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The Best Arenal Hot Springs In Costa Rica: Comparing 7 Popular La Fortuna Hot Springs

The Best Arenal Hot Springs In Costa Rica: Comparing 7 Popular La Fortuna Hot Springs

Want to know our pick for the BEST HOT SPRINGS in Costa Rica?
It is featured on DIY Costa Rica!

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Have a question about Costa Rica hot springs visits?

We answer 20+ of the most popular Costa Rica hot springs questions and provide important information to know before you visit. Don’t miss our related blog post:

Your Costa Rica Hot Springs Questions Answered!

THE ARENAL HOT SPRINGS IN LA FORTUNA COSTA RICA

So, you’ve decided to take a relaxing vacation to beautiful Costa Rica. Great! What better way is there to get some much deserved rest and rejuvenation than by soaking in thermal waters heated to therapeutic temperatures by a volcano, and, at the best Arenal hot springs at that? Sounds exotic, doesn’t it? Trust us, it feels even better than it sounds.

Given that Costa Rica is home to five active volcanoes, volcanic hot springs are a popular attraction. Although thermal water pools exist in various areas throughout the country, the majority (and certainly the most well-known) are located in the La Fortuna (Arenal) region, thanks to the nearby Arenal Volcano. Since most travellers opt to include a stop in La Fortuna throughout their trip (the area offers more to do and see than any other in the country), most travellers can easily add a visit to a local hot springs attraction to their itinerary without sacrificing precious and often limited vacation time.

WHAT ARE THE ARENAL HOT SPRINGS AND WHAT DO YOU DO WHILE THERE?

Scientifically speaking, hot springs are:

Geothermally heated mineral water initially fed by rain water that seeps into the Earth through faults and fractures. As it travels into the Earth, it becomes subject to increased energy from natural geothermal heat, and is exposed to gases and an often wide variety of minerals from rock and mineral deposits. The water first adsorbs the minerals via leaching, is then heated by the geothermal heat source, and finally returns to the Earth’s surface. This is the definition of Filtration Hot Springs, the most popular type of hot springs in Costa Rica. Primary Hot Springs are geothermally heated mineral water, where direct volcanic activity plays a far greater role in the process of the hot springs formation. One of the fundamental physical distinctions between a filtration spring and a primary spring is the mineral and gas content of the water, such as radon and bromide. Primary hot springs are often “powered” by magma chambers which exist miles under the Earth’s surface, as well as in volcanically active regions. [Source: Baldi Hot Springs]

From our position as Costa Rica tourism industry representatives and avid travellers, hot spring attractions are simply popular locales offering a relaxing spa-like experience among rainforest-inspired settings. What do you do there? Not much, although the experience is very rewarding (we recommend it highly); visitors sit in pools filled with thermal water and enjoy the soak. Each hot springs attraction offers a variety of pools to wade in (at varying water temperatures) and visitors are free to roam about the hot springs property hopping from pool to pool at their leisure. Beyond doing so, the Costa Rica hot springs experience encompasses little else. In fact, the activity downright forces travellers to sit and do absolutely nothing–something most individuals do not make enough time for during their everyday routine, which is part of the reason why Costa Rica hot springs visits are such a desired vacation treat. Of course, some hot spring sites offer different amenities than others, which makes narrowing down the many hot springs options a challenging feat. Fortunately, we’re here to provide you with as much information as possible to help you decide which Costa Rica hot springs attraction (specifically, which Arenal hot springs attraction) would be the best to visit.

Looking for other Costa Rica info? Consider reading our other post:  The Most Popular Questions We Receive About Costa Rica Travel (And Our Responses To Each!)

Without further ado, here’s what you should know about seven of the most popular Arenal hot springs options located in the La Fortuna regions of Costa Rica (in no particular order): the Baldi Hot Springs, the Ecotermales Hot Springs, the Tabacon Hot Springs, the Springs Resort Hot Springs (a.k.a., Los Perdidos Hot Springs), the Paradise Hot Springs, the Kalambu Hot Springs, and Los Laureles Hot Springs.

LA FORTUNA HOT SPRINGS MAP

 

We created the above map to showcase where each La Fortuna hot springs attraction is located. Included on the map are the following sites (each of which we detail in this blog post):

  • Baldi Hot Springs (marked by a water icon)
  • Ecotermales Hot Springs (marked by a water icon)
  • Tabacon Hot Springs (marked by a water icon)
  • Springs Resort Hot Springs (marked by a water icon)
  • Paradise Hot Springs (marked by a water icon)
  • Kalambu Hot Springs (marked by a water icon)
  • Los Laureles Hot Springs (marked by a water icon)

THE BALDI HOT SPRINGS

The best Arenal hot springs: Are they the Baldi Hot Springs?

Number of pools: 25
Water temperature range: 90 to 152 degrees fahrenheit
Additional amenities: 3 waterslides; aquatic playground
Onsite restaurant: yes
Onsite spa: yes
Onsite accommodations: yes
Onsite sauna/steam room: yes
Operating hours: 9:00am to 10:00pm Monday through Sunday

Don’t miss our Baldi Hot Springs discounts:

Baldi Hot Springs Pass (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Arenal Volcano Tour (Arenal Volcano National Park) with Baldi Hot Springs (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Arenal Volcano Tour (1968 Trail or Silencio Trail) with Baldi Hot Springs (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Arenal Combo Tour with Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, Arenal Volcano Tour (Arenal Volcano National Park) & Baldi Hot Springs (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Arenal Combo Tour with Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, Arenal Volcano Tour (1968 Trail or Silencio Trail) & Baldi Hot Springs (La Fortuna/Arenal)

THE ECOTERMALES HOT SPRINGS

The best Arenal hot springs: Are they the Ecotermales Hot Springs?

Number of pools: 6
Water temperature range: 98 to 105 degrees fahrenheit
Additional amenities: complementary locker and towel use (no fee or deposit required)
Onsite restaurant: yes
Onsite spa: no
Onsite accommodations: no
Onsite sauna/steam room: no
Operating hours: 10:00am to 9:00pm Monday through Sunday

Don’t miss our Ecotermales Hot Springs discounts:

Ecotermales Hot Springs Pass (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Arenal Volcano Tour (Arenal Volcano National Park) with Ecotermales Hot Springs (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Arenal Volcano Tour (1968 Trail or Silencio Trail) with Ecotermales Hot Springs (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Arenal Combo Tour with Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, Arenal Volcano Tour (Arenal Volcano National Park) & Ecotermales Hot Springs (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Arenal Combo Tour with Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, Arenal Volcano Tour (1968 Trail or Silencio Trail) & Ecotermales Hot Springs (La Fortuna/Arenal)

THE TABACON HOT SPRINGS

The best Arenal hot springs: Are they the Tabacon Hot Springs?

Number of pools: 5
Water temperature range: 77 to 122 degrees fahrenheit
Additional amenities: 1 waterslide
Onsite restaurant: yes
Onsite spa: yes
Onsite accommodations: yes
Onsite sauna/steam room: yes
Operating hours: 10:00am to 10:00pm Monday through Sunday

THE SPRINGS RESORT HOT SPRINGS

The best Arenal hot springs: Are they the Springs Resort Hot Springs (also referred to as the Los Perdidos Hot Springs)?

Number of pools: 18
Water temperature range: 83 to 103 degrees fahrenheit
Additional amenities: 1 waterslide; the trail to the Los Perdidos Hot Springs (called the Heliconia Walk) is lined with 150 different species of flowering Heliconias; the Springs Resort Hot Springs pass includes access to the Springs Resort property’s onsite pools, hot springs, restaurants, and bars
Onsite restaurant: yes
Onsite spa: yes
Onsite accommodations: yes
Onsite sauna/steam room: yes
Operating hours: the regular pools open at 8:00am and close at 11:00pm Monday through Sunday; the Los Perdidos Hot Springs open at 10:00am and close at 10:00pm Monday through Sunday

Don’t miss our Springs Resort Hot Springs discounts:

Springs Resort Hot Springs Pass (La Fortuna/Arenal)

2-Day Unlimited Springs Resort Hot Springs Pass (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Club Rio (Springs Resort) Multi-Adventure Package (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Arenal Volcano Tour (Arenal Volcano National Park) with Springs Resort Hot Springs (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Arenal Volcano Tour (1968 Trail or Silencio Trail) with Springs Resort Hot Springs (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Arenal Combo Tour with Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, Arenal Volcano Tour (Arenal Volcano National Park) & Springs Resort Hot Springs (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Arenal Combo Tour with Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, Arenal Volcano Tour (1968 Trail or Silencio Trail) & Springs Resort Hot Springs (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Looking for other Costa Rica info? Consider reading our other post:  The Best Beach In Costa Rica: What To Know About The Nicoya Peninsula Beaches

THE PARADISE HOT SPRINGS

The best Arenal hot springs: Are they the Paradise Hot Springs?

Number of pools: 7 + 1 jacuzzi
Water temperature range: 81 to 104 degrees fahrenheit
Additional amenities: hydromassage waterfalls; built-in underwater beds
Onsite restaurant: yes
Onsite spa: yes
Onsite accommodations: yes
Onsite sauna/steam room: no
Operating hours: 11:00am to 9:00pm Monday through Sunday

Don’t miss our Paradise Hot Springs discounts:

Paradise Hot Springs Pass (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Arenal Volcano Tour (Arenal Volcano National Park) with Paradise Hot Springs (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Arenal Combo Tour with Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, Arenal Volcano Tour (Arenal Volcano National Park) & Baldi Hot Springs (La Fortuna/Arenal)

THE KALAMBU HOT SPRINGS

The best Arenal hot springs: Are they the Kalambu Hot Springs?

Number of pools: 5
Water temperature range: TBD
Additional amenities: 4 waterslides; aquatic playground
Onsite restaurant: yes
Onsite spa: no
Onsite accommodations: no
Onsite sauna/steam room: no
Operating hours: 10:00am to 6:00pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays; 10:00am to 8:00pm on Fridays; 10:00am to 9:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays; closed Mondays and Tuesdays

Don’t miss our Kalambu Hot Springs discounts:

Kalambu Hot Springs Pass (La Fortuna/Arenal)

THE LOS LAURELES HOT SPRINGS

The best Arenal hot springs: Are they the Los Laureles Hot Springs?

Number of pools: 9
Water temperature range: 77 to 113 degrees fahrenheit
Additional amenities: 4 waterslides; individual “ranchos” (picnic areas to dine and cook at); playground; soccer field, basketball court, and beach volleyball court
Onsite restaurant: yes
Onsite spa: yes
Onsite accommodations: camping only
Onsite sauna/steam room: no
Operating hours: 9:00am to 9:00pm Monday through Sunday

SO, OUT OF THE VARIOUS LA FORTUNA HOT SPRINGS OPTIONS, WHICH ARENAL HOT SPRINGS ARE THE BEST?

As we’ve touched on in previous posts (The Best River For Rafting In Costa RicaWhich Costa Rica Hanging Bridges Are The Best? Comparing 4 Popular Hanging Bridge Sites In Arenal And Monteverde, and Which Costa Rica Zipline Is The Best? Comparing 6 Popular Canopy Tours In Arenal And Monteverde), when asked the question, “which Arenal hot springs are the best?”, it is impossible for us to identify one over the others in response without imposing our own bias. Throughout our experience working with clients from all over the world, we understand that each traveller (and the experience he/she is looking to have) is different. For this reason, we could not attempt to determine what is best for travellers (although we have drawn our own conclusion and answered the question for ourselves). What we can do, however, is provide travellers with the details needed to make smart trip planning choices for themselves, which is exactly what we aim to accomplish below by channeling our experience and knowledge into a list that identifies where we feel one (or two) hot spring attractions surpass its competitors according to a variety of factors.

Which hot springs is the biggest in terms of property size?

The Springs Resort Hot Springs (a.k.a. the Los Perdidos Hot Springs)

Which hot springs is the smallest in terms of property size?

The Ecotermales Hot Springs and the Paradise Hot Springs

Which hot springs is the biggest in terms of pool quantity?

The Baldi Hot Springs

Which hot springs is the smallest in terms of pool quantity?

The Tabacon Hot Springs

Which hot springs offers the best meal (when included)?

The Springs Resort Hot Springs (served at the Tres Cascadas Restaurant)

Which hot springs offers a hot spring river (in addition to hot spring pools)?

The Tabacon Hot Springs

Which hot springs offers the greatest pool variety?

The Springs Resort Hot Springs

Which hot springs offers the most intimate small group setting?

The Ecotermales Hot Springs and the Paradise Hot Springs

Which hot springs are best suited for adults?

The Ecotermales Hot Springs, the Paradise Hot Springs, and the Tabacon Hot Springs

Which hot springs are best suited for children?

The Kalambu Hot Springs and the Los Laureles Hot Springs

Which hot springs cater well to both adults and children?

The Springs Resort Hot Springs and the Baldi Hot Springs

Which hot springs offers the greatest value (when comparing cost to experience)?

The Springs Resort Hot Springs (its higher-quality experience best warrants its high cost) and the Los Laureles Hot Springs (its low cost makes hot spring visits affordable to most travellers, even if high quality is sacrificed)

Which hot springs is the closest to downtown La Fortuna?

The Baldi Hot Springs and the Ecotermales Hot Springs (the two are located across the street from one another)

Which hot springs is the furthest from downtown La Fortuna?

The Springs Resort Hot Springs, followed by the Tabacon Hot Springs

Which hot springs offers the highest quality experience (in terms of luxury and resort appeal)?

The Springs Resort Hot Springs, followed by the Tabacon Hot Springs

Which hot springs offers the lowest quality experience (in terms of luxury and resort appeal)?

The Los Laureles Hot Springs and the Kalambu Hot Springs

Looking for other Costa Rica info? Consider reading our other post:  Costa Rica Itinerary: 15 Days In Costa Rica; Sample Itineraries, How Many Places To Visit, How Many Activities To Do, And More!

Which hot springs offers the most authentic Costa Rican experience?

The Los Laureles Hot Springs (it is a La Fortuna hot springs attraction that caters to local residents; it is a popular site for Costa Rican family get-togethers/reunions and staff outings, however it is open to the public and foreign travellers are welcome to visit)

Which hot springs is the most expensive?

The Tabacon Hot Springs, followed by the Springs Resort Hot Springs

Which hot springs is the least expensive?

The Los Laureles Hot Springs, followed by the Kalambu Hot Springs, the Paradise Hot Springs, and the Baldi Hot Springs

COSTA RICA HOT SPRINGS RECOMMENDATIONS AND TIPS: IF YOU PLAN TO VISIT THE HOT SPRINGS IN COSTA RICA, KNOW THIS FIRST

The smaller the hot springs property, the faster it fills up

Smaller properties (such as the Ecotermales Hot Springs, the Paradise Hot Springs, and the Tabacon Hot Springs) are often forced to stick to their maximum capacity limits. This is especially true during the busy high season, when availability is limited. Keep in mind that during the busiest times of year, visiting a larger hot spring property can be an advantage in order to avoid sharing small pools with a multitude of other visitors. On the other hand, during less popular times of the year (please see our related blog post When Is The Best Time Of Year To Travel To Costa Rica? for an explanation of Costa Rica’s high, low, peak, and shoulder seasons), the smaller hot spring properties can provide a more intimate setting.

If you know in advance that you will love visiting the hot springs, consider choosing a La Fortuna hotel that offers thermal water pools onsite

There are a number of accommodation options in the area that offer this great amenity, and although we still recommend considering a visit to an additional hot springs attraction (such as the Springs Resort Hot Springs or the Tabacon Hot Springs) in order to obtain the full hot springs experience, accessing thermal water pools onsite at your accommodation can be the perfect way to end an exciting (and exhausting) adventure-filled day. Some of our favourite La Fortuna hotels that offer complimentary hot spring pool use (with a reservation for the accommodation) include the Arenal Springs Resort, El Silencio Del Campo, Arenal Manoa, Volcano Lodge, Royal Corin, Hotel Los Lagos, Montana De Fuego, Arenal Paraiso, Arenal Kokoro, and Arenal Kioro.

Don’t miss our related blog posts featuring La Fortuna and Arenal accommodations that offer hot springs onsite:

Arenal Hotel Recommendation: Arenal Springs Resort; A Romantic And Peaceful Sanctuary In La Fortuna/Arenal

Arenal Hotel Recommendation: Silencio Del Campo; A Rustic And Authentic Hideaway In La Fortuna/Arenal

Arenal Hotel Recommendation: Royal Corin; Luxury And Relaxation At Its Finest In La Fortuna/Arenal

The majority of Costa Rica hot springs properties include a buffet dinner (if/when a meal is included with the visit)

The Springs Resort Hot Springs is often an exception to this rule, as the Arenal hot springs property tends to offer an a la carte menu (the decision as to whether to serve a menu or a buffet is made by the resort on a day-to-day basis according to the number of visitors at the resort, however most often the dinner is provided via menu). As an extra bonus, the meal included with the hot springs pass at the Springs Resort is served at the property’s Tres Cascadas Restaurant–a breathtaking open-air dining facility providing an incredible volcano view.

Most Costa Rica hot springs properties will not allow visitors to eat dinner at their onsite restaurant while wearing bathing suit attire

Be sure to bring a dry change of clothes with you to use during your meal. You may also want to plan your hot spring visits around the hours that the meal is served, to avoid changing out of your bathing suit into dry clothes for the meal and then back into your bathing suit after eating (unless you wish to use the hot springs both before and afterwards).

Prefer to visit a different hot springs attraction than one of the most popular seven described above? Don’t miss our Los Lagos Hot Springs discounts:

Los Lagos Hot Springs Pass (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Arenal Volcano Tour (Arenal Volcano National Park) with Los Lagos Hot Springs (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Arenal Combo Tour with Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, Arenal Volcano Tour (Arenal Volcano National Park) & Los Lagos Hot Springs (La Fortuna/Arenal)

QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Have you been to one of the Arenal hot springs in La Fortuna? Which one did you choose, why, and what did you think about your visit?

Pura vida!

The Best Arenal Hot Springs In Costa Rica: Comparing 7 Popular La Fortuna Hot Springs

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