REVIEW- Kalambú Hot Springs

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It can be hard for families to pick which hot springs they want to visit in the Arenal Volcano area of La Fortuna. Kalambú Hot Springs is really a family attraction but has a lot to offer in terms of fun for all ages. We have spent a lot of time in the area as our kids have grown up, and we have been to Kalambú many times, making this review the most authentic you’ll find on the internet!


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Key Takeaways

  • Kalambú Hot Springs is a great place for families to spend a day swimming because it is affordable and fun
  • The food at Kalambú is great traditional Costa Rican food, and you can get a ticket with a meal included
  • There are lots of pools to visit at Kalambú. After the waterslide accident, you may want to reconsider riding the bigger slides, but the main water feature is really fun!

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Family Hot Springs Costa Rica

About Kalambú Hot Springs

Ever since I first set foot in La Fortuna, Costa Rica over 25 years ago I have loved it. Despite being one of the most visited tourist areas in the world, La Fortuna has maintained its small-town charm and true Costa Rica feel. And the food in La Fortuna! Given the Arenal Volcano is in the heart of Costa Rican farmland, the traditional Costa Rican food is some of the best in the country.

Of course the highlight of visiting La Fortuna is seeing the majestic Arenal Volcano. Dormant since 2010, visitors still flock to the area to participate in a variety of excursions during the day. But at night? Well, volcanic hot springs rule the town.

When my husband and I were first married and didn’t have our kids, we would look for more romantic hot springs. Think swim-up bars, romantic music, and hidden nooks for privacy. The Eco Termales Hot Springs comes to mind for that.

Now that we have our girls, we spend a lot of time looking for hot springs that they can enjoy- and I can say that Kalambú Hot Springs fits the bill. We’ve been many times over the years with our girls, and this review reflects our experiences over the years.

So when we had the opportunity to visit the new Kalambú Hot Springs we found the perfect place for your family! Here’s everything you need to know!

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Kalambu Hot Springs Entrance Sign

How To Get To Kalambú Hot Springs

Kalambú Hot Springs is just about 10 minutes away from the church in downtown La Fortuna. It is situated on the main road between La Fortuna and Lake Arenal- the same place as the majority of the hotels in the area are located.

As you are heading towards Lake Arenal (away from La Fortuna), you’ll look for the sign (pictured above) on the right-hand side of the road. Kalambú Hot Springs is just in front of the Baldí Hot Springs Hotel and Spa (another one of our favorite destinations in La Fortuna!). There is plenty of free parking with volcano views right near the entrance.

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Parking Lot at Kalambu La Fortuna

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When To Visit Hot Springs in La Fortuna

Honestly- we love to go to the hot springs either during the rain or during late afternoon/sunset. During full Costa Rican sun, the hot springs feel HOT, and so we love to go when the weather is cloudy and/or cool. And going during cooler/cloudier weather mitigates the risk of sunburn so much. Plus, after dark, it is sometimes possible to see a bit of lava action from the Arenal volcano.

For Kalambú, however, there is a big main pool with a water feature (and a bucket that dumps tons of water on everyone every few minutes.) This main pool, with a zero-gravity entry, has lukewarm water, making it a fine pool for kids to swim in during any type of weather. This means that if your kids are itching to swim and all you can find are hot springs, bring them here so they can play.


Waterfall Pool La Fortuna Costa Rica

Pricing at Kalambú Hot Springs

It’s pretty cheap to visit Kalambú Hot Springs. There are prices for tourists and different prices for nationals, but none are very expensive. Adults can get a day pass for $20, and children cost $16. Any visitor can pay for a full buffet meal (more on that below) for the price of 4,000 colones, or about 8 USD.

At the entrance, they do offer a package deal with the meal and the entrance fee. The first time we went we didn’t know if the food would be any good so we just bought the entrance tickets. Of course, we got hungry while swimming, and bought the meal separately. That added about $10 per person, so going forward we have always just gotten the package with the entrance fee and the meal.

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Packing List – Kalambú Hot Springs

You’ll pack the same things you do for most water park excursions- swimsuits, towels, goggles, and sunscreen. Pool floats are allowed here. A few notes for travelers:

There are lockers and towels available for rent- and the rental fee is refundable. The lockers cost $3.00 and the towel rental is $7.00, both of which are returned to you when you return the key or towel. This is awesome because we usually don’t pack our own towels when visiting Costa Rica.

You can’t enter the hot springs with your own food and drink. However, when our girls were under 3 they did let us bring small snacks and juices because, well, everyone knows that when a little kid is hungry, they are hungry!

Swim diapers are not required, but I would highly recommend them- especially if you have a pooper like we used to!

There are clean and spacious changing rooms with showers on site, so we generally choose to change when we get there- especially if we are coming from somewhere else like Eco Glide Zip Line or Mistico Hanging Bridges.

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Costa Rican Native Flowers

Pools and Water Slides at Kalambú Hot Springs

The grounds at Kalambú Hot Springs are gorgeous- everything is lush and green. I could not stop taking photos of all the flowers on the paths around the pools. And the views of the volcano- amazing! There is a main kids’ pool with slides and other water features, and it is the perfect temperature for even infants. We spent a lot of time in that area- the waterfalls were the perfect back massage for grandma and the zero entry pools meant littles could splash independently.

Hot Springs Cocktail Menu Costa Rica

There is also a fun pool up past the restaurant that includes a wet bar, and you can order Costa Rican appetizers (we ordered salchipapas) from the bar and eat them while sitting on the partially submerged bar stools.

Spending time at the swim-up bar was an especially fun part of the trip for our girls. The bar had an awesome soundtrack and the kids danced on the submerged bar stools. That pool had lots of fun Costa Rican cocktails too- each at just under $7.

Water Slides Hot Springs La Fortuna Costa Rica

Several water slides are good for all ages- we didn’t go on them because we were pretty committed to the kids’ pool. There is also a huge relaxation pool with beach chairs all around and another swim-up bar. A few years ago there was a fatal water side accident on site, and we have since decided to stay away from the water sides entirely.

Kalambu Costa Rica Restaurant

Food and Drink at Kalambú Hot Springs

Apart from the swim-up bar, there is a nice restaurant that has typical Costa Rican casados at lunch and dinner and gallo pinto for a traditional Costa Rican breakfast. They was also fast food cuisine like chicken tenders, french fries, and Costa Rican tacos. The traditional Costa Rican food was buffet style- the fast food, ironically enough, took quite a bit longer.

We love the food at Kalambú! There are lots of high chairs in the restaurant for littles, and they always do a great job of handling a crowd.

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The Bottom Line

Kalambú Hot Springs is the perfect place for families of all ages- there are lots of options for both big and little kids, great places to eat and drink, and pools of varying temperatures. We will go back most every time we spend a few days in La Fortuna.

I would highly recommend the place for its great prices, excellent food, and phenomenal grounds. If you want a typical Costa Rican hot springs experience for the whole family, Kalambú is your place!

Visit their website for even more information.

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Costa Rica Hot Springs Family Water Park

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Christa Jimenez

Welcome! I’m Christa, a Spanish teacher married to a handsome Costa Rican and mother of two bilingual daughters. We’ve spent over 25 years living in and traveling to Costa Rica with our daughters, and this website is my love letter to all things Costa Rica- and to bilingual parenting too. You can read my full story here. Thanks for stopping by!

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