Relaxing in the hot springs is one of the highlights of every visitor’s trip to Arenal. Due to the 1968 Arenal Volcano eruption, natural hot springs formed and were turned into tourist attractions. Since then, this area has grown to become the premiere destination in Costa Rica for hot springs, allowing visitors to soak in the mineral laden water surrounded by a lush rain forest.
There are many hot spring in La Fortuna and Arenal with all sorts of attractions and scenery and it’s an absolute must do activity, it’s the best way to end a fun day exploring the rain forest and hiking the volcano! It may be hard to narrow down which one that fits your budget and needs, but here are our recommendations on the best Arenal hot springs.
Best Arenal Hot Springs
Tabacon is the most popular and high end hot spring in Arenal as they landscaped their gardens around the Tabacon river, creating a peaceful and beautiful setting. These are the only hot springs that are truly natural – no use of pumps or systems to reheat or circulate the water.
With a handful of warm waterfalls, hot pools and sitting areas intricately landscaped to blend in with the natural environment, you’ll feel like you’ve wandered deep into the rain forest. Though Tabacon hot springs are more on the romantic and intimate side, families with kids of all ages are allowed in except for the Shangri-la Garden area which is adult only for hotel guests.
The gardens are gorgeous and Tabacon is definitely a very unique place in Costa Rica with the Tabacon river but when we visited in July, it was insanely crowded at night and not as peaceful or relaxing as I hoped. If you’re visiting in high season, just know that it gets super packed. If you want more privacy and quiet, I recommend staying at the hotel so you can access the adult only gardens and guests get 2 extra hours exclusively for them at the hot springs.
Dinner at Tabacon is the best we’ve had though – their buffet is excellent.
Tabacon day pass entrance fee: $94 per adult with lunch or dinner, $33 per child. Reserve in advance during high season and peak times (December – April, July).
The Baldi hot springs are one of the cheapest in Arenal but that doesn’t mean it’s not as nice. In fact, it’s the best for kids, friend groups, teenagers and families because they have water slides, a dedicated kid area, caves and swim up bars.
Baldi gets crowded with a lot of school groups and kids, so if you’re not interested in being around kids, don’t want to spend a ton more money and want somewhere quieter, Ecotermales is a good option. We’ve taken our friends and family here and they love the waterslides and caves, it’s a ton of fun. The dedicated Baldi kids area is really nice too for families with little ones.
Baldi day pass fee with lunch or dinner: $57 per adult and $28.50 per child. No reservations required.
The Ecotermales hot springs are best for couples or adults with very nice gardens and quiet atmosphere. They have several pools and waterfalls sectioned off in differen areas so that there is a tranquil area and a more lively area with a swim up bar.
They also have a terrace bar next to a pool with plenty of seating so you can have a nice cold drink after relaxing in the hot spring until you’re ready to go back in.
It doesn’t get quite as crowded as some other places since Ecotermales is a hot spring facility only, not a hot spring plus hotel facility. They also break up the visiting times and limit the amount of visitors for more privacy which is super nice!
Ecotermales hot spring day pass: $57 per adult, $38 for children with lunch or dinner.
Paradise hot springs are another excellent option for those who are on more of a budget but still want to enjoy natural pools with beautiful gardens.
They have 5 pool areas, 2 Jacuzzis with waterfalls and a swim up bar. We didn’t see any kids in Paradise and not that many people so we were able to have pools all to ourselves which was awesome.
Paradise hot springs day pass: $45 per adult and $27 per child with lunch or dinner
Titoku hot springs is probably the smallest hot spring facility in Arenal with a meeting room, bar and 8 small pools of different temperatures. It’s part of the Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa so a visit to Titoku is complimentary for guests though non-hotel guests can still enjoy them.
Since this facility is small and the Kioro has their own private on-site hot springs, it is likely you may be the only one there (like we were) as outside guests prefer to go to the bigger ones. However we loved our time at Titoku, we had the whole place to ourselves for about one hour and then only one other couple showed up.
Titoku hot springs day pass: $47.50 per adult with a meal
The Springs Resort & Spa
The Springs Resort & Spa is not only one of the most luxurious hotels in La Fortuna, but their hot springs are equally as fancy. Their large property accommodates two hot spring sections, Las Lagunas and Los Perdidos. Las Lagunas has 12 pools with 4 chlorinated pools and 8 natural. Los Perdidos hot springs are connected to Las Lagunas by a short trail and has seven pools.
The Springs Resort & Spa is another great one for kids since there is also a wildlife preserve and trails on the property which can be included for an additional fee to the day pass.
Springs Resort & Spa day pass: $65 per person. Reservations required in high season
The free Arenal hot springs in Costa Rica
Don’t want to spend a huge chunk of your travel money to enjoy the hot springs? (Hey I don’t blame you, they are expensive for those traveling on a budget.) Check out the free hot springs in Arenal!
The entrance is across from the Tabacon hot spring building, about 100 meters down. You can park along the road and walk down to the hot spring, which is actually the Tabacon river, naturally warm from volcanic activity.
You’ll see mostly locals here and it gets super crowded on weekends so make sure to go early so you can grab a spot!
Arenal Combo Tours with Hot Springs
If you are doing tours in Arenal, you can add on the hot springs to many of them. One of the most popular tours is the Arenal Combo Tour (hanging bridges, La Fortuna waterfall, lunch, Arenal Volcano hike and hot springs) and tour companies normally go to Tabacon, Baldi or Ecotermales, guests’ choice.
We have a special discount for Mytanfeet readers for tours in Arenal. Check it out!
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Read about other things to do in Arenal and La Fortuna here!