Volcanoes are everywhere in Costa Rica; in fact, there are 116 of them, dominating the countryside and offering an idyllic setting for all kinds of sports and wellness activities. Though the volcanoes appear inactive, their internal warmth lends to the area's hot springs, creating open-air and natural spa-like spaces.
Some of them are free to the public, while others have become the star feature of the area's resorts. Each spring has a unique ambiance. Whether you prefer untamed nature, something more upscale, or something with a romantic vibe, you can choose the ideal one to relax in after a hike.
The area around Arenal volcano has a particularly well-developed selection of options. The Aguas Termales del Bosque, for example, offer several bathing pools in a lush, natural setting, while the Tabacon springs are known for their superb amenities. After exploring Rincon de la Vieja National Park, nothing beats unwinding in the heated pools of the Guachipelin hacienda, which also offers a range of treatments. Prices vary depending on the services.
For a family-friendly experience, head to the Orosi valley and visit the Balnéario thermal baths. You can purchase an entrance pass and enjoy the pools, whose temperatures range between 66.2°F and 91.4° F. The facility also includes play areas and picnic tables. Just an hour's drive from the capital, it's the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Acosta hot springs are also a great alternative, located just under 25 miles from San José. This establishment, situated in Cangrejal, in the canton of Acosta, offers a more intimate, natural setting for this experience (note that an entry fee applies).