Thanks to the Arenal Volcano’s geothermal thermal activity, the region is teeming with natural hot springs that have been slowly heated and mineralized deep beneath the ground by the volcano’s underground magma. These springs are known not only as relaxing oases of tranquility, but the high concentration of natural minerals are credited with healing properties that benefit the body.
There are all sorts of ways to enjoy Arenal’s hot springs, ranging from glitzy spa resorts to more simple facilities. Some of the best resorts in the Arenal region are actually built around massive networks natural springs, complete with waterfalls, lush vegetation, tranquil pools and bubbling creeks. Luckily, you don’t have to be a guest at these resorts to enjoy their hot springs, as they all offer a variety of day pass packages to non-guests. We recommend booking ahead, though, especially if you’re planning your Costa Rica travels during high season, as many resorts limit the number of daily passes in order to maintain the atmosphere of peace and intimacy sought by tranquility-seekers.
Hot spring facilities vary greatly from place to place, providing the perfect refuge for every style. Some are simple and intimate, perfect for a day of hot springs and picnicking with the family, while others are immense labyrinths of winding springs that include waterfalls, lush tropical landscaping, pool after pool, bar service and, for the young and young at heart, even the occasional waterslide.
Here are just a few of the many Arenal hot springs facilities to get you started:
• Tabacon Hot Springs
The Tabacon Hot Springs, found at the five-star Tabacon Thermal Resort, are 100% natural springs in a series of naturally-formed pools, streams and waterfalls. In fact, it’s Costa Rica’s largest network of free-flowing thermal springs. One of the most popular facilities in the region, we suggest purchasing your day pass ahead of time. More info
• Baldi Hot Springs
The Baldi Hot Springs is the most extensive Arenal hot springs facility, with its 25 pools of different sizes and temperatures, not to mention cascading waterfalls, tropical birds, a 60-person Jacuzzi and even waterslides. Day passes are available. More info
• Eco Termales Hot Springs
Smaller and more intimate than the Tabacon or Baldi spring facitilies, the Eco Termales hot springs feature five pools of varying temperatures, as well as a freshwater waterfall and pool. Book your pass in advance, as the facility has just three time slots with a maximum of 100 visitors per time slot.
• Los Lagos Hot Springs
Part of the Los Lagos resort, these springs are open to both hotel guests and non-guest visitors, the latter with a day pass. There are numerous pools of different flows and temperatures, and there is also a small frog farm, butterfly garden and crocodile farm on site, all of which are a big hit with youngsters.
• Paradise Hot Springs
This low-key Arenal hot springs facility has one large pool with a waterfall as well as a series of smaller, more secluded pools, all surrounded by beautifully landscaped tropical flora.
• Los Perdidos Hot Springs
Located within The Springs Resort, the Los Perdidos hot springs feature seven pools ranging from 76ºF to 98ºF in temperature. There’s also a poolside bar and even a waterslide.
• Titokú Hot Springs
Eight cascading pools, which decrease in temperature as you make your way down, comprise the Titokú hot springs, which also has a full-service bar conveniently on site. Come during the day for sunshine, or at night when the pools are colorfully illuminated.
Los Laureles Hot Springs
Low-key and relaxed, the Los Laureles hot springs are the area’s smallest hot springs facility. However, it does have carefully maintained tropical landscaping, two hot spring pools and one large cool pool with a waterslide. Many folks bring along a pic