One of the most quintessential Costa Rican experiences you can have is to soak in an Arenal hot spring in La Fortuna with an impressive volcano backdrop. This is the perfect activity for people of all ages and for all budgets.
The Arenal Volcano National Park is home to a huge aquifer (about half a mile wide and .6 miles deep). Warm water from the aquifer is then pumped or flows naturally to the 14 best thermal pools in the area. Some of these are open to outside guests with day passes and some are located within resorts and hotels.
We have been fortunate enough to have visited most of the hot springs in the area and have become somewhat of hot springs critics. From places with waterslides and grills for families to adult-only spots with a romantic vibe; the Arenal hot springs have something for everyone!
So, let’s find the perfect place for you!
Top Hot Springs at a Glance
Our Favorite Hot Spring for Couples: EcoTermales
Our Favorite Luxury Hot Spring: Tabacon
Our Favorite Hot Spring on a Budget: Termalitas del Arenal
Our Favorite Hot Spring Resort: Amor Arenal
Getting to the Arenal Hot Springs
From San Jose: The drive from San Jose to La Fortuna will take about 3:30h.
The route consists of main highway and well-maintained back roads.
There are tolls on this first stretch. They do not accept credit cards but cash in dollars or colones is accepted.
Liberia to La Fortuna: The drive from Liberia takes about 3 hours and will start on the nicest highway in Costa Rica called Route 1.
Be careful on this highway because it is easy to want to speed here. It is just set up very weirdly and you’ll randomly come to spots where there are crosswalks (yes…. crosswalks on a highway).
After 22 miles you will come to the town of Canas. In Canas, you will turn left onto a smaller (but well-maintained) road called Route 142. You will stay on this to continue into the mountains, around Lake Arenal, and to La Fortuna.
For me, the road around Lake Arenal is where I get the worst motion sickness in all of Costa Rica. So, be prepared!
Map of the Hot Springs
We created this Google Map so you can easily see where all the hot springs are located. In general, they are all within about a 10-minute drive of one another on the main road in La Fortuna.
Luxury Hot Springs
Here are the two most luxurious hot springs in the La Fortuna area.
1. Tabacon Thermal Resort and Spa
Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa is arguably home to the most famous hot springs in the area. This thermal resort and spa is beautiful! It is open for day pass visitors as well as for resort guests.
10am to 10pm daily
It is possible to book just your admission or add on a lunch/ dinner package to your booking.
If you opt for the meal package it includes one starter, one main course, one dessert and one non-alcoholic drink per person.
The admission cost varies depending on the time of year and which package you choose.
On average you will pay about $80 per adult and about $40 per child for full-day admission.
Admission with lunch or dinner costs on average $150 for adults and $75 for children
Tabacon is also a beautiful jungle resort. The vibe here is relaxed rainforest luxury.
A resort booking includes:
- Daily breakfast, welcome fruit cocktail, fitness center usage, and usage of all hot springs throughout the property including springs exclusively for resort guests.
- Resort guests get free access to the hot springs as well as exclusive access to the “Shangri-La Gardens”. This is an adults-only hot spring section.
Other Thing to Note:
- Tabacon suggests that you make your day pass reservation in advance because they cap the number of visitors and it is a popular place. It often books to maximum capacity a few days or even weeks in advance.
- Tabacon hot spring pools range in temperature from 72 degrees to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
- There are two restaurants and four bars located on-site.
- If you are interested in planning your destination wedding in Costa Rica, it is possible to host it here.
- There is a spa on the property that offers body wraps, massages, facials, body exfoliations, and more!
2. The Springs Resort and Spa
The hot springs here include large pools with swim up bars and volcano views, seven smaller pools that are connected by a system of forest walking trails, and hot spring pools at the Club Rio center with views of the river.
The hot springs are open from 8am to 10pm daily
For $105 per person, you can get unlimited access to the hot springs for two consecutive days. This rate does not include food.
They also offer multi-activity packages. You can combine access to the hot springs with an authentic Costa Rican lunch and the activity of your choice.
The activity choices are: river tubing, wildlife sanctuary tour, and horseback riding.
You can check out your options on the Spring Resort Day Pass page.
The resort boasts a spa, fitness center, adventure center on the property, kids club, complimentary breakfast, welcome drink upon arrival.
There are multiple room options from three-bedroom suites for families to Honeymoon rooms with private plunge pools.
All rooms have a private terrace or balcony as well as a jacuzzi tub in the bathroom.
If you would like to bring a larger group to the resort there are a few on-site villas available as well.
There are nine restaurants & bars located on the property.
Other Thing to Note:
- As a day pass holder you can go to the restaurants on the property, but in our experience you often need a reservation.
- To get to the lower hot springs at Club Rio you will need to take the free shuttle. In our experience, this did not run frequently enough and was somewhat unorganized. Granted, the last time we were here was in 2021, so things might be better now.
- There is a full-service spa on the property which offers body wraps, facials, couples massages, etc. We have gotten a couples massage here and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
- There are comfortable changing and restrooms with towels for you to use.
- In our experience, most people clear out of the hot springs after about 8pm. Stay until closing time to have the pools all to yourself.
Mid-Range Hot Springs
3. Baldi Hot Springs
Baldi is one of the most famous and popular hot spring options in the La Fortuna area. Because of that, this place gets really crowded!
In our opinion, this is a fun place if you have kids or are a group of friends. If you are looking for a quiet, peaceful experience, this is not the place for you.
Baldi has 25 fresh thermal water pools. All hot spring pools are tested to ensure cleanliness daily. They care a lot about maintaining a great image of extreme cleanliness.
There is also a kid’s park section with waterslides and splash pools.
9:00am to 10:00pm daily
Hot Springs: Adults- $47 | Children – $34
Hot Springs + Lunch: Adults- $69 | Children – $50
Hot Springs + Dinner: Adults- $69 | Children – $50
Hot Springs + Lunch and Dinner: Adults- $91 | Children – $66
- Children under 5 years old, admission is free (maximum of 5 free children under 5 years old).
- Children equal or over 11 years old, pay the adult rate.
Families and groups of friends
It is possible to stay at the Baldi property. Hotel guests are allowed free and unlimited entry into the hot spring area. Breakfast is also included in the room rate.
Other Thing to Note:
- There are two restaurants located on-site.
- No need to book in advance, just show up and buy the tickets when you arrive at the front desk.
- Towels required $10 deposit each (refundable) *Cash only.
- Lockers cost $6.78 each (for rental)
4. Paradise Hot Spring
Paradise Hot Springs are on a beautiful jungle property with volcano views. The facilities here feature 8 natural hot spring pools and jacuzzis.
The day pass rates vary depending on which package you choose. They offer three day pass packages with different prices.
Basic Day Pass: Access to all hot spring facilities
- Adults: $42
- Children: $26
Day Pass & Meal: Access to all hot spring facilities and either lunch or dinner at their restaurant.
- Adults: $64
- Children: $41
Premium Day Pass: Access to all hot spring facilities, lunch or dinner at their restaurant, plus spa treatment. You can choose between a Swedish massage, reflexology massage, coconut exfoliation, or volcanic mud wrap.
- Adults: $151
Kids are welcome here, but I think this place is best for adults.
There is a beautiful hotel on the property with Arenal Volcano views. This place has boutique hotel vibes. There is an on-site fitness center, restaurant, swim up bar, spa, and multiple room options to choose from.
Your stay includes access to the hot springs.
Other Thing to Note:
- They offer locker and towel rental.
- There is a spa on the property if you would like to book a treatment.
Eco Termales is a nice hot spring option with a jungle feel. They are very committed to sustainability and ultimate relaxation.
In our opinion, this is a great spot for adults.
There are not any kid’s parks or slides, which makes it have a more relaxed atmosphere.
I like this place because it feels very jungle-y and secluded.
Eco Termales is open from 9am until 9:30pm, but the operate in two time slots.
In other words, you can either visit from 9am – 4 pm in the first time slot or you can visit as part of the second shift from 4pm – 9:30pm
- Adults: $47
- Children ages 5 -11: $28
You can also opt to book a package that includes lunch or dinner. This costs:
- Adults: $77
- Children ages 5 -11: $42
There are no rooms available here. This park is only for day visitors.
Other Thing to Note:
- There are two bars on the property and you are welcome to enjoy your drinks in the pools.
- Towels and lockers are provided
- If you are looking to host an event, such as a destination wedding, they do offer this service here.
6. Titoku at Arenal Kioro
The Titokú Hot Springs facility features 8 relaxing pools of varying water temperatures.
10:00 am – 8:00pm
Day Pass Cost:
Adults: $ 33
Adults with Meal: $ 52
- Children between 0-4 are free
- Children between 4 -11 pay 50% of adult rate
It is best for adults, but kids are more than welcome here.
This hotel has a variety of room options that can sleep between 2 and 4 guests in beautiful suites. The suites also feature private hot tubs.
The hotel has multiple restaurants and bars, a fitness center, spa, and access to the hot springs.
Hot spring access is included in your hotel room booking.
Other Thing to Note:
- They offer limited capacity so it is best to contact them in advance to make your day pass reservation.
- There are lockers and towels provided.
- Outside food and drinks are not permitted.
- It is possible to host events here.
Budget-Friendly Hot Springs
This spot has some really fun water slides including one called The Mammoth that is 374 feet high and you go down it on an inner tube. There is a triple side, which has one platform for three twisty slides.
If waterslides aren’t your thing, there is a relaxing thermal pool as well.
Kalambu also has a great interactive play area for kids. This has playground equipment, water cannons, slides, and more!
And have no fear, there is a swim up bar.
9:00am – 8:00pm during the week
9:00am – 9:00pm on the weekend
$20 for adults
$16 for children
Breakfast, lunch, or dinner is and additional ₡4,000
This is great for families. Kids of all ages will love it.
There is no on-property hotel or resort. This park is only open for day visitors.
Other Thing to Note:
- There is a restaurant on site that serves basic fare such as pizza, burgers, and Casados (a Costa Rican specialty).
- It is possible to rent a towel and lockers here.
- At the moment it doesn’t see that it is possible to book tickets online on the Kalambu website. Instead, I suggest filling out their contact form, or just drive to the park and book a day pass on-site.
8. Termales Los Laureles
The hot spring at the base of Arenal Volcano consists of various hot and cold pools at different sizes. There is also one pool with a big water slide. In total there are seven pools.
Day passes cost:
- Adults: ¢5,000
- Children: ¢5,000 (3 to 10 years old)
- Senior adult ¢4000 (+65 years)
This place is great for families who want to bring their own meal, have a small picnic area to make as their base, and spend a full day here.
They have a campground and small cabins for rent. If you’d like more info you can contact them through their website.
The entrance fee for this is:
¢2,000 per person per night for camping.
This does not include admission to the hot springs.
Cabins per night are:
- Adults: ¢20,000
- Children: ¢10,000 (3 to 10 years
This includes entrance to the hot springs
For reservations you can contact them through their website or message them on WhatsApp at +506 8491 7070
Other Thing to Note:
- There is a really nice picnic area with tables and covering overhead. There are several grills if you want to grill (but they are not at every picnic table, only some).
- There are multiple bathrooms and changing rooms for visitors.
- There is a small place where you can buy food. It is pretty basic (fries, burgers etc.)
- There are lockers but you have to pay a few dollars for a key.
- You do not need to make a reservation ahead of time for a day pass. Just drive on over and buy a pass!
9. Termalitas del Arenal
This hot spring is super popular with locals in the area. It is a great spot to spend a full day or evening of fun. There are various pools of hot and cold temperatures.
9am -10pm every day of the week
It costs about $10 per person for entry
budget travelers, families, people looking to bring a picnic or grill their own meal
In the past, they rented rooms here, but I can’t find any info about it. If you are interested in a room it is best to contact them via their Facebook page.
Other Thing to Note:
- There are TONS of picnic areas here. They don’t all have grills, but most do.
- There are changing rooms and bathrooms for customers
- If you come here on a weekend it can be ridiculously crowded with large families. We suggest visiting during the week if you want a more relaxed experience. Thomas and I were here on a Tuesday night once and there was nobody around.
- Each picnic areas has an outlet so you can plug whatever you need to in.
- There are public trash barrels, no need to carry all of your trash out.
- There is a small place where you can buy food, but as with Termales Los Laureles it is pretty standard (fries, burgers etc).
- They do not have a website, but they do have a Facebook page.
10. Los Lagos Hot Springs
10:00 am to 10:00pm
Approximately $20 to $25 for adults.
Admission with lunch or dinner costs approximately $45.
With the admission, you can come and go throughout the day as you please
Families or adults looking for a comfortable budget-friendly place
This place is first and foremost a hotel. They offer standard rooms, superior rooms, and villas that can sleep up to 9 guests.
The property features a spa, wet bar, restaurant, beautiful gardens, and access to the hot springs.
Other Thing to Note:
- It is not possible to pre-book your day pass online. Just show up and they will be happy to accommodate you.
- There are showers and changing rooms on the property for day pass guests to use
- We have not eaten here, but have also not heard great things about the food. So, maybe opt to get lunch or dinner somewhere else.
11. El Choyin
If you want a completely free natural hot spring experience, just head to the free thermal river!
It’s really neat because the water is naturally heated or cool depending on where you sit in the stream. So, you can enjoy water at a lot of different temperatures. There are also lots of rocks which make little pools and great sitting spots.
The water from this stream is used at Tabacon Resort’s hot spring, so basically your getting a high-class water experience for free!
Other Thing to Note:
- Do not attempt to go down to the hot springs on the path before the bridge. It is much better to enter the hot springs from the path on the bridge. If you go down before the bridge you will have to walk through the entire stream to get to a spot you like.
- We entered before the bridge once and it didn’t take long before I completely wiped out on the slippery rocks in the stream.
- You will need to pay the parking attendant a few dollars to watch your car on the side of the road. Please don’t leave anything of value in your vehicle.
- The trail down to the stream from the middle of the bridge is still steep, but I have done it with flip flops on and have been fine.
- Just make sure to get back up to your car before it gets dark outside. It’s not fun to try to walk up the path in the dark.
Hot Spring Resorts and Hotels
If you are looking for a really unique experience you can opt to stay at a hot spring resort or hotel.
This is a popular choice for people on their honeymoon or just looking for some total jungle relaxation.
It is definitely worth checking out this option because when you factor in the cost of a day pass to some of the hot springs it can be a decent value to actually stay on site.
12. The Royal Corin – Adults Only
With so many nice resorts in La Fortuna it can be difficult to choose the perfect one for you. However, this is one of the few adults-only resorts in the area. It is a beautiful property and the staff here really make this the standout place it is.
So, for a honeymoon or romantic getaway, this is a really great option.
The Hot Springs
The hot springs here include; 2 natural warm water swimming pools, 1 cold water swimming pool, a thermal steam sauna, 4 thermal water pools with hydro massage, 2 thermal water pools with waterfalls.
There are four room design options available here. These sleep two to four guests and range in levels of luxury.
There are three on-site bars. One is a swim-up bar at the pool, one is located in the lobby, and there is also a fifth-floor tapas bar with great volcano views.
The on-property restaurant serves excellent breakfast, lunch and dinner. The a-la-carte breakfast is included in the room rate.
13. Amor Arenal – Adults Only
If you are visiting La Fortuna and want a 5 star experience with more peace and quiet than the large resorts in this area, we suggest this place. It is one of our favorite places for a luxurious experience.
They don’t have the large hot spring facilities like some of the other resorts nearby, but it is much more cozy and peaceful here. Plus, the staff is great.
The pools here have a really nice harmony with the surrounding nature. There is a pool with swim up bar, main pool with multiple sections, and a lounging pool that is surrounded by tropical nature.
This property features casitas for two or four guests. Each casita has its own private plunge pool, complimentary mini bar, and a full deck with Adirondack chairs looking to Arenal Volcano.
There are two restaurants located on the property. Breakfast is included in the room rate.
14. Arenal Paraiso
The resort has 8 pools of varying temperatures. There is also a wet bar so you can enjoy cocktails.
The water in these pools may look green or dirty. That is actually due to the large amount of minerals they contain. It’s great for your skin!
There are standard and superior rooms as well as two villas for families.
The hotel has a delicious steakhouse and a snack bar.
15. Volcano Lodge
This is a great mid-range hotel option with nice hot spring pools. Our favorite thing about this place is the attention to detail. The staff are excellent and the property is well maintained.
The property has two swimming pools for adults, two swimming pools for children and two Jacuzzis. All of these pools have views of the Arenal Volcano.
They have a variety of room options that can sleep up to four guests comfortably.
There is one restaurant on the property. It’s very good.
Travel Tip: Want access to the Volcano Lodge hot springs without the price of staying at this hotel? You can instead stay at San Bosco Inn. They have a partnership with Volcano Lodge. You will get free access to their hot springs with your hotel booking. YAY!
Day Tours with Hot Spring Visits
If you are staying in La Fortuna and want to combine multiple activities in one day, you might consider opting for a combo tour. A few of our favorite combo tours in La Fortuna that include a hot spring visit are:
- Afternoon Tour to Arenal Volcano and Natural Hot Springs River
- 4-in-1 Hanging Bridges, Waterfall, Volcano, Tabacon Hot Springs
- Full day Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall and Hotsprings
- Los Cañones Canopy with Hotsprings Los Lagos
From San Jose:
- Arenal Volcano & Baldi Hot Springs + lunch & dinner From San José
- Arenal Volcano Full-Day Combo Tour with Lunch and Dinner
What to Bring and Wear to the Hot Springs
Here is what you need to bring and wear for a great experience at the hot springs.
Most places have lockers and changing rooms. We usually wear our bathing suit under our clothes just to make things easier. We then bring a change of clothes for after if we have other plans.
- Glasses strap: For if you are wearing sunglasses or glasses. Great for not losing them in the pools
- UV-blocking swim shirt: On hot sunny days this is a must have to protect yourself from sunburns.
- Bathing suit: It is recommended that you wear something dark in color and not expensive. The minerals in the thermal waters can stain it slightly and the natural pool structures can be easy to get snagged on.
- Stable sandals: The paths around hot springs can get slippery.
- Sunblock: We suggest SPF 50+
- Bug spray: If you plan to be at the thermal hot springs in the evening
- Full water bottle
- Snacks (if they allow outside food. Some places don’t)
- A microfiber towel: Some places provide towels or allow you to rent them. But we like microfiber towels for Costa Rica because they can easily fit in your suitcase and dry quickly
- Dry bag: If you plan to get a locker this isn’t overly necessary. We like this dry bag for all Costa Rica day adventures.
- Change of clothes: For after your hot spring experience
The Benefits of Thermal Pool Water
You might want to go to the hot springs just for the experience, but the thermal volcanic waters are rich in minerals and have many health benefits.
It is believed that these waters can help with:
- Stress and anxiety
- Skin conditions such as psoriasis and rosacea.
- Circulation problems
- Intestinal and stomach issues
The waters at La Fortuna do not contain a high amount of sulfur unlike some other hot springs. That means there is no unpleasant odor.
Other Things to Note
- This may be an obvious warning, but please don’t run or even walk too quickly around the hot spring parks. Last time we were at a hot spring a guy ran past where we were standing and wiped out. He had a huge bruise on his head and definitely got a concussion. The ground can get super wet and slippery!
- As always, don’t leave anything of value in your car while at the La Fortuna hot springs.
- During the high season, these hot springs can get very full. If it is possible to book in advance definitely do that.
- Don’t forget, we made a map of all the hot springs to help you plan.
- Hot springs are great during the day, but most of these places are also open until 9 or 10pm. It can also be super fun to go in the evening because most of the places light up all the pools in different color lights.
- If you would like some other fun ideas for things to do in La Fortuna, check out our La Fortuna Visitors Guide and list of 30 Fun Things to Do in La Fortuna. We love visiting the La Fortuna waterfall, going zip lining, and visiting the Arenal Volcano National Park.
- If you are staying La Fortuna for several days we suggest trying out a few different hot springs and see which one is your favorite. They all definitely have their charms!
- If you are very interested in hot springs, the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park near Liberia also has some great hot springs.
Conclusion: Arenal Hot Springs
In conclusion, visiting the hot springs in La Fortuna, Costa Rica is always a fun activity. This experience can be enjoyed by people of all ages and at all price points. We find it is the perfect thing to do when you need a break from all the thrilling adventures that this area has to offer.
If you have any questions about visiting the best hot springs in the Arenal Volcano area, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section below. We are always happy to help you plan.
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