Hot springs are the plus side of living in — or visiting — a country with five active volcanoes. Most of these natural hot tubs are in La Fortuna in San Carlos, Arenal, and Rincon de la Vieja, and an entire hotel industry is built around them.
• Number of springs: 5
• Temperature: 77-122 F
• Other attractions: massages, hydrotherapy, facials and indigenous treatments
A coveted spot for couples to tie the knot amid its exotic gardens at the base of the Arenal volcano, and while they’re at it couples can enjoy their honeymoon in one of the luxury rooms or the adults-only Shangri-la garden area. Tabacon was the first-ever public thermal resort in the Arenal area.
2. The Springs Resort
• Number of springs: 18
• Temperature: 83 to 103 F
• Other attractions: five-star hotel,14,000-square-foot full-service spa, wildlife preserve with rescued jungle cats, monkeys, sloths, wild turkeys and a variety of birds.
It’s not just the quantity of hot springs, but what each has to offer, such as waterfalls, views of the Arenal volcano, or a choice of all-natural springs or chlorinated ones. Additionally, day passes are available for unregistered guests, granting them access to the springs, the preserve, as well as to several restaurants and bars, and enabling them to book kayaking, horseback riding and ATV tours (all of which are of course available to hotel guests, too).
3. Baldi Hot Springs Hotel & Spa in San Carlos
• Number of springs: 25
• Temperature: up to 104 F
• Other attractions: two restaurants, three swim-up bars, a sauna, 8 acres of tropical gardens, and 32 nonsmoking rooms for overnight guests.
In addition to the springs, there are three water slides from 104 to 325 feet long that will catch the eye of both children and adults. The temperature of the waterfall-fed pools raises as you walk the path that leads to them, but staying at the spa also yields the bounty of the land in the form of volcanic mud wraps.
4. Eco Termales
• Number of springs: 7
• Temperature: up to 105 F
• Other attractions: Exclusivity
This spa in La Fortuna is tough to get in but once you make it you won’t want to leave, especially considering that it won’t take long to fill your vacant spot. Eco Termales Hot Springs accepts less than 100 guests at any given time.
5. Blue River Resort
• Number of springs: 4
• Other attractions: botanical butterfly gardens, tiki bar
North of Rincon de la Vieja and across from Rio Celeste, this resort has four uniquely themed thermal pools and a freshwater pool with a 98-foot slide. You can stay for the day, but if you expand your visit the soothing sounds of the rainforest will lull you to sleep.