will teach you how to identify the sweetest fruit, help grind the seeds, and make your chocolate bar.
White chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate are on the menu to taste at the end of this tour. So if you’re not a dark chocolate fan (which is the kind served on most chocolate tours), this is some nice variety for your tastebuds!
Supporting local, small, family-run businesses is our jam so this tour is one we feel great about! Located a short 6-minute drive (1.2 miles/2 km) out of town, this chocolate and coffee tour is ideal if you’re looking for a fun way to spend a few hours in La Fortuna.
Expect the tour to last about two hours with start times in the morning and afternoon to choose from. We went with an earlier tour as coffee just feels like a morning drink to me! It costs $50 USD for adults, $30 USD for kids 7-12 years old, and free for children 6 and under. A really nice extra is that all the pathways are paved with cement, so if you have a stroller, walker, or wheelchair, this is an accessible tour.
With hundreds of 5-star reviews, we aren’t the only ones who loved this tour! Try it out for yourself by booking a spot here.
5. Eden Mocca Chocolate Tour
Okay hear me out, coffee and chocolate are only made better by combining the two into a delicious creamy mocha! This Eden Mocca Chocolate Tour is the full package as you taste organic chocolate and coffee and then combine the two into a steamy mocha drink.
The guides make this tour what it is. They are great at keeping the coffee and chocolate tour upbeat and fun for all ages – don’t be surprised if you find yourself dancing and singing along the way!
The entire experience has lots of hands-on activities as you help brew the coffee, make your own chocolate bonbons, and of course, get a fresh mocha! I think this tour would be a fantastic addition to a honeymoon in Costa Rica as we had a lot of fun as a couple trying all the different samples.
The extras were really what took this experience above and beyond for us – like getting a 50g bag of coffee to bring home with you. We definitely had some nostalgia when we made a cup of coffee back home. Costa Rica’s coffee is my absolute favorite and this blend is so rich and fresh!
The plantation has a beautiful location right along the river. It is the furthest tour away from La Fortuna, so expect about a 45-minute drive. We highly recommend renting a car if you plan to do this one as the tour doesn’t include transportation.
This mocha experience costs $45 USD for adults, $28 USD for children 5-11, and is free for kids 4 and under. It lasts 2 hours and allows you to choose between four start times (8 am, 10 am, 1 pm or 3 pm).
Related Read: For more tasty treats while you’re in town, these are the top restaurants in La Fortuna you won’t want to miss!
6. Chocolate and La Fortuna Waterfall Adventure
La Fortuna is packed full of Costa Rica bucket list activities and high on our list is visiting La Fortuna Waterfall. So imagine how excited I was for this waterfall and chocolate combo tour – insert happy dance here!
Seeing one of Costa Rica’s beautiful waterfalls AND tasting some delicious organic chocolate is something we can all get behind. This tour combines those two into an epic half-day experience!
The 4-hour tour starts with two hours to spend at a local chocolate plantation. Here, like other chocolate tours, you’ll get the full breakdown of how chocolate is made – the growing of the cacao plant, harvesting and drying, grinding the seeds, and finally molding the chocolate.
We really enjoyed tasting the chocolate drink that the Indigenous people of Costa Rica held so sacred. Not all tours include this. so it’s a nice extra. It’s fascinating to think about how long this drink has been around for!
Once we were happily full of chocolate, it was time for a jungle adventure! This is what really sets this tour apart as you leave the chocolate farm behind and it turns into a La Fortuna Waterfall tour.
You’ll have two hours to spend at La Fortuna Waterfall, which is a nice amount of time, although you may want to go back again. I can’t get enough of this place – it’s gorgeous.
Don’t forget to bring your camera along to snap some photos from the top of the cascade before taking the short trek to the bottom. This is where you’ll find a beautiful pool of water that you can jump into for a refreshing dip.
The half-day tour costs $107 USD for adults and $85 USD for kids 4-11 years old. Transportation from your hotel in La Fortuna via an air-conditioned vehicle is included in this price. You can choose between a morning or an afternoon start time. We typically enjoy morning tours but the afternoon tours make for a more refreshing waterfall swim.
Related Read: Only an hour from La Fortuna is another epic waterfall. Rio Celeste Waterfall is an unreal shade of blue you’ll have to see to believe!
Other Things to do While You’re in La Fortuna
With a chocolate 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:
- Go on a night walk – There are so many daytime activities, which is why we love this night walk and dinner tour. Guides lead you on an easy hike through the rainforest, spotting all the critters that come out after dark. To finish it off, you’ll enjoy a traditional Costa Rican dinner prepared on a wood-burning stove.
- Hot springs – One of the best free activities in La Fortuna is the natural hot springs! The Free Natural Hot Spring River is a public river running through the Tabacon Hot Springs Resort. It’s only 15 minutes outside La Fortuna and feels amazing after a day of hiking! If you don’t mind paying for a soak, there are tons of other amazing hot springs in La Fortuna to choose from too.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
Related Read: If you love adventure, read our guide to whitewater rafting in La Fortuna!
Where to Stay in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
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!).
Luxury – $$$
Those with a luxury budget can wake up to views of Arenal Volcano! The Volcano Lodge is set at the foot of Arenal Volcano. It has hot springs and a lush, tropical garden on the property where you can see lots of the beautiful birds of Costa Rica, including hummingbirds! Rooms here typically start at $200 USD per night. For a luxurious stay in a natural setting, book The Volcano Lodge online here.
For arguably the most luxurious hotel in La Fortuna, check out The Springs Resort & Spa at Arenal. While the rooms don’t come cheap ($600 USD+), it’s a bucket list place to stay that’s perfect for visiting Costa Rica on a honeymoon! There’s also a resort-style pool, a fitness center, a swim-up bar, hot tubs, and a spa and wellness center. If you’re looking for the ultimate luxury, reserve your stay at The Springs Resort & Spa at Arenal!
Mid-range – $$
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. They also include a delicious breakfast at the $170 USD room rate. Casa Luna is located a short drive from town and can be booked online here.
Budget – $
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 spent a lot of time. You can also book on Booking.com or Hostelworld.com for the best rate.
La Fortuna Natural Green is another budget option suited to those who prefer to avoid hostels. They offer small chalets a short walk or drive from town. Rooms start at $75 USD and include free breakfast. To grab this great deal, check prices and availability on Booking.com.
Getting Around Costa Rica
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.
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.
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.
Invest in Travel Insurance
Paying out of pocket for trip interruptions or medical treatment will add to what might already be a stressful situation. We always travel with SafetyWing travel medical insurance.
The best part is that it costs only a fraction of what most insurance policies charge, which makes it perfect for digital nomads, long-term travelers (like us), and budget travelers. It only costs $45 USD per 4 weeks!
To start coverage, you must purchase it after leaving your home country. We usually purchase it as soon as we land at the airport.
Since using SafetyWing we’ve been reimbursed thousands of dollars when we’ve gotten sick. During the pandemic, they’ve even gone as far as to pay for our last-minute flights back to Canada from Colombia before the border closed!
As if we needed more reasons to love Costa Rica, these La Fortuna chocolate tours added another! While I never turn down buying some chocolate as a treat, it’s totally different to get the ultimate behind-the-scenes tour of where it comes from. Plus the chocolate is so tasty here!
Hopefully, you found a tour that looks good! It may be hard to choose which one … just like it’s hard to pick which chocolate to try first once you arrive! Before your trip, make sure to check out our full blog on Costa Rica. We have lots of tips and ideas to make your vacation the best one yet.