La Fortuna, is a tourist hot spot not far from Monteverde. Often complained about for being 'too touristy' by some travellers, it is difficult to look past why tourism is essential, and how this little town got its name.
La Fortuna, or 'the fortunate', was named this way due the ultra fertile soil that the township enjoyed for many years. This soil, most likely fuelled by the volcanic source of Volcano Arenal that adorns the backdrop of the town, was the life blood of the town. While the lush and thriving soils might have been the reason the name came about, it was solidified in 1968, when Arenal, after lying dormant for hundreds of years, unexpectedly erupted and decimated the neighbouring town of Tabacón. La Fortuna, teetering on extinction for years following the first eruption, with repeat explosions that left the volcano glowing red with lava, waited to see if it would survive.
Recent years have seen no activity in the Volcano, however it still looms in the sky as reminder, to locals and visitors alike, of how 'fortunate' La Fortuna really is.