The Best Resorts With Natural Hot Springs in Costa Rica
Enjoy a view of the Arenal Volcano while soaking in a thermal pool at the Springs Resort | Courtesy of The Springs Resort & Spa / Expedia
Costa Rica has nearly 200 volcanic formations, including the active volcanoes of Arenal, Poás, Rincón de la Vieja, Irazú and Turrialba. That underground thermal activity warms subterranean waters to provide plenty of natural hot springs, which are cool enough for you to bathe in. Sound dreamy? Here are the top stays in Costa Rica with natural hot springs – all bookable on Culture Trip.
The Royal Corin Thermal Water Spa & Resort
Courtesy of The Royal Corin Thermal Water Spa & Resort / Expedia
The Royal Corin is tucked among the dense rainforest at the foot of the Arenal Volcano. Rooms, which have a terrace or a balcony, come with a view of the peak or hot spring pools. You’ll want to head to the volcanic steam sauna, which has cracks in the floor so you can hear and smell the boiling spring below. Need more? The Eco Termales hot springs are just a 10-minute walk away.
Paradise Hot Springs Thermal Resort
Courtesy of Paradise Hot Springs Thermal Resort / Expedia
After a long day hiking through the Arenal National Park, make your way to the eight outdoor hot spring pools and jacuzzis at Paradise. Each has its own benefits, targeting the neck, back, shoulders and feet with hydromassage. Temperatures range from a steamy 104F (40C) in the jacuzzi to 81F (27C) in the cool-down pools. Inside the hotel, spacious suites offer a good night’s sleep with blackout curtains and 300-thread-count sheets.
Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica
Courtesy of Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica / Expedia
Backed by jungled mountains, Dreams Las Mareas sits on Playa El Jobo, a sandy shore on the northwest Pacific coast. The all-inclusive resort offers excursions to the Vandara hot springs and the waterfalls of Rincón de la Vieja, as well as ziplining through the Diamante Eco Adventure Park and horse riding across the rugged Guanacaste coast.
Hotel Rio Celeste Hideaway
Courtesy of Hotel Rio Celeste Hideaway / Booking.com
The Rio Celeste, a teal river under the Tenorio Volcano, runs through this palm-roofed resort in northern Costa Rica. Each of the 26 private casitas has an outdoor shower and a patio, offering views of the forest or garden below. Choose how you want to see the nearby Rio Celeste hot springs; the resort offers hiking, tubing, horse riding and rafting excursions along the river. Alternatively, rent a bicycle from the front desk and explore solo.
Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa
Courtesy of Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa / Booking.com
Architect Jaime Mikowski’s touch can be seen throughout the Tabacón, from the minimalistic blonde-wood furniture in every suite to the sprawling adults-only Shangri-La Gardens, an open-air rainforest lounge. Go for a dip in the winding river springs, part of the Tabacón Hot Springs, or check into the spa for a treatment. Perhaps a volcanic mud wrap or orange-coffee exfoliation?
The Springs Resort & Spa
Courtesy of The Springs Resort & Spa / Expedia
This luxurious resort in La Fortuna certainly lives up to the name. There are three hot springs: La Lagunas, Perdido and Club Rio. La Lagunas has eight pools with a swim-up bar and volcano views, while Perdido is a maze of forest trails with another seven pools (plus a slide for kids). While the other two have a man-made feel, Club Rio is more natural; it features waterfalls overlooking the river canyon. After a day of river tubing or horseback riding, where else would you rather relax?
Baldi Hot Springs Resort & Spa
Courtesy of Baldi Hot Springs Resort & Spa / Expedia
More than 25 natural spring-fed pools make up the Baldi Hot Springs resort, one of the largest of its kind in the world. Unwind in the bubbling jacuzzi that fits 60 people, surrounded by singing tropical birds, or sweat it out in the biggest sauna in Costa Rica. Kids will be well occupied at the waterslide-packed Baldi Kids area. Escape the noise of the pools and retreat to the spa for a thermo-mineral massage, which uses chocolate, coconut and pineapple to soften the skin.
Hotel Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa
Courtesy of Hotel Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa / Expedia
Just 10 minutes outside La Fortuna, Hotel Arenal Kioro sits among 27 acres (11ha) of rolling countryside. There are hot springs to soak in, plus a free shuttle and entry to the Titokú hot springs, one of the more serene thermal pools in the area. The maximum capacity is 80 people, so it’s rare you’ll find the pools to be overcrowded. Refresh afterward with an icy mojito in the bar. Alternatively, book a bath ritual at the hotel spa to unwind in a private petal-filled tub.
Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa
Courtesy of Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa / Expedia
For the ultimate Costa Rican rainforest experience, book the Arenal Observatory Lodge – or visit with Culture Trip by joining our epic small-group Costa Rica trip
. Here, you’ll be among the treetops, overlooking 270 acres (110ha) of rainforest and the Arenal Volcano. It was originally built as a scientific research station for the Smithsonian Institution. Join a daily tour with a naturalist guide before taking a dip in the spring-fed pool. Just up the road is the Rio Agua Caliente, a natural pool that’s free to enjoy.
Jenn Parker contributed additional reporting to this article.
These recommendations were updated on September 3, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.