Thanks to its well-watered tropical rain forests and cozy volcanic heart, Costa Rica is awash in thermal streams. Many hot springs which pass through this particular lush, exotic surroundings have been left completely wild, protected with the nation's well known national park program. Some others happen to be fantastically developed, and serve every improbable whim.
The most popular springs cascade all the way down Arenal Volcano, a beautiful lava-streaked cone that is synonymous with Costa Rica. The most glamorous is famous Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, sculpted from three mineral-rich thermal rivers into Central America's most known spa, one of the region's true delights. The newer and already famous-it was featured on NBC's The Bachelor-The Springs Resort and Spa, nearby, also receives raves from discriminating vacationers for the wonderfully landscaped pools and uniquely decorated rooms.
Some other fine areas to saturate your cares away include festive Baldi Hot Springs Resort Hotel & Spa, offering excellent amenities, an enjoyable atmosphere, and a serious waterslide. Budget tourists visit affordable, family-owned Eco Termales, featuring several fine pools and traditional Costa Rican cuisine.
Take a look beyond Arenal, however, for healing hot springs much less traveled, bubbling up through Costa Rica's rich volcanic earth. Merely an hour or so north of the San José, for example, you'll discover a local favorite, delightful Termales del Bosque, with outrageous pools ensconced in butterfly-strewn forests, featuring family-friendly accommodations and activities on-site. Nearby Occidental El Tucano caters to extravagance enthusiasts, featuring its elegant Mediterranean-style pools and facilities. Or, just a couple moments south of the capital, is the misty coffee-growing town of Orosí with two affordable warm springs you could visit on an convenient mid-day outing.
Guanacaste, most commonly known for its epic Pacific shoreline, is home to scores more springs. Within an hour of the Liberia International Airport, you'll discover a few wild aguas termales (thermal waters) at Rincón de la Vieja National Park. Or head down the slopes of the gigantic volcano to find established springs, such as stylish Borinquen Mountain Resort and Spa, with natural steam rooms, and the newer Blue River Resort Hotel.
Miravalles Volcano, rising to twin peaks merely south of Liberia, offers Costa Rica's biggest selection of hot springs in Costa Rica, many of them simple, inexpensive-to-visit concrete pools that will appeal to local individuals, advertised with only hand-lettered signs. However consider three outstanding developed options: Yökö Termales, with awe-inspiring views and perhaps the hottest soaking pool in Costa Rica; wild and wonderful Termomanía, with a number of pools and very inexpensive amenities, great for families with limited funds; and Las Hornillas Volcanic Activity Center, well worth visiting for the raised walkway through an active crater.
But these are only a handful of Costa Rica's most easily accessible springs, there are many, many more. Through the deepest known thermal pool in Central America, a simple ojo caliente (hot eye) of dark water stretching some two kilometers beneath Cahuita National Park, on the Caribbean Coast; to the delightful springs perfect for an after-yoga soak at San Gerardo de Dota's Río Chirripo Retreat, the possibilities are almost endless.
Costa Rica has long been known as a healing destination, its natural resources offering much to sooth both the body and soul. The thermal springs welling up from these living mountains and luxuriant jungles are perhaps its most profound gift to visitors here to relax and rejuvenate in paradise.
The best place to plan your Costa Rica vacation is with Mead Brown, the boutique vacation rental firm. They offer professionally-managed homes, villas and condominiums, along with full concierge services. They can arrange your transportation, accommodations, spa, massage and Yoga services, as well as a private chef. Mead Brown can also arrange your
Costa Rica tours, adventures and activities.