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La Fortuna, Costa Rica is one of the best places to visit in Costa Rica- in my opinion. There is so much to do in La Fortuna, and an absolute abundance of places to stay in the area too.
The major draw for me, though, is the hot springs. Soaking in the thermal waters after a long day of zip lining, walking the hanging bridges, or hiking the La Fortuna waterfall is an experience like no other.
For that reason, I have rounded up some of the best hot springs in the area. You can visit these hot springs day or night, but I recommend arriving at about 4 pm to enjoy the sunset and the cool evening breeze as you relax in the warm (or hot!) water.
The Tabacon Hot Springs is a popular draw for both tourists and locals, offering a unique and truly immersive experience in the heart of Costa Rica’s stunning natural beauty.
Located on the grounds of the luxurious Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, this locale is not just a hot springs wonderland; it’s a complete oasis of relaxation and adventure with a variety of accommodations, dining options, spa treatments, and thrilling activities to keep guests of all ages pampered and entertained.
This is by far the most famous of the hot springs resorts in La Fortuna, and maybe even the world. Nestled in the tropical rainforest at the base of the Arenal volcano, this is the place to be. You’ll want to make reservations in advance as the tickets can sell out fast. Still, there is no better way to experience the hot springs on a luxury level.
Bring your family and soak up some quality time – from splashing around the rejuvenating thermal pools to exploring the nearby countryside on a horse’s back and soaring through the treetops on an adrenaline-rushing canopy tour, Tabacon has plenty to keep everyone occupied and enthralled.
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Volcano Lodge and Springs
The Volcano Lodge and Springs are not huge, but they do offer several thermal water pools. There is a swim-up bar, fun lights at night, and a regular swimming pool for enjoying during the day. Not all hot springs in the La Fortuna area come directly from the volcano, but these do. The mineral properties of the water a not only relaxing, but healing too.
The real draw here is the playground near the pool and restaurant. Kids can play to their heart’s content while parents finish a long lunch or enjoy a cocktail. Make sure to stay on the property to have exclusive access to the hot springs- day passes aren’t sold. These springs are not huge, but the family-friendly atmosphere and the price can’t be beaten.
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Arenal Paraiso is another gorgeous property with thermal springs. Each room is a cabin nestled in the hillside overlooking the Arenal volcano and the thermal pools. I adore this property.
There are four large pools drawing water straight from the volcano, making each pool a slightly different temperature. Then, as you walk up the hill towards the cabins, there are several smaller pools that offer a bit more intimacy.
The pools are drained each night for cleaning! This makes the bathing experience super clean, and your bathing suit won’t smell of hot springs. This is another resort that does not offer day passes- you will need to stay on the property to use these hot springs.
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Kalambu Hot Springs
Kalambu Hot Springs is the best place to visit for families. You’ll find a huge water feature in the middle of the pools, complete with a bucket that dumps water every few minutes. Additionally, you can buy your day pass for an additional cost that includes a traditional Costa Rican lunch for the parents, and chicken nuggets for the kids if they want.
In addition to the water feature, the pools offer one with a swim-up bar and another with water slides. Kalambu is a great mix of family-friendly and intimate- if your kids are big enough to play on their own then mom and dad can enjoy the natural hot springs up above by the bar. Kalambu Hot Springs is the best value for your money in all of La Fortuna, in my opinion.
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Baldi Hot Springs
Baldi Hot Springs are by far the most ostentatious of the hot spring resorts in La Fortuna. The entire complex, from the rooms to the pools to the restaurant, is simply over the top. These hot springs offer a full-day pass, and you can add a buffet lunch or dinner to your entrance ticket.
There is a huge parking lot on site for those renting a car, and it’s only about a 10-minute drive from downtown la Fortuna. We visit these springs every year because there is something for everyone. From a water feature with a bucket that dumps water on the kids to water slides for adults, there is definitely room for a thrill.
Or you can wander the different hot springs- every pool has different temperatures, different depths, and different lights and music. You won’t wander the springs alone though, there are lots of people at Baldi due both to its popularity with tour operators and the fact that there is a hotel and spa on the property. Hotel guests have full access to the hot springs, but if you don’t stay there, you’ll want to buy a day pass.
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The Springs Resort and Spa
The Springs Resort and Spa is another high-end resort for travelers seeking an authentic hot springs experience and relishing the natural riches of the Arenal Volcano!
Nestled amidst a verdant rainforest with dazzling views of the volcano, the all-inclusive resort offers onsite hot and cold springs, a full-service spa, ritzy lodging options, a world-class dining experience, and endless adventurous activities for all. This is the resort made popular on The Bachelor, and the Kardashians have visited here while in Costa Rica as well.
The Club Rio Adventure Center is where the real magic happens, and families can enjoy an ultimate bonding experience. Here, you can unwind in the steamy hot springs, ride a horse, paddle a kayak, tube down the river, and even view amazing wildlife at the animal sanctuary.
Later while mom and dad enjoy some adult time at the spa or treat themselves to a cocktail at the bar, kids can perfect their Ping Pong game or meet new friends at the Game Room.
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If you’re looking for something less busy as far as hot springs in La Fortuna, Ecotermales is quieter and less crowded and would be a fantastic option. It’s a family-friendly hot springs facility with a waterfall, a bar, a restaurant, and enchanting natural thermal pools that range from warm to steamy to cater to diverse preferences.
Try all the different pools while sipping your favorite cocktail! Let the little ones play too – some pools are quite shallow and most toddlers can splash around without any trouble. Changing rooms are available and they even have separate ones for families. After a nice long soak, dine in the restaurant on site that offers a wide variety of authentic Costa Rican dishes. Kids will love the burgers and chicken fingers on the snack menu.
Note, however, that visits to this facility are by reservation only and you must make your bookings early, as only a limited number of guests are allowed per day- the maximum capacity is really low. Also, no accommodation is offered on the premises; you’ll need to make arrangements for your own lodging in the nearby areas.
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Termalitas del Arenal
If you thought Ecotermales was fabulous, Termalitas will be right up your alley. The casual family-friendly hot springs center features multiple thermally heated pools of varying sizes and temperatures surrounded by gorgeous tropical gardens and breathtaking vistas of the Arenal Volcano where you can unwind and spend quality time with your near and dear ones.
There’s also a wet bar, a restaurant, ranches with BBQ grills, hydromassage beds, and cold water pools to cool you off after the hot ones. Oh, did I mention the water slide? This will surely be a hit with kids (and kids at heart!) Pack some shampoo; they have showers to wash off at the end of the day.
Feel free to bring your own food and refreshments, as plenty of picnic tables are available. Just make sure not to overstay your picnic, as no lodging or camping facilities are provided.
Termalitas del Arenal is a very local little place- you’ll find lots of Costa Ricans here, and the price is right. At just $15 with lunch, the entrance fee can’t be beaten.
Hotel Arenal Kioro Suites
Staying at the luxurious Arenal Kioro Hotel? You can take a plunge in the hot spring pools or free-form pool onsite or ride a free shuttle to Titokú Hot Springs where you will be able to enjoy the soothing waters of Titokú at no extra cost.
But that’s not the only reason to vacation here. Hotel rooms are also spacious and perfect for families and the property grounds themselves are super gorgeous with stunning views of the Arenal Volcano; they make a nice stroll around seeing beautiful birds and flowers.
When you’re done simmering in the hot springs, explore the Arenal National Park, walk the hanging bridges, go kayaking, or kick things into high gear with an ATV tour. There’s something to be enjoyed by all, even the little thrill seekers.
Titoku Hot Springs
Arenal Kioro too much for you? Worry not. You can still conveniently visit the Titokú Hot Springs facility for a day trip or a relaxing evening excursion even if you’re staying somewhere else. With eight bubbling pools sitting in lush gardens and surrounded by calm ambient lighting in the evenings, this piece of Arenal gorgeousness is the perfect spot to spend a relaxing vacation or soak sore muscles after a long, adventurous day.
You’ll find a reception area, waiting room, bathrooms, lockers, dressing rooms, a bar, a meeting room, and an array of other swanky amenities to make your visit fun, comfortable, and worthwhile. These hot springs have reciprocity with the Arenal Kioro Suites, which means that you can enjoy Titoku as a guest of Arenal Kioro.
For people with kids, this would be a great place to give them a treat without breaking the bank or sacrificing comfort, as children under the age of 4 years enjoy the services free of charge while those between 4 and 11 pay only half the price.
A Costa Rican favorite! Los Laureles is an affordable, laid-back hot springs center where you can spend a satisfying day with your family simmering in the heated pools and frolicking in the cold pools.
Outside the pool, there’s a large area with grass and picnic tables where you can enjoy a soft drink and bask in the sun while the little ones have fun in the water slides. You can eat lunch onsite or carry your own food from home.
Note that access to the hot springs is only allowed during daytime hours, so this place may not work for you if you’re looking for an evening hangout spot. They do, however, have a campground where you can pitch a tent and spend the night under the stars.
Arenal Manoa houses some of the best hot springs La Fortuna is famous for and is perfect for families who just want to relax and have fun. It’s one of the most charming resorts in the area offering a wide range of conveniences to help guests distress and indulge in the ultimate vacation experience. The resort is at the base of Arenal Volcano, and the views of the volcano are spectacular.
Perhaps the biggest draw here is the hot springs. They are fantastic and have the perfect temperature – not too hot – which makes them good and comfortable for the kids. Even the water in the swim-up pool bar is heated by a natural hot spring; kids will love ordering dinner and sodas here.
The onsite nighttime walk is something to look forward to. It’s a chance to see armadillos, dart frogs, salamanders, and other exciting wildlife that may be hard to spot during the day. Come morning, more fascinating activities await including ziplining, ATVs, whitewater rafting, and canyoning, all offering an excellent opportunity to spend quality time with your family.
Paradise Hot Springs
They didn’t call it “paradise” for nothing; Paradise Hot Springs truly does live up to its name. The resort offers guests a peaceful and luxurious haven where they can unwind, recharge, and experience the natural beauty of La Fortuna in an uncrowded environment.
Enjoy soaking in the naturally heated pools while sipping on delicious tropical cocktails or walk around the property and savor the natural fragrance of the tropical gardens. While you may not find many kid-friendly activities here, there’s an opportunity to go out and experience the great outdoors.
Take tours of river tubing, kayaking, horseback riding, or zip lining; all of this can be fun for the whole family. Back at the property, accommodation is provided, and while there is no designated lodging for families, some rooms are large enough to accommodate up to 4 persons, which can be perfect for small families.
Los Lagos is a recharging station for families and thrill seekers who want to spend their time in hot spring-fed hot tubs, water slides, swimming pools, zip lines, or trying to make a crocodile blink.
Replete with a water park, a restaurant and wet bar, and clean, cozy accommodations, this leisure resort offers fun and comfort in large doses, making it one of the most sought-out destinations in the Arenal area.
Kids will enjoy playing in various pools including the children’s pool which has its own water slide. You can also take them hiking, zip lining, or horseback riding, or simply just hang out together at the swim-up bar. And of course, no trip to Los Lagos would be complete without a dip in the restorative hot springs!
Over and over, I hear that Los Lagos is the absolute best place to visit in La Fortuna. It’s great for families. Unfortunately, it books up well in advance because it is so popular. So if you are considering this resort, make your reservations now.
Royal Corin Thermal
Famous for its warm atmosphere and unspoiled nature, the adult-only Royal Corin Hotel offers a unique environment for adventurous lovebirds to enjoy hot spring facilities, spa treatments, international cuisine, and luxury accommodations steps away from the scenic Arenal Volcano. For couples seeking a quiet, intimate getaway, this is it.
But don’t worry if you’re a family with teenagers; the hotel also welcomes kids aged 16 years and above to enjoy its incredible amenities. While you indulge in a private couple’s massage, teens can hang out in the hot springs, the swimming pool, or the fitness center.
There are only two pools here, and the vibe is pretty intimate. If you have kids under 16, you’ll have to skip, and even teens may not love the laid-back vibe.
Free Hot Springs
Looking to access natural thermal pools on the cheap? Free hot springs would be a pleasant surprise for you! The most popular are the ones near the Tabacon Resort area. Right across the entrance of the Resort, you’ll see a path leading to the free springs. You’ll require a taxi to get there though, unless you have a car and can find a safe parking spot.
Here, the springs are nice and warm and are accessible to everyone. Now, while they can be a great way to save money for people traveling on a budget, free access also means huge crowds. They are about a 20-minute drive from the town of La Fortuna, and the last hot springs before Lake Arenal. They aren’t hard to find, but parking is tough as it’s on the side of the road. Walking along the road to and from the springs at night can get dicey, so I recommend you go during the day.
This site may not be your best bet if you are looking for privacy or a quiet place to soak. You may also want to skip it if you want to experience thermal water after dark or if you’re traveling with young kids who want to wade and play.
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Welcome! I’m Christa, a former high school teacher married to a handsome Costa Rican and mother of two bilingual daughters. I love all things Spanish and bi-cultural, (especially travel and food!) and you’ll find my observations on life here. Thanks for stopping by