COVID-19: For guidance on COVID-19 entry and exit requirements for U.S. nationals. Or, visit the CDC website for general air-travel guidelines

Volcanic Hot Springs

Traveling to Costa Rica? Make Sure You Visit These Hidden Gems!

Costa Rica may be a small country, but it sure packs a punch! There’s so much to do. From zip-lining your way through tropical rainforests to surfing the year-round waves, there’s something for everyone. 

But what if you want to try something a little more authentic? Want if you want to experience something that’s a little off the tourist trail? 

If that sounds like you, you’re going to want to visit one of the many volcanic hot thermal springs in this beautiful country. So let’s tell you a little more about these hidden gems and how to find them.

Costa Rica’s Volcanic Hot Springs: The Ultimate Bucket List Adventure

Yes, it’s true, other countries have thermal volcanic springs that you can visit, but no other country does it quite like Costa Rica. These hot springs are in the middle of lush rainforest, overlooked by imposing volcanoes, and their height helps to deliver some of the most breath-taking views you could imagine. 

As if that wasn’t enough, the unique geological properties of the rocks the water bubbles up through have provided healing for aches, pains, and other ailments to the locals for centuries. So if you need the ultimate relaxation experience in the most stunning scenery imaginable, then you are going to need to book a visit to one of the many available springs. 

So let’s tell you a little more about where you can enjoy this incredible experience.

Where Are the Best Places to Soak in Volcanic Springs in Costa Rica?

The good news is that you are spoiled for choice. There are many locations within Costa Rica where you can enjoy this almost mystical experience. 

Arenal Hot Springs

The most popular sites are located in the shadow of the imposing Arenal volcano. The volcano has been active for decades, even there is no lava flowing there’s still enough magma close to the surface to warm the water to over 83 degrees Fahrenheit and as much as 100 degrees in some places. 

There are plenty of pools to choose from, including Perdido Springs and Las Lagunas, which have hotel resorts attached to them. Or you could visit somewhere more lowkey without an accompanying hotel resort, such as the EcoTermales Hot Springs, for a more untouched and unblemished experience. 

These springs are located in the Parque National Volcán Arenal, a stone’s throw from the town of La Fortuna. From the capital, San José, it’s about a three-hour drive, with taxis costing around $100-$150. Alternatively, from Liberia International Airport, you can catch a bus that heads to La Fortuna via Upala that will only set you back around $10. The journey takes roughly five hours, including the transfer at Upala.

Guanacaste Hot Springs

Further north, there are some more thermal springs in the Guanacaste province that you have to try. One of the best places is the Rio Perdido thermal river, which gives you the surreal experience of bathing in a natural hot water river. 

The river is heated by magma from the Miravalles volcano, and there are also dozens of pools at varying temperatures for you to enjoy. The attached hotel resort provides traditional massage treatments and body painting with mineral-rich soils. 

Further north in the same province is the Rio Negro hot springs, which are located in the Rincón de la Vieja National Park. As you might have guessed, these pools are heated by the Rincón de la Vieja volcano, which is actually the largest volcano in this province. Once you’ve arrived, you traverse the hanging wooden bridges that snake their way through the rainforest before descending dozens of wooden steps to the ten or so hot springs below. 

Rio Negro doesn’t have any of the fancy hotel trappings that some of the others do, so if you’re looking for a genuinely authentic hot spring experience, then perhaps this is the place to visit! 

Both of the hot springs mentioned above are only about an hour from Liberia International Airport by car or taxi. There is also a shuttle bus service that runs from the airport to the Rio Perdido Hotel complex, should you wish to use that as your base. On the other hand, if you’re based in San José, there is also a bus that runs from the airport to the Rio Perdido Hotel complex, it costs roughly $50-$75, and it takes approximately five hours.

Enjoy a Taste of Authentic Costa Rica with Natural Volcanic Hot Springs

There’s nothing that quite compares to sitting in a volcanic hot spring looking out over miles and miles of jaw-dropping rainforest scenery. That’s why if you want to explore the real Costa Rica, you have to spend time soaking yourself in a rejuvenating volcanic hot spring.

And if you want to really experience the thermal springs as close to their natural state as possible, then the hidden gems of the Rio Negro and EcoTermales hot springs should be right up there a the top of your bucket list!  

Scroll to Top