El Salto Rope Swing in La Fortuna, Costa Rica: Visitor’s Guide

bow in bright blue shorts dives off the El Salto Rope Swing, Costa Rica

The El Salto rope swing is one of my favourite free things to do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica and Arenal Volcano National Park. Situated in the refreshing waters of the Rio Fortuna, you can frolic the day away swinging from the El Salto rope swing (the best Tarzan swing Costa Rica has to offer), cliff jumping and relaxing in the energizing, yet restorative swimming hole

El Salto Costa Rica is located a quick drive or easy walk from the centre of La Fortuna, and makes for a great morning spent amongst the lush Arenal rainforest. Alternatively, you can visit the La Fortuna swimming hole after a visit to nearby La Fortuna Waterfall (like I did!), Mistico Hanging Bridges or after a decadent chocolate tour through a local chocolate farm.

This detailed guide on El Salto La Fortuna Costa Rica, will give you all the information you need to make the most of your visit to the top Rope Swing La Fortuna offers, including where it is, the best way to get there, what to expect, and more!

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Where is El Salto La Fortuna?

El Salto Costa Rica, amongst the best free things to do in La Fortuna, is a 1.1 mile (1.8km) distance from downtown La Fortuna in the northern Alajuela Province and Arenal Volcano National Park. 

Click on the El Salto La Fortuna map below to interact with Google Maps and find your ideal route to visit the El Salto rope swing, or read on about the best ways to get there.

map of where El Salto La Fortuna

Eco Termales Hot Springs Address:
El Salto Rope Swing, Alajuela Province, La Fortuna, Costa Rica

How to Get to El Salto La Fortuna

By Rental Car

You can reach the El Salto La Fortuna rope swing within a 4-minute drive by rental car.

 I use Discover Cars for all of my car rentals.  I like that Discover Cars compares local and international companies to find you the best deal. The last time I was in La Fortuna, all of the rental cars were sold out! So, make sure to book ahead.

Enter ‘El Salto Rope Swing’ or ‘El Salto – Rio Fortuna’ into Google Maps (or Waze) to find the best route to get there. 

Otherwise, follow Route 702 south out of downtown La Fortuna for 1.1 miles. Once you pass Diag. 301 on your right-hand side with a large sign pointing to La Fortuna Waterfall, keep driving until you reach a road bridge. 

Park your car on the side of the road just before the bridge and you can find your destination down a path on the lefthand side of the bridge to your left. 

TIP | You do not need a 4×4 vehicle to visit this top Tarzan swing Costa Rica offers as the entire roadway is paved. 

girl overlooking El Salto La Fortuna rope swing and swimming hole

By Taxi

If you don’t have a rental car, you can opt to take an official red taxi from the town centre to the entrance of the El Salto Costa Rica attraction. The cost will be roughly $15 USD return. You can find the official taxi stand on the road in front of La Fortuna central park.

TIP | Make sure your driver turns on the taxi metre to properly track your trip.

By Foot

The walk from La Fortuna town centre to the El Salto rope swing takes 22 minutes along a flat surface. The route will take you on Route 702 with part of the way featuring a well-established sidewalk. 

Do note, that the last part of the journey will not have an official sidewalk so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for traffic.

Who is El Salto La Fortuna Best For

view from the top Tarzan swing Costa Rica offers

Because of the wild’ nature of the El Salto Rope Swing and swimming hole, I’d recommend these top free things to do in La Fortuna for visitors without small children and without mobility issues. 

The landscape around El Salto La Fortuna is dense dirt paths with uncovered tree roots and slippery rocks. Not suitable for young children or persons in need of mobility aid.

When I visited El Salto Costa Rica, my partner and I were there with a few local teenagers, a family with older teenage children and a few older female friends. The crowd here definitely leans toward young adults. 

There are no amenities on site here, so don’t expect good seating, food or restrooms.

Best Time to Visit El Salto Rope Swing

Time of Day

Visiting the El Salto rope swing after my morning visit to La Fortuna Waterfall was a great combination. I already had my swimming suit, quick-drying towel, grippy watershoes and reusable water bottle with me from my morning climb down to the falls, so enjoying the El Salto lagoon afterwards fit just right. 

I arrived at El Salto La Fortuna around 9:30AM and left around 10:30AM. There were only a few other people there.

I have seen pictures of the El Salto La Fortuna swimming hole in the afternoons and it can get quite busy. I recommend visiting in the morning.

Time of Year

Generally speaking, Costa Rica will have its main influx of visitors in the months of mid-June to mid-August during the summer holidays, and from mid-December to mid-April during the dry season. Although visiting La Fortuna, in the lush Arenal rainforest, is great all year long.

What to Expect at El Salto Costa Rica

El Salto Costa Rica Parking

parking at El Salto La Fortuna

It is important to note, that El Salto La Fortuna does not have secure official parking. Knowing this, you can take the risk to park your car along the side of the road before and after the bridge lying over the Rio Fortuna with the El Salto rope swing located underneath. 

This is the only area you are able to park to access one of the top Costa Rica swimming holes, El Salto La Fortuna. Alternatively, you can take a taxi from the town centre, or walk.

NOTE | There has been theft from vehicles reported in the area

TIP | Do not leave valuables in your car. Roll up all windows and lock all doors. 

the waterfall at El Salto Costa Rica

The El Salto Trail

Once you’ve parked your rental car or arrived via taxi, you can follow the dirt path down on the east side of the bridge (away from Arenal Volcano). The trail down is dirt with exposed tree roots and rocks, so watch your step

After about 5 minutes down a 45-degree decline, you will come to the side of the El Salto rope swing and swimming hole. If bringing a day bag with you, make sure someone in your group is designated to keep an eye on it while others enjoy the free swimming hole and Tarzan swing.

someone in blue shorts using the El Salto rope swing

El Salto La Fortuna Facilities

El Salto La Fortuna Costa Rica does not have any facilities or amenities. Make sure to change into your swimming suit before visiting El Salto and come prepared with snacks, water, a towel and anything else you may need for time spent in nature.

Be aware that you will be wearing a wet bathing suit underneath your clothes when leaving El Salto rope swing, so I recommend heading back to your La Fortuna lodging before moving on to your next excursion. 

El Salto Rope Swing

a man jumping from the El Salto rope swing into a lagoon

A popular Tarzan swing Costa Rica offers, the El Salto La Fortuna rope swing will be located just down the river on your lefthand side. Watch your step along the path and wait your turn before handling the rope swing. Make sure swingers before you are out of the landing zone in the lagoon below before taking part. 

The best way to get out of the lagoon afterwards is to head to the shallow rocky lagoon area downstream and follow the dirt cliff around to the right. Here you can get up using a couple of man-made dirt steps and root handles. Be careful! Follow the path back towards the rope swing to go again.

Cliff Jumping

A woman jumping from the cliff at El Salto Costa Rica

Cliff jumping is also something to enjoy at El Salto La Fortuna. You can do this from the rocks overlooking the lagoon to the right of the Tarzan swing on the lefthand side of the river.

I loved doing this while visiting, but make sure to watch your step, as a woman who went after me slipped on the rocks and fell into the lagoon very close to the cliff. She was definitely dazed.

If you would like to partake in the cliff jumping at El Salto Costa Rica, communicating with the people jumping from the rope swing is key to avoiding near collisions in the water. Do not jump from the cliff at the same time as someone is jumping from the rope swing.

NOTE | The rocks here can be slippery!

El Salto Swimming Hole + Waterfall

a woman perched on the cliff overlooking the waterfall at El Salto La Fortuna

Besides partaking in the rope swing, you can simply enjoy the El Salto waterfall and lagoon. The crisp water is super refreshing after other La Fortuna excursions and will wash the humidity of the rainforest away. 

What to Bring to the El Salto La Fortuna Swimming Hole

Because El Salto La Fortuna does not have any amenities, you are on your own when it comes to providing comforts like food, water and essentials for your trip. I highly recommend a quick-drying towel, grippy watershoes and reusable water bottle stuck into your water-resistant day bag

NOTE | Do not bring valuables with you!

If you’d like to take pictures without bringing your camera gear, opt for a waterproof phone case. Otherwise, these are some other Costa Rica packing items I recommend bringing:

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