The Arenal/La Fortuna region in Costa Rica offers 12 different thermal pools. Each hot spring has a unique character making it ideal for different travel tastes, from romantic, luxurious, budget-friendly, family-friendly, to adventurous, and more. Whether you're looking for peace and relaxation or hot springs with exciting waterslides, our list has them all.

Arenal/La Fortuna features 12 swimmable hot springs, each with its own unique atmosphere and amenities. From serene and eco-friendly nature escapes to lively family-oriented water parks, every type of traveler can find a hot spring to enjoy. 

To make planning your trip a little easier, you can opt to book stays at hot springs hotels in La Fortuna or packages that mix hot-spring experiences with other guided tours in the Arenal area. A popular combination includes hiking around the Arenal Volcano and then soothing your muscles with a hot-springs soak before dinner. As a perk to going this route, everything is arranged for you: transportation, a guided hiking tour, entrance to the hot springs, and dinner.

Keep reading for the top hot springs in Arenal/La Fortuna and their key differences, plus what you need to know to choose the best option for you.

Tabacón Hot Springs   

 

Tabacón Hot Springs

Tabacón Hot Springs is a favorite among travelers and kimkim’s top recommendation for thermal pools in Arenal, as it offers the epitome of eco-conscious relaxation and one of the most luxurious properties in the area

Tabacón is great for adults or couples looking for a romantic, quiet, and luxurious experience, but children of all ages are also permitted. If you’d like to bring your children, keep in mind that strict guidelines are in place to maintain the atmosphere and environment. For example, there is no diving or splashing, and adults must watch children at all times. On the other hand, if you’re hoping for a child-free experience, fear not—Tabacón has an adults-only section, the Shangri-La Gardens.

Besides the luxuriousness of the property, kimkim also recommends Tabacón for its eco-friendly and carbon-neutral methods. Gravity completely powers the hot springs—no pumps nor mechanical systems move or heat the water! As a result, the pools look like a river, and while concrete partly supports this design, many baths consist of natural rocks. 

Remember that these natural features can make the pools tricky to navigate, as the rocks can get slippery. Those with mobility issues may want to consider alternative hot springs, and we recommend that visitors wear water shoes to prevent slips and falls.

How to visit: Enjoy Tabacón Hot Springs with either a day pass (including lunch or dinner) or as part of a tour, or stay at the onsite hotel, one of the most luxurious hotels in Arenal/La Fortuna. An overnight includes access to the hot springs in the room rate. Although the pools are a bit of a walk from the hotel, many travelers consider this a perk since it adds more privacy for hotel guests. Keep in mind that prices increase during peak seasons (December and April) and are typically closed to day-use guests during the December holidays.

How to get there: From La Fortuna, head northwest on Route 142 for 7.5 miles (12 km).

Quick Facts:

  • Price: $75 - $125
  • 20 in-river pools (some feel secluded)
  • Coldwater pool
  • Main large pool with a swim-up bar and waterslides
  • Pool temperatures range from 72ºF – 105ºF
  • Towel and locker rental (additional fee)
  • Spa (additional fee)
  • Open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • One of the first hot springs resorts in Arenal/La Fortuna
  • Reservations recommended

Let kimkim help you organize your Tabacón Hot Springs and dinner experience. 

Baldi Hot Springs  

Baldi Hot Springs (Photo Courtesy of Baldi Hot Springs)

Baldi Hot Springs is one of the largest thermal pools in Arenal and the most commercialized. It’s a great option for budget-conscious families and social groups, offering various pools and several sources of entertainment. Therefore, Baldi is best if you’re looking for a lively atmosphere instead of a quiet, relaxing experience.

Families with active children will especially love the kids’ play zone with small waterslides—including a “bowl” slide that adults can also enjoy—plus interactive water features and games. As an additional perk for families, the water is a little cooler to suit young, sensitive skin. 

There’s plenty of space at Baldi Hot Springs for your family or group to spread out during your visit. You can even find a small, quiet pool to relax in while the rest of your crew explores the extensive grounds. While not luxurious, Baldi offers high-quality hot springs and several amenities, including restaurants and bars, a sauna, a spa, a souvenir shop, and more. 

How to visit: Day passes can include meals in the buffet restaurant, but general admission into the pools is also available. If you’re interested in staying onsite, Baldi offers a comfortable mid-range hotel in La Fortuna, and room rates at the hotel include access to the hot springs. Although you can purchase admission and passes on the day of your visit, we recommend booking in advance if you know your preferred schedule, as the pools can get a little busy, especially in peak season.

How to get there: From La Fortuna, head northwest on Route 142 for a little over 3 miles (5.2 km). 

Quick Facts:

  • Price: $40 - $80
  • 25 pools
  • A kids’ play zone
  • Four waterslides
  • A large jacuzzi that can fit up to 60 people
  • Pool temperatures range from 93°F – 152°F
  • Three swim-up bars
  • Two restaurants (one buffet, one a-la-carte)
  • Towel and locker rental (additional fee)
  • Spa (additional fee)
  • Open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • One of the first hot springs resorts in Arenal/La Fortuna
  • Reservations recommended

Let kimkim help you organize your Baldi Hot Springs and Arenal Volcano hike experience.

EcoTermales Hot Springs

EcoTermales Hot Springs (Photo Courtesy of EcoTermales Hot Springs)

While not luxurious, per se, EcoTermales Hot Springs is the most affordable, small-scale hot spring in Arenal that still includes the usual perks. It’s perfect for adults and couples looking for a more exclusive retreat, as the pools are surrounded by dense forest, making EcoTermales one of the more natural hot springs in Arenal and La Fortuna. Plus, the water in which you'll soak is rich in magnesium, calcium, and bicarbonates. These minerals are known to aid in stress relief, mental health issues, and skin issues like psoriasis, plus strengthen the immune system. 

EcoTermales offers a less busy and more serene hot springs experience. It may also be a good option for those with restricted mobility, as the grounds are smaller and less challenging to navigate. However, while great for couples, the number of private soaking spots is slim, so be prepared to share a larger soaking pool with other guests. 

As for amenities, you’ll find a restaurant serving traditional lunch and a buffet dinner, bar service, restrooms, changing rooms, and towel rentals. The property also features designated walking trails through the facility's surrounding rainforest. You'll also find a commitment to sustainability with an integrated waste disposal system, which processes 100% of the waste generated from their tourism activities, wastewater, and solid and organic waste.

How to visit: There’s no onsite hotel, which adds to the property’s quiet atmosphere. Therefore, visiting as part of a tour or with a day pass is your only option, and EcoTermales caps visitors to 80 during each of its two-time slots, so reservations are necessary. 

How to get there: From La Fortuna, head northwest on Route 142 for about 3.5 miles (5.6 km).

Quick Facts:

  • Price: $45 - $80
  • Six pools
  • Two cold water pools
  • Cascading waterfall pool
  • Pool temperatures range from 99ºF – 106ºF
  • Onsite restaurant
  • Two bars
  • Towel and locker included
  • Stand-alone hot spring (no onsite hotel)
  • Two visitation time slots (​​9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.)
  • Family-owned and operated
  • One of the first hot springs resorts in Arenal/La Fortuna
  • Reservations recommended

Let kimkim help you organize your EcoTermales Hot Springs soak and meal experience.

The Springs Resort Hot Springs

The Springs Resort Hot Springs

The Springs Resort Hot Springs is a high-end, large-scale thermal pool and hotel that combines the benefits of Tabacon and Baldi into one property. As a bonus, you’ll also get incredible views of the Arenal Volcano! Families will be very happy here, given the number of child-friendly activities and quality services, plus private pools for adults.

Set on 165 acres, The Springs Resort features 25 pools across three distinct areas. Start at Las Lagunas Pool at the main building with its swim-up bar and two acres of gardens, then head to Perdido Springs with pools and a waterslide connected by a series of forested trails. Finally, head to Club Rio Springs for secluded pools with unparalleled views of the bordering river and canyon. 

With so many options, large grounds, and numerous amenities, there’s something here for every type of traveler. In addition to the waterslide and main lagoon pool with plenty of lounge chairs, families can enjoy the putt-putt course, kids’ game lounge, and the Club Rio Adventure Center with river tubing, kayaking, horseback riding, rock climbing, and an animal sanctuary (all available for an additional cost).

How to visit: You can enjoy The Springs Resort with a day pass, which you can upgrade to include lunch and two onsite activities if you wish. Alternatively, opt to stay at the resort, one of the best luxury hotels in La Fortuna, and receive complimentary access to the hot springs with your room rate.

How to get there: From La Fortuna, head northwest on Route 142 until La Palma, then turn north on C. La Fortuna Road. The journey takes about 20 minutes and covers just under 8 miles (12.5 km). 

Quick Facts:

  • Price: $80 - $125
  • 25 pools
  • Jacuzzi
  • Waterslide
  • Pool temperatures range from 83ºF – 104ºF
  • Five restaurants
  • Six bars
  • Towel and locker rental (additional fee)
  • Spa (additional fee)
  • Kids’ game room
  • Activity center (additional fee)
  • Open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Reservations recommended

Let kimkim help you organize your The Springs Hot Springs and Arenal Hanging Bridges experience.

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Paradise Hot Springs

Paradise Hot Springs (Photo Courtesy of Paradise Hot Springs)

Paradise Hot Springs caters to travelers looking for a moderately priced yet quality thermal pool experience. Although it may look like a big resort from the road, the property is relatively small with a boutique vibe and tranquil atmosphere.

These hot springs are a great choice for frugal couples or small groups looking for peace and relaxation. However, privacy is limited, so be prepared to share the thermal pools with other guests. If you have mobility issues, this property might appeal to you, as one of the pools is zero-entry and features a ramp, which makes it more accessible. 

Although children are welcome at Paradise Hot Springs, you’ll find fewer entertainment options than at other thermal pools in Arenal. So if your family is a bit more energetic and active, consider the alternatives on our list. 

How to visit: Paradise Hot Springs offers day passes that include towel and locker services (a unique perk), plus the option to incorporate a meal and spa treatment. Alternatively, you could stay at the onsite hotel and receive complimentary access to the hot springs with your room rate. This is a great option if you want to enjoy hot springs during your free time but don’t want to set aside an entire afternoon to do so.

How to get there: From La Fortuna, head northwest on Route 142 for a little over 3 miles (5.3 km).

Quick Facts:

  • Price: $30 - $160
  • Five pools
  • Two Jacuzzis with waterfalls
  • Coldwater pool
  • Pool temperatures range from 81ºF – 104ºF
  • Swim-up bar
  • Restaurant
  • Towel and locker included
  • Spa (additional fee)
  • Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Let kimkim help organize your Paradise Hot Springs and meal experience.

Los Lagos Hot Springs

Los Lagos Hot Springs (Photo Courtesy of Lost Lagos Hot Springs)

Perfect for frugal travelers and budget-conscious families, Los Lagos Hot Springs is one of the cheapest thermal pool facilities in the area. The property offers a hotel, spa, and resort, making it one of the more popular baths in Arenal. Besides its incredible value for the price, you can also enjoy the view of the Arenal Volcano.

Kids and families love Los Lagos for its collection of hot springs and cold-water pools that feature waterslides, waterfalls, and an artificial water volcano. You can also enjoy the grounds and visit the frog and butterfly exhibit, plus a crocodile pond, canopy zipline, and ant farm (all for an additional fee). Other amenities include a spa and eateries, plus towel and locker rentals.

Although not a large hot spring, Los Lagos draws a younger and more lively crowd. However, the property does offer a more relaxed vibe during the low seasons (May to mid-June and mid-August to mid-December).

How to visit: Spend the day at Los Lagos Hot Springs with a basic pass that allows access to the various thermal pools. You can cater your visit to your needs by adding meals at the restaurant or towel rentals, for example. Towel rentals and pool access are included in the room rate if you’d rather stay onsite at the hotel. 

How to get there: From La Fortuna, head northwest on Route 142 for just under 4 miles (6.1 km).

Quick Facts:

  • Price: $16 - $30
  • Easily accessible grounds with flat walking paths
  • Ten pools in total
  • One large coldwater pool with waterslides
  • One large hot spring shaped like a lagoon (also with waterslides)
  • Eight other small pools and Jacuzzis (some offering privacy)
  • Pool temperatures range from 78ºF – 100ºF
  • Open 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Enjoy the following for additional fees: butterfly garden, frog pond, turtle pond, crocodile pond, ant farm, and spa services
  • Onsite restaurants and bars
  • Towel and locker rental (additional fee)

Titokú Hot Springs

Titokú Hot Springs (Photo Courtesy of Arenal Kioro Hotel and Resort)

Of all the hot spring facilities in Arenal, Titokú Hot Springs is one of the smallest, though it still features eight different pools of various temperatures. Although open to the public, you’ll find that most of the guests at Titokú are from the nearby Arenal Kioro Hotel and Resort, which gives it a tranquil vibe. The high-quality facilities offer a luxurious hot springs experience that prioritizes relaxation.

The grounds of Titokú provide a relaxed, forested atmosphere with a series of pools nestled into a cascading “river” of boulders. The baths at the top of the cascade are the warmest, and as you make your way downstream, the pools gradually decrease in temperature. Each tub is accessible with stairs and handrails, plus colorful lighting, which is helpful when the sun goes down.

Because of its size, the facility limits the number of visitors to 80, so it’s also one of the quietest thermal pools in the region. Once you enter, you can simply put your belongings into your locker (included in the entrance fee) and enjoy your time, paying for any add-ons (like bar tabs) at the end of your stay. Other onsite amenities include changing rooms, a waiting room, a gathering space, showers, and accessible bathrooms.

How to visit: You’re welcome to access the pools as a guest of the nearby resort, which includes visits to the hot springs within the room rate. If you’d rather pop in for just a morning or afternoon, grab a pass, which includes a towel and locker rental. Either way, remember that the property is small and limits pool guests to 80. Therefore, you’ll need to schedule your visit ahead of time, which is limited to two or three hours.

How to get there: From La Fortuna, head northwest on Route 142 for a little over 3 miles (5.2 km).

Quick Facts:

  • Price: $25 - $50
  • Eight pools of various temperatures and sizes (accommodating six to 20 people)
  • Limited to 80 visitors
  • Scheduled 3- or 2-hour entry times (10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.)
  • Forested property with lush gardens
  • Accessible pools with handrails and lighting
  • Accessible bathrooms
  • Full-service bar with drinks and light snacks
  • Changing rooms, lockers, showers, and towels included in the price or room rate

Kalambu Hot Springs

Kalambu Hot Springs (Photo Courtesy of Kalalmbu Hot Springs)

In 2014, Kalambu Hot Springs opened its doors and redefined the vision of a hot-springs experience in Arenal. Although you’ll find thermal pools perfect for soaking and relaxation, the facility is actually a waterpark that combines relaxation and adventure. Some features include tall waterslides that dip and curve, raft-run waterfall slides, splash pads, dump buckets, thermal pools, artificial waterfalls, and small slides for the little ones, plus gardens and a restaurant.

The biggest draw to Kalambu is its scenic views, as you can soak in the property’s two thermal pools under the gaze of the Arenal Volcano. Both pools have swim-up bars, but one is designated for families, whereas the other is adults-only. Near these baths, you’ll find Kalambu’s restaurant—a casual space serving a variety of food, from traditional Costa Rican cuisine to kid-friendly fare. 

If you’re headed to Kalambu for the thrill, you have a few waterslides to enjoy. At 400 feet (122 m) tall, you can raft down the Mammoth slide at a leisurely pace, but with a few rushing dips. Or, race your friends on the Triple Slide that twists and turns. There are also a few child-friendly slides, though younger kids can also splash the play area with dump buckets and other interactive water games. 

How to visit: There isn’t a hotel at Kalambu Hot Springs, but you’ll find day passes available with the option of adding a meal at the restaurant. 

How to get there: From La Fortuna, head northwest on Route 142 for just over 3 miles (5.1 km).

Quick Facts:

  • Price: $18 - $30
  • Two thermal pools (one adults-only)
  • Swim-up bars
  • One onsite restaurant
  • Onsite gardens and views of the Arenal Volcano
  • Three waterslides
  • One splash pad with dump buckets
  • Zero-entry pools for better accessibility
  • Locker and towel rental (additional fee)
  • The minimum age for water slides is 6 years
  • An adult must accompany children under 6 years at all times
  • Stand-alone hot spring (no onsite hotel)
  • Open Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Los Laureles Hot Springs

Los Laureles Hot Springs (Photo Courtesy of Los Laureles Hot Springs)

If you’re a budget traveler, then the small and unpretentious Los Laureles Hot Springs might be the right choice for you. You can enter these thermal pools for an affordable price, but keep in mind that the facilities are quite basic and this is the smallest hot spring in the Arenal area. You won’t find luxury here, but you will find a laid-back vibe and several locals enjoying the various pools.

Although the amenities at Los Laureles are sparse (no lockers or towel rentals), you can enjoy tidy grounds sprinkled with tropical plants and excellent spots for picnicking, and you can bring food and drinks inside, which is uncommon for most hot springs in Arenal. You’ll also find sports facilities, including a basketball court, soccer field, and beach volleyball area. Although not as entertaining as some of the other pools on the list, kids can still enjoy a waterslide.

How to visit: Although there is no onsite accommodation, Los Laureles Hot Springs is just across from the Los Lagos Hotel and Resort. Otherwise, you can simply visit on a day trip. Just remember that there are no locker or towel rentals or onsite eateries, so come prepared! 

How to get there: From La Fortuna, head northwest on Route 142 for about 4.25 miles (6.9 km). You’ll find Los Laureles just across the main road from Los Lagos.

Quick Facts:

  • Price: $8 - $15
  • Nine pools
  • Pool temperatures range from 99ºF – 106ºF
  • One waterslide
  • Artificial waterfalls
  • Food and drink are allowed inside
  • No lockers or towel rentals
  • Stand-alone hot spring (no onsite hotel)
  • Open 10:00 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.

Termalitas del Arenal Hot Springs

Termalitas del Arenal Hot Springs (Photo Couresty of Termalitas del Arenal Hot Springs)

You can classify the Termalitas del Arenal Hot Springs as a lower-quality version of Los Laureles. In many ways, both thermal pool facilities are similar in that they provide a place to simply swim, relax, and picnic. However, you’ll find less quality at Termalitas del Arenal. So although it’s one of the cheapest thermal pools in the area, we recommend Los Laureles above this property for those budget-conscious travelers.

However, Termalitas del Arenal Hot Springs does feature a dense forest of tall palm trees. So although the pools are artificial, the surrounding woodlands create a natural vibe. The property also has a waterslide, so kids can enjoy a bit of a thrill here.

How to visit: You can simply enjoy a day at the hot springs with an entrance fee. 

How to get there: From La Fortuna, head northwest on Route 142 for a little under 3 miles (4.6 km).

Quick Facts:

  • Price: $6 - $15
  • Nine hot springs
  • One cold pool
  • Water massage chairs
  • Two waterslides
  • Covered picnic areas with barbecue grills
  • Outside food and drink allowed (no restaurant)
  • Soda bar and ice-cream shop
  • Open 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Rio Chollin (Rio Tabacon) Hot Springs

Near the popular and luxurious Tabacon Hot Springs is an area of natural thermal pools free to enter. Known as Rio Chollin, Rio Tabacon, and Tabaconcito (mini Tabacon), this hot spring facility offers a very different experience from the other pools on this list. You won’t find any services here, nor is the river maintained and cleaned. Instead, you get something completely natural, created by the river, rocks, and those who use the pools. 

This is a natural hot spring, so there aren’t any amenities like changing rooms, restaurants, trash cans, or even stairs. It’s truly an adventure, so be prepared to navigate slippery rocks and pack up after you’ve finished. Water shoes can come in handy for these hot springs. 

Rio Chollin might be the right choice for you if you’re a budget traveler or prefer a bit of flexibility in your schedule (no pre-booking possible or required). However, it’s not ideal for mobility issues, young kids, or large groups.

How to visit: After parking your car along the road just after the Tabacon Hot Springs entrance, embrace a typical Costa Rican cultural custom and pay the local “parking attendant” on duty. (In exchange, they’ll watch over your vehicle while you soak.) Then, you’ll find a short path on the north side of the road. After walking down to the river, keep an eye out for the large rocks and bubbling thermal waters that create pockets of warmth.

How to get there: From La Fortuna, head northwest on Route 142 past La Palma and toward the coast. The journey takes about 15 miles and 7.5 miles (12.1 km). 

Additional Considerations

When should you visit?

You can enjoy Arenal/La Fortuna’s hot springs any time of day, but the experience might be even better if you’re strategic about when you plan your visit. Many opt to enjoy the hot springs in the evening after the sun goes down and the weather cools. An evening soak means relaxing after a full day of activities and, depending on the hot springs you visit, you can enjoy dinner right onsite, too. 

Alternatively, if you’re looking to escape the crowds, consider heading to the hot springs first thing in the morning. The area’s thermal pools tend to get busier in the afternoon and evening when travelers are done with their morning tours and ready to wind down. 

Should you stay at an on-site hotel?

Most of the hot spring facilities on the list offer day passes or onsite hotels with thermal pool access built into the price. Either option has its perks, so think about what makes the most sense for you. Staying the night at one of the hotels means you can access the pools on your own time, and the springs typically also have special hours when only hotel guests are allowed. 

Staying onsite might also be a great option for you if you’re traveling with children since your hotel room will be just around the corner and easily accessible when the little ones are done playing or need a break. Many of our recommended family-friendly hotels in La Fortuna include hot springs on the properties. 

If you prefer to stay off-site and visit the hot springs on a day trip, you can easily do so with your rental car. There are plenty of boutique hotels in Arenal/La Fortuna close to the hot springs, as all of our recommended pools sit off the main Route 142. But if you don’t have a car, there are plenty of options for transportation that can take you to and from whichever hot spring(s) you want to visit. 

Map

Map of How to Choose the Best Hot Springs in Arenal / La Fortuna
Map of How to Choose the Best Hot Springs in Arenal / La Fortuna