Five Minute Read: “The Best Hot Springs In La Fortuna / Arenal, Costa Rica: Baldi, Ecotermales, Tabacon, Or The Springs Resort?”

UPDATED: 2017

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This article is a summary of our full blog post: The Best Hot Springs In La Fortuna / Arenal, Costa Rica: Baldi, Ecotermales, Tabacon, Or The Springs Resort?

Five Minute Read Brief: If you are at all like us, you have more items on your to-do list than there are minutes in the day to accomplish everything. We understand that your time is limited, so we’ll keep this short. For a deeper and more comprehensive explanation of our suggestions, recommendations, and tips offered below, please click on the link to the full article above (if and when you are able to carve out some extra “you” time in your hectic schedule, we recommend reading the full blog post in its entirety; your trip experience will thank you!). Otherwise, if quick snippets of information are all you are currently after, you have come to the right place. Pura vida!

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Like any attraction, some hot spring sites offer more amenities than others, making the choice between two, three, or four different sites a challenging one. The following is a breakdown of the four most popular hot spring sites in La Fortuna/Arenal, identifying many of their differences according to a variety of factors.

BALDI HOT SPRINGS

  • Offers 25 pools
  • Offers 3 waterslides, an on-site spa, and sauna/steam room to enjoy
  • Offers on-site accommodations
  • Is the biggest in terms of pool quantity
  • Is the closest to downtown La Fortuna (tied with Ecotermales, as the two properties are located across the street from each other)
  • Offers the lowest quality experience (in terms of luxury and resort appeal, followed by Ecotermales)
  • Is the least expensive (followed by Ecotermales)
  • Charges either a fee or a refundable deposit for locker use
  • Charges a either a fee or a refundable deposit for towel use
  • Requests advance reservations
  • Does not allow visitors to bring their own food onto the property
  • Offers food and beverages via restaurants and bars on-site (available for purchase)

ECOTERMALES HOT SPRINGS

  • Offers 6 pools
  • Does not offer a waterslide, an on-site spa, or a sauna/steam room to enjoy
  • Does not offer on-site accommodations
  • Is the smallest in terms of property size
  • Offers the most intimate small group setting
  • Is the closest to downtown La Fortuna (tied with Baldi, as the two properties are located across the street from each other)
  • Offers the most authentic Costa Rican experience
  • Offers free locker use to its guests
  • Offers free towel use to its guests
  • Requires advance reservations
  • Does not allow visitors to bring their own food onto the property
  • Offers food and beverages via restaurants and bars on-site (available for purchase)

TABACON HOT SPRINGS

  • Offers 5 pools
  • Offers 1 waterslide, an on-site spa, and sauna/steam room to enjoy
  • Offers on-site accommodations
  • Is the smallest in terms of pool quantity
  • Offers a hot spring river (in addition to hot spring pools)
  • Is the most expensive (followed by the Springs Resort)
  • Charges either a fee or a refundable deposit for locker use
  • Charges a either a fee or a refundable deposit for towel use
  • Requires advance reservations
  • Does not allow visitors to bring their own food onto the property
  • Offers food and beverages via restaurants and bars on-site (available for purchase)

SPRINGS RESORT HOT SPRINGS

  • Offers 18 pools
  • Offers 1 waterslide, an on-site spa, and sauna/steam room to enjoy
  • Offers on-site accommodations
  • Is the biggest in terms of property size
  • Offers the best complimentary meal (when a meal has been included with the hot springs pass)
  • Offers the greatest pool variety
  • Offers the greatest value (when factoring in price and amenities)
  • Is the furthest from downtown La Fortuna (followed by Tabacon)
  • Offers the highest quality experience (in terms of luxury and resort appeal, followed by Tabacon)
  • Charges either a fee or a refundable deposit for locker use
  • Charges a either a fee or a refundable deposit for towel use
  • Requests advance reservations
  • Does not allow visitors to bring their own food onto the property
  • Offers food and beverages via restaurants and bars on-site (available for purchase)

If you plan to visit a hot spring attraction while in La Fortuna / Arenal, we recommend keeping the following in mind:

The smaller the hot springs, the faster they fill up

  • Smaller properties have maximum capacity limits. During busy travel seasons, hot spring passes can sell out.

The majority of hot spring properties offer a buffet dinner (if/when a meal is included with the hot springs pass)

  • A la carte meals are typically only served during lulls between busy travel seasons when hot spring attractions are near empty (not warranting the attraction to prepare a full buffet).

Consider choosing a hotel that offers thermal water pools on-site

  • This will allow you to experience a formal hot spring attraction in town and have access to additional pools once you return to your hotel (or, skip the hot spring attraction in town altogether to appease the trip budget).

Bring a change of dry clothes with you to the hot springs

  • Most hot spring properties will not allow visitors to eat dinner at their on-site restaurant while wearing bathing suit attire; dry clothes are required. Consider planing your hot spring visit around the attraction’s meal hours to avoid multiple wardrobe changes throughout the day/evening.

Pura vida!

As a reminder, the above article is a summary of our full blog post: The Best Hot Springs In La Fortuna / Arenal, Costa Rica: Baldi, Ecotermales, Tabacon, Or The Springs Resort? For complete information, please read our full article.

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3 responses to “Five Minute Read: “The Best Hot Springs In La Fortuna / Arenal, Costa Rica: Baldi, Ecotermales, Tabacon, Or The Springs Resort?”

  1. Pingback: San Jose to La Fortuna | Costa Rica By Bus·

  2. Pingback: The Best Hot Springs In La Fortuna / Arenal, Costa Rica: Baldi, Ecotermales, Tabacon, Or The Springs Resort? | Costa Rica Travel Blog .com·

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