Costa Rica’s hot springs are a wonderful introduction to the relaxation and rejuvenation found in this tropical splendor. The mineral-laden waters of the hot springs in Costa Rica have been used for therapeutic reasons for over 200 years, treating a variety of aches and pains. Whether or not you visit for the mystical healing, a hot springs visit is a joy!
Formed by volcanic springs heated underground and returned to the surface, the Costa Rica hot springs offer travelers the opportunity to relax and renew in mineral-laden water. Here, magma or lava has worked its way up through the Earth’s crust to relatively shallow depths below the surface. Groundwater percolates downward, comes in contact with the hot rock and is heated. As the water returns to the surface, it collects into pools known as hot springs.
Surrounded by tropical beauty and neck-deep in a natural Jacuzzi, guests delight in the true sense of rejuvenation that comes from a visit to Costa Rica’s hot springs. With a number of different locations to visit, each with their particular ambiance and specialty, there’s something to fit any traveler.
Arenal Hot Springs
The Arenal Volcano is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations for travelers who want to try out the amazing relaxing comfort of a natural hot spring! While the volcano is currently in a resting phase, the magma still rises close enough to the surface to come into contact with groundwater and keep the natural thermal pools warm. A variety of locations around Arenal offer the opportunity for guests to enjoy the heat.
The Springs Resort Hot Springs
Multiple options & family fun
The multiple hot springs and free-form landscaping at The Springs Resort’s hot springs introduce guests to the luxury of choices. Find the perfect corner for your relaxation – whether it’s beneath a tiny flowing waterfall amid flowering vegetation, or as the center of attention at the divine swim-up bar! The Springs separates their hot springs into two distinct sections:
At Los Lagunas, two acres of landscaping and multi-level pools creates a variety of ambiances for visitors. Guests will find the shaded terraces and comfortable lounging chairs perfect for an afternoon nap! There are twelve pools in total at Los Lagunas. Eight of these hold natural runoff mineral water from the mainspring, while the remaining four are chlorinated.
Perdido Springs, on the other hand, is an intricate maze of trails and spring-fed pools. Along the trail, guests will find an array of beautiful flowering Heliconias as well as other rainforest greenery. Perdido Springs has a quieter ambiance than Los Lagunas. Centered amongst the pools are a small jungle bar and a water flume called the Monkey Slide.
Hot springs temperatures: 83-104F
EcoTermales Hot Springs
A perfect day trip or romantic interlude
What better way could there to be to unwind than slipping into the rejuvenating mineral hot springs of Costa Rica? EcoTermales is a therapeutic natural spa, a private oasis, and an experience not to be missed! This family-owned and operated hot springs spot is the only one our list that isn’t a part of a larger hotel or resort, but that’s no reason to miss out! With limited daily entry, EcoTermales does the utmost to ensure that each visitor finds the perfect spot amid the rainforest to enjoy thermal rejuvenation.
This hidden gem in La Fortuna has more than just the thermal mineral pools to enjoy. Besides the healing warm waters, guests can explore the literally hundreds of yards of trails through the rainforest, watching for local wildlife and taking advantage of the photo opportunities. Or visit the elegant lounge, where you can sit and sip a cocktail while gazing out on a natural pond – home to frogs, caimans, and a beautiful variety of aquatic plants. Delectable meals are served at their authentic home-style Costa Rican restaurant, or guests can enjoy fresh-squeezed juices and tropical mixed drinks by the poolside bar.
Hot springs temperatures: 99-106F
Tabacon Thermal Resort Hot Springs
Romance, intimacy, and privacy
One of the first hot springs resorts in the region to open, Tabacon Resort is still at the top of their game! This eco-friendly and carbon-neutral resort is one of the only in the area that is completely natural in regards to the hot springs, with no use of pumps, mechanical systems, or re-circulating or re-heating of water. The underground Tabacon River, which flows through the grounds and breaks the surface in multiple locations, provides fresh running water and natural circulation for all of the pools. Gravity is all that powers the water through Tabacon Resort’s grounds, using a variety of small streams and tumbling waterfalls.
Of note at Tabacon Resort’s hot springs is the adults-only section, the Shangri-La Gardens. Screened by luxurious greenery and the natural landscape, these pools offer an intimate and romantic experience not far from the amazing Grand Spa. Walking trails through the tropical garden gives a nice break and offers the opportunity to explore – and wildlife sightings are surprisingly regular. Tabacon Resort’s riotous verdant gardens create the perfect ambiance for natural wonder and healing.
Hot springs temperatures: 77-122F
Guanacaste Hot Springs
Rio Perdido Hotel & Thermal River
Only an hour from Liberia International Airport, Rio Perdido Thermal River is located in Bagaces of the Guanacaste province within the 600-acre private reserve at Rio Perdido Hotel & Thermal River with the thermal river at its center. The hot springs are naturally heated by Miravalles Volcano. There are dozens of natural pools at varying temperatures in which guests can relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Rio Perdido also offers a variety of massage treatments and their signature mud body-painting treatment with mineral-rich soil from the river.
Rio Negro Hot Springs
The Rio Negro Hot Springs within Rincon de la Vieja National Park are naturally heated by Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, the largest volcano in the Guanacaste region. There are about 10 natural spring pools accessible by hanging bridges. Relax and enjoy the sound of the forest at this less frequently visited hot spring escape.
Hot Springs Combo Tours
Combo tours are a great way to get the most out of your Costa Rica vacation. A number of Costa Rica’s quintessential activities can be combined to create a memorable day. Head out for a hike up the slopes of the towering Arenal Volcano, exploring areas where in the past flowing lava destroyed sections of rainforest, then head over to the hot springs for an afternoon spent in utter relaxation. Or, experience Costa Rica sky and ground! The Hanging Bridges of Costa Rica were originally built to aid scientific discovery, but now guests from around the world delight in exploring the rainforest canopy. After exploring the bridges and taking advantage of the stunning photo opportunities, visit the hot springs to reflect on the tropical beauty of the area.