A trip to Costa Rica is not complete without a visit to the beautiful town of La Fortuna nestled at the base of the Arenal volcano.
One things to keep in mind is that there is no city called Arenal, Arenal is the name of the volcano that heats the hot springs in and around the town of La Fortuna.
If you’re planning on making the trek from Tamarindo to La Fortuna (or vice versa) my best piece of advice is either to rent a car or use one of the private shuttle companies like Interbus or Greyline. These shuttles will cost about $60 per person one way from Tamarindo to La Fortuna/Arenal and will take approximately 4 hours.
If you plan on renting a car, Budget will sometimes have one way car rentals from Tamarindo to La Fortuna for around $60, so it sometimes makes sense to do it that way if you have 2 or more people in your group.
Make sure to download the WAZE app for help with navigating.
Tamarindo to La Fortuna by public bus
On the other hand, if you have plenty of time to spare and don’t mind making several bus transfers, you can take the public bus from Tamarindo to La Fortuna.
The total transit time with this option will be around 7 hours.
You take the public bus from Tamarindo to Liberia (2 hours 1500 colon) then from Liberia to Canas (1 hour 1,500 colones), then from Canas to Tilaran (1 hour 600 colones) then Tilaran to La Fortuna (2.20 hour 2,700 colones)
If you’re taking the public bus option make sure to leave Tamarindo early in the morning since you want to leave plenty of time to make all your connections, and keep in mind that the last bus from Tilaran to La Fortuna leaves at 5:00pm.