In the northern Costa Rican lowlands sits Volcan Arenal, a monolith that draws visitors from across the globe. The surrounding area is a perfect base for nature excursions, but there's no need to rough it—these boutique lodging options feature all the tropical paradise and creature comforts you desire.

Spending the Night in La Fortuna

Thousands of visitors descend on the small town of La Fortuna every year for an excursion to Volcan Arenal. Sitting at an altitude of almost 5,400 feet, it is the nation's most famous active volcano. Arenal may be a natural wonder, but surrounding it are a number of other sites and activities including geothermic pools and waterfalls. 

Part of the reason to come here is to escape chaos and noise, to find some tranquility and commune with nature. For these reasons, we recommend opting for one of the more intimate boutique hotels in the area. There's great diversity with these options, too—we've listed everything from luxury hotels that put a premium on exclusivity, to rustic lodges that make for the perfect romantic getaway. 

If you're looking for more info on this area, our comprehensive Ultimate Guide to Arenal has you covered. 

Casa Luna Hotel & Spa

The pool and jacuzzi at Casa Luna (photo courtesy of Casa Luna Hotel & Spa)

Casa Luna is a colonial gem that meets the definition of "boutique." It's small and intimate (just 18 guestrooms), and the rooms look out to views of not only Arenal Volcano but Cerro Chato (Arenal's little brother) as well. The standard rooms are equipped with modern amenities like A/C, minibar, flatscreen TVs, etc. There's also a swimming pool (with waterfall) and jacuzzis on site, and their Luna Spa offers a number of treatments, including deep tissue and hot stone massages. Their open-air restaurant, Luna Grill, is situated on a tiled patio surrounded by encroaching green gardens with views of the volcano. It's a great place to enjoy your gallo pinto (traditional Costa Rican breakfast).

La Fortuna, San Carlos, 1.5 km south and 1.5 km west from the Catholic Church

Hotel El Silencio del Campo

The lodges at Silencio del Campo (photo courtesy of Hotel El Silencio del Campo)

El Silencio del Campo is tucked away about three miles west of the town of La Fortuna. Its individual rustic, wooden lodges offer a peaceful respite from the activity in town. In fact, silencio del campo literally means "silence of the countryside." If you're looking for peace and quiet, this is the spot for you. Don't be concerned about it being too rustic, though—the accommodations include modern amenities, and each has a volcano view. While there is a refreshing pool on the grounds, the hotel also offers soaks in three geothermal hot springs. 

At the hotel's restaurant, you can be sure you're getting only the finest local ingredients, including the tilapia, which is bred on the premises. Like many hotels in the area, Silencio del Campo pride themselves on their eco-friendliness. They recycle and compost all waste, and they return excess cooking oil to be repurposed in biogas. They also promote the reforestation occurring around the property's grounds. 

5 Km West Of La Fortuna

Hotel Rancho Cerro Azul

Bungalow accommodation at Rancho Cerro Azul (photo courtesy of Hotel Rancho Cerro Azul)

Like El Silencio, Hotel Rancho Cerro Azul offers individual cabins/bungalows for those who value privacy and quietude. It's also located in a convenient location, half a mile from town and on the way to La Fortuna Waterfall. The rushing waters of Fortuna River can be heard from the grounds, and there are trails that lead down to it. Standard bungalows are large and not only come equipped with all the basics like cable TV, minibar, A/C, and wifi, but they're also outfitted with queen beds, front and back balconies, and hammocks for lazing. You can embark easily from this hotel for a number of excursions and activities, including canyoning and volcano hikes. Breakfast is included in the rate and comes with fresh milk produced on site—from the hotel's own cow, Camila. 

Provincia de Alajuela, La Fortuna

Mountain Paradise Hotel

Count on volcano views at Mountain Paradise Hotel (photo courtesy of Mountain Paradise Hotel)

Plain and simple, you come to Mountain Paradise Hotel for the premium views of the volcano and the attentive, friendly service. It offers four classes of rooms, with the basic but expansive "Premium Casitas" featuring standard amenities plus one king bed and one double bed. The two types of villas have the same amenities plus private pools naturally heated by the geothermic conditions of the region, and not one but two showers. All rooms feature private balcony jacuzzis and volcano views. There are two restaurants on the premises: Bird of Paradise is the more intimate option specializing in international cuisine, and Arenal Koitá is the larger eatery offering a regional menu on a balcony overlooking the volcano—go for the nightly buffet dinner. 

Provincia de Alajuela, La Fortuna

Nayara Resort Spa and Gardens

Relax in a tropical paradise at Nayara (photo courtesy of Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens)

The reputation of the impeccable Nayara Resort precedes itself. It's been ranked as the #2 best hotel in the world by TripAdvisor, and there's a strong argument to be made that this is the most sought-after lodging option in all of La Fortuna/Arenal. It certainly looks the part, situated as it is in a tranquil rainforest abounding with tropical gardens. The swimming pool (with swim-up bar) and jacuzzis only add to the oasis feel, and there are a number of services on offer. You can get a spa treatment or enjoy a yoga session in an outdoor bungalow, and you can sample the farm-to-table international cuisine at one of their five (yes, five) restaurants. They even have a tapas bar with a respectable wine list. 

Their standard "Casita Deluxe" rooms provide jungle or rainforest views from the wooden terrace, and a buffet breakfast, daily yoga session, and birding tour are included. For even more intimacy and luxury, you can choose from one of three classes of villa on offer. These large properties feature king beds and wraparound terraces with volcano views. The "Springs Villa" comes equipped with its own private plunge pool. Like with Mountain Paradise Hotel, expect some of the most welcoming and friendliest service around.

702 road 21007, Provincia de Alajuela, La Fortuna