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Club Rio Costa Rica Outdoor Center Review (Springs Resort)

Club Rio Costa Rica Outdoor Center Review (Springs Resort)

Last updated on August 3rd, 2021 at 08:25 pm EST

Our sister site Pura Vida! eh? Inc. has Club Rio discounts. Con mucho gusto (you’re welcome) and pura vida!


Club Rio Costa Rica has it all

Looking for an attraction in the La Fortuna/Arenal region that has adventure activities and hot springs, all in the same place? If so, look no further than the Springs Resort & Spa (the “Springs Resort” for short). This top resort, which fans out over a hillside about a half-hour’s drive from downtown La Fortuna, is one of the destination’s fanciest hot springs properties. Thanks to its on-site adventure center—the Club Rio Outdoor Center (“Club Rio Costa Rica” for short)—the Springs Resort is also a spot where you can go horseback riding, rock climbing, river kayaking, river tubing, hiking, or on a tour of a wildlife preserve, all in addition to enjoying relaxing hot springs.

Though we describe and review the Springs Resort’s hot springs in our related blog post titled Springs Resort Hot Springs Review: La Fortuna Hot Springs Guide, we cover Club Rio Costa Rica separately in this article because the adventure center is in a league of its own. Since you can visit the Springs Resort and not spend time at Club Rio, or you can visit Club Rio and not spend time at the Springs Resort, it’s most appropriate that these two sister attractions be discussed separately despite them sharing the same property.

Built as a stand-alone, public adventure center on the property of the Springs Resort, Club Rio provides an opportunity for non-resort guests to experience the resort’s on-site adventure tours and hot springs. If you don’t plan on spending a night in a room at the Springs Resort, you can obtain part of the resort experience by opting to visit for the day as a guest of Club Rio.

Why we love Club Rio

We work with a ton of families who have limited time to spend in Costa Rica. While they’d love to be able to travel the country over in search of the very best activities or off-the-beaten-path experiences (don’t miss our related blog post Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path: Where To Go And What To Do for more info on that topic), what they really need is a place that isn’t difficult to reach and that provides several experiences rolled into a single one-day visit. Club Rio Costa Rica delivers this and more, with a splash of luxury thrown in for good measure. Below is a quick list of reasons why we love spending time at this particular adventure center.

Reasons to visit Club Rio

  • Club Rio provides a variety of adventure tours, many of which are suitable for schoolage children, that you can experience in the same place
  • Club Rio has its own set of hot springs which are separate from the Springs Resort’s main hot spring pools and lagoons
  • Club Rio has its own restaurant which is separate from the Springs Resort’s main restaurants
  • Club Rio is located at the edge of the peaceful Arenal River where you can bird-watch and enjoy the property’s natural landscape
  • Club Rio has bathrooms, changerooms, and lockers that you’re welcome to use
  • From most popular destinations, including downtown La Fortuna, travel to Club Rio doesn’t require a 4×4 vehicle

Club Rio Multi-Adventure Packages and Tour Logistics

Visits to Club Rio Costa Rica are most often sold as day visits that are called “multi-adventure packages.”

Each Club Rio Multi-Adventure Package includes access to the river and hot springs at Club Rio, lunch at Club Rio, shuttle transportation between the Springs Resort and Club Rio, and your choice of two of the following six on-site tours:

  1. River tubing tour
  2. River kayaking tour
  3. Horseback riding tour
  4. Rock climbing run
  5. Hiking tour (nature walk)
  6. Wildlife preserve tour

In addition, each Club Rio Multi-Adventure Package includes access to the pools and hot springs at the Springs Resort, as well as the restaurants and bars at the Springs Resort (food and beverage consumption is not included). Transportation to/from downtown La Fortuna and area hotels is not included with the multi-adventure package but it can be provided by the Springs Resort at an extra cost and with advance notice.

How the Club Rio Multi-Adventure Package differs from the Springs Resort’s Hot Springs Day Pass

Separate from Club Rio, the Springs Resort sells a hot springs day pass. The Springs Resort’s hot springs day pass includes access to the pools, hot springs, restaurants, and bars at the Springs Resort (transportation, meals, beverages, and activities run at Club Rio are not included). If you purchase the Springs Resort’s hot springs day pass, you will not receive a Club Rio Multi-Adventure Package. However, if you purchase Club Rio’s Multi-Adventure Package, you will automatically receive the Springs Resort’s hot springs day pass.

Which is better?

If you have no interest in visiting Club Rio and participating in the adventure center’s on-site tours, then the Springs Resort’s hot springs day pass would be the better (and the least expensive) option. Alternatively, if two of Club Rio’s tours interest you, and you wish to couple those tours with time spent enjoying the Springs Resort’s hot springs, go with the Club Rio Multi-Adventure Package; it will deliver the two activities you want to experience, and as a bonus, you’ll get access to the Springs Resort’s hot springs for free.

About the Club Rio Outdoor Center

You’ll find Club Rio on the property of the Springs Resort. It sits roughly 1.5 kilometers down a steep slope from the resort’s main building, restaurants, bars, accommodations, pools, and hot springs. The only way to reach Club Rio is to ride the resort’s quick, ten-minute shuttle (complimentary for Club Rio guests), which departs for Club Rio at a series of preset times daily from just beyond the Springs Resort’s reception. The following are the shuttle’s departure times as of the writing of this post.

Club Rio shuttle times

  • Shuttle to Club Rio departs from the Springs Resort: 8:45am, 9:15am, 9:45am, 10:15am, 10:45am, 11:15am, 11:45am, 12:15pm, 12:45pm, 1:15pm, 1:45pm, 2:15pm, 2:45pm, 3:15pm, and 3:45pm
  • Shuttle from Club Rio back to the Springs Resort: 9:05am, 9:35am, 10:05am, 10:35am, 11:05am, 11:35am, 12:05pm, 12:35pm, 1:05pm, 1:35pm, 2:05pm, 3:05pm, 3:35pm, 4:05pm, and 4:35pm

At Club Rio, you’ll find a reception area for tour check-in, bathrooms, and the Rancho Club Rio restaurant. If you arrive just in time to participate in the first of your two tours, friendly folks at Club Rio’s reception will direct you where to go to meet your tour guide and collect any gear you need for the activity. If you arrive well in advance of your first tour, you can pass time walking along the river, hiking the “Calcium Canyon” trail to the Springs Resort’s noted Guacimo tree, soaking in one of Club Rio five designated hot spring areas (there are nine pools at Club Rio in total), swimming in the river at the tubing tour take-out spot (located just below the “Oasis Springs”), having a beverage at the restaurant’s bar, or simply taking in the view of your surroundings while resting in one of the few lounge chairs that are scattered along the river’s edge.

Club Rio’s hot spring pools

We’ve enjoyed the hot springs at the Springs Resort on several occasions, and it seems we love them more each time we visit. We’ve enjoyed the hot springs at Club Rio, too, and they’re equally easy to love. The waterfall you can soak in at the second-level “Oasis Springs” pool is most relaxing, and you can spoil yourself with ultimate privacy at the “Ojo de Agua” pool. If you’re an adventurist looking for a challenging hike and even greater privacy, you’ll find it if you visit the “Serenity Springs.” If you’re at Club Rio as part of a large family or friend group, you’ll benefit from the vast size of the “Formation Springs.” If you want to relax by the river, head to the “Rio Vista Springs.”

Club Rio’s tours and activities

As noted above, Club Rio Costa Rica offers the option to participate in a river tubing tour, a river kayaking tour, a horseback riding tour, a rock climbing run, a hike (nature walk), and a wildlife preserve tour on-site. With the exception of the hike, each tour requires very little walking; the horseback riding and rock climbing tours take place very close to Club Rio’s reception, and for the river tubing and river kayaking tours, shuttle transportation is provided to the river put-in location to save you the walk. Each activity is designed to last approximately one hour, and if you’re lucky, you’ll have one of the two goofballs pictured below as your tour guide. Roberto, pictured to the left of Ricky, and Chepa, pictured to the right of Ricky, are longtime friends of ours. More importantly, they’re fantastic people and guides.

How to plan your day at Club Rio

Experiencing Club Rio and the Springs Resort over a full day

There’s a lot at Club Rio and the Springs Resort that warrants visiting the property for an entire day. If you want to schedule a day that couples a few low-key activities with lots of relaxation, our best recommendation would be to purchase the Club Rio Multi-Adventure Package and schedule your two tours for the morning or the early afternoon. This way, you can spend the first half of the day at Club Rio, and the afternoon and evening enjoying the pools and hot springs at the Springs Resort.

Experiencing Club Rio and the Springs Resort over half a day

If your time in La Fortuna is limited, a half-day visit to Club Rio is possible. At minimum, though, you’ll need about 5 hours to fit in both tours, lunch, and transportation between the Springs Resort and Club Rio. If you don’t have a full day to spare, schedule your visit to Club Rio to take place in the afternoon (ideally starting at noon, or beforehand if possible). This way, even though Club Rio closes at 4:00pm, you can enjoy the Springs Resort’s main pools and hot springs which don’t close to the public until 10:00pm.

Map to Club Rio at the Springs Resort & Spa

QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Have you been to Club Rio in Costa Rica? Which two on-site tours did you choose to participate in and what did you think of the experiences?

Pura vida!

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Club Rio Costa Rica Outdoor Center Review (Springs Resort)
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Club Rio Costa Rica Outdoor Center Review (Springs Resort)
Interested in visiting Club Rio Costa Rica in La Fortuna? We provide information, helpful tips, and a free Club Rio discount!
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