The Exotic Hot Springs of La Fortuna

People come to Costa Rica for various reasons but it is a fact that many come to have a true vacation. Hot springs offer the opportunity to rest and experience rejuvenation by soaking in the thermal waters heated to therapeutic temperatures by a volcano. The majority and most well-known springs are located in the La Fortuna/Arenal region. Most travellers plan a visit to a local hot springs attraction to complement a trip to the Arenal Volcano National Park. If time isn´t of the essence, we recommend making plans to stay at least a few days to soak it all in. 

Baldi Hot Springs is the most expansive hot spring facility in the Arenal area

Four of the top hot springs resorts are the Baldi, Ecotermales, The Springs Resort and Tabacón. Besides hopping from pool to pool at your leisure, the hot spring experience allows visitors to sit and do absolutely nothing. Often, this is just what you need: the ultimate relaxation experience.  Some hot spring sites offer more amenities than others, making the choice between different sites a challenge. Each hot spring offers a range of  pool temperatures. Visitors can “pool hop” without restriction. All of these resorts offer a relaxing spa-like experience among rainforest-inspired settings. The two hot springs closest to downtown La Fortuna are the Baldi and Eco Termales. These two resorts are practically across the street from one another and also less expensive than The Springs Resort and Tabacón.

BALDI AND ECO TERMALES

Of the four resorts mentioned, Baldi is the biggest in terms of pool quantity and Eco Termales is the smallest in terms of property size, consequently offering the most intimate small group setting. Eco Termales has been said to offer the most authentic Costa Rican experience. It is the only resort of the four which offers free local and towel use to its guests. Like all of the resorts, reservations are required. During the high, peak, and shoulder seasons (periods between peak and off-peak), we recommend reserving hot springs entrance passes to any and all of the hot springs attractions well in advance.  

The Eco Termales Hot Springs of Arenal

Eco Termales is family owned and operated and the natural hot springs are heated right from the center of the Arenal Volcano. Guests will experience the pleasure and relaxation from the energy that springs up naturally onto the property in the midst of primary rainforest. There are five elegant and romantic pools with temperatures ranging from 99 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit (37 to 41 degrees Celsius). Additionally, there is one freshwater waterfall and pool which form part of the exotic and naturally therapeutic spa. Admission is limited to no more than 100 guests in each of the three daily time slots. Ask for your entrance to include lunch or dinner in their home-style Costa Rican restaurant and savor the chef’s version of the typical dish of the Arenal area with some incredible meats, plus dessert and coffee included. There is a luxurious lounge aside a natural pond with beautiful aquatic plants inhabited by frogs and caiman alligators where you can sip your favorite cocktail. 

The tropical oasis of Baldi Hot Springs features 25 different pools with the temperatures increasing as you go up in elevation. The pools are constructed to preserve the natural beauty of the area and are also great lookout points for the volcano Arenal on clear days. There are a total of 25 thermal waters filled by a crystalline waterfall amidst the tropical rainforest, for all visitors to enjoy. Baldi is the least expensive of all the hot springs resorts featured here and also one of the closest to the downtown La Fortuna area. It has swim up bars, a restaurant on site and a spa. The entrance fee includes a tour of the hot springs and showers; lockers and meals are optional.

THE SPRINGS RESORT AND SPA

The Springs Resort and Spa is the furthest from downtown La Fortuna, located near Montaña del Fuego, Alajuela. It offers the highest quality experience in terms of luxury and spa appeal and the greatest value when factoring in price and amenities. It also has the largest pool variety. There are 28 thermal pools ranging in temperature and despite its secluded location, the Springs offers easy access to Arenal’s vast array of adventures and tours. This resort includes beautifully designed rooms, all with private patios, complete with hammocks. The 14,000-square-foot spa offers massage using tropical botanic oils. Guests save 10 percent at the Club Rio Outdoor Center and tours booked through the concierge.

HOT SPRINGS OF TABACON

Tabacòn Hot Springs

Tabacón Hot Springs is set amidst rainforest between the Arenal Volcano and Arenal National Park. Tabacón was one of the first hot spring resorts in the Arenal region and maintains a high quality of standard for its guests. It includes five different springs ranging in temperatures and a thermal river heated by the highly mineralized water that is heated underground by the volcano’s magma. Thousands of gallons of this perfect water naturally emanate every minute. The thermal water flows throughout the resort, forming the Tabacon River. There is a cold river that also winds through the property with cooler pools to contrast nicely with the hot springs. The pools in the lower section are more secluded, surrounded by gardens, and offer fantastic views of the Arenal Volcano. The main area includes a waterslide and swim up bar. There is also a spa offering a variety of treatments. Tabacón is an eco-friendly and carbon neutral resort, which means it produces no net release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

The water park at Kalambu features slides, water cannons and swimming pools

KALAMBU HOT SPRINGS WATER PARK

The most recent addition to the hot springs and a great choice if you are planning a trip with children is the Kalambu Hot Springs Water Park. In addition to its thermally heated pools, Kalambu features a water park designed for children of all ages. The aquatic playground is naturally heated with thermal water and has water cannons, slides and swimming pools. Besa Mi Burro is the name of the casual on-site restaurant. It offers both authentic Central American specialties and classic American comfort food. Only the highest quality ingredients are used.

ESSENTIALS TO REMEMBER

We are sure you will have a great time at any of the hot spring resorts of Baldi, Ecotermales, The Springs Resort and Spa, Tabacón, or Kalambu. There is enough variety of things to do that a week´s stay is a great idea. You can stay in a charming accomodation in La Fortuna if you don´t plan to stay at one of the resorts. Remember to make reservations in advance, bring insect repellent, hiking shoes, bathing suit, sunscreen and your desire to relax in therapeutic waters. We would be surprised if you do not leave with a better sense of wellness and connection to nature.