Visit the Arenal Hot Springs: Included in Caravan’s Natural Paradise Tour

Situated in Costa Rica’s lush, tropical rainforest, the Arenal Hot Springs is a natural wonder that attracts millions of tourists every year. These geothermal pools, heated by the Arenal Volcano, are the ideal place to kick back, relax, and unwind after an exhausting week.

While undoubtedly beautiful, these hot springs are just one of the many must-see and must-do activities in Costa Rica. At Caravan, we offer a Costa Rica Natural Paradise tour that takes you to the hot springs and much more, including the pristine beauty of Playa Tambor and the wildlife-packed Tarcoles River.

The Arenal Hot Springs: A Closer Look

The Arenal Hot Springs owe their existence to the Arenal Volcano, a stratovolcano that has been active for thousands of years. Their toasty temperature is naturally provided by the geothermal activity beneath the volcano, which heats the groundwater. The water rises to the surface, creating the hot springs.

The hot springs by the Arenal Volcano have been used for decades, first by the indigenous peoples of Costa Rica, who revered them as a sacred gift from the earth, and now by countless tourists who flock there every year.

The modern era of the Arenal Volcano Hot Springs dates back to the mid-20th century, shortly after the significant eruption of the Arenal Volcano in 1968. The eruption garnered global attention, launching the region into the spotlight. Soon after, the hot springs’ potential as a tourist attraction was realized, and resorts and spas swooped in to develop around them.

Today, Arenal Hot Springs is a world-renowned destination that attracts millions of travelers from around the globe every year.

Why Visit the Arenal Hot Springs?

The Arenal Hot Springs, like many other hot springs throughout the world, is a top destination for a variety of reasons. Whether you visit for the therapeutic benefits of mineral-rich water or simply to relax and unwind, there are plenty of convincing reasons why you should visit the hot springs.

Therapeutic Benefits

Hot springs have long been favored for their health-promoting perks. The mineral-rich waters are thought to offer various health benefits, including:

  • Pain relief: Ever been told to apply a warm compress to achy muscles or take a toasty bath with Epsom salts after a particularly challenging workout? Hot springs can offer a similar effect, offering pain relief and soothing sore muscles by improving circulation, relaxing the muscles and joints, and reducing inflammation.
  • Stress relief: Hot springs can help relieve stress. The warmer, soothing temperatures can decrease stress hormones and balance serotonin levels, aiding in mood regulation. A few minutes in the hot springs can promote relaxation, helping you put stress on the back burner and unwind.
  • Improved circulation: In addition to relieving pain, the warm waters of hot springs can improve circulation, as they cause your blood vessels to dilate. The widening of the vessels drops blood pressure, boosting circulation.
  • Skin health: The minerals in the water, including sulfur and magnesium, can promote skin health, encouraging healthy, more radiant-looking skin.

Relax and Unwind

As the therapeutic benefits imply, hot springs are an excellent place to relax and unwind. They can help soothe sore muscles, relieve stress, and help you relax as a whole. So, if you’re in dire need of a bit of relaxation after a tiring week (or an exhausting month or year), the hot springs are the perfect addition to your travel itinerary.

Plus, many of the hot spring resorts in the Arenal region offer comprehensive wellness programs, including spa treatments, yoga classes, and meditation sessions. They’re the perfect complementary addition to your soak in the hot springs, helping you relax and unwind after a trying week at work.

We appreciate a deep tissue massage, especially after a hike that induced sore muscles or a long plane ride in the same seated position. While the massage on its own is lovely, it’s even better paired with a relaxing soak in the hot springs.

Variety of Options

There are more than one or two hot springs, so you can choose whatever works best for your needs. A few of the most popular options include:

  • Tabacon Hot Springs: This option is favored for its luxurious setting and meticulously landscaped gardens. It features multiple thermal pools and waterfalls with varying temperatures.
  • Baldi Hot Springs: Featuring over 25 thermal pools, Baldi is one of the biggest hot spring complexes in the Arenal region. In addition to its many thermal pools, it offers various amenities, including water slides, swim-up bars, and a spa (it’s a great place for a relaxing experience).
  • Eco Termales: If you prefer something more intimate and tranquil, Eco Termales is an excellent choice. It’s more secluded than other options, located in a more natural setting, and doesn’t draw as many people, so it’s the perfect place for a peaceful stay.
  • The Springs Resort and Spa: If upscale experiences are your thing, this high-end resort is a worthwhile consideration. It has a handful of hot spring pools, a few of which offer breathtaking views of the Arenal Volcano. It even has a full-service spa and several dining options to complete the experience!

Caravan’s Natural Paradise Tour Itinerary: An Overview

At Caravan, we offer an 8-day Costa Rica Natural Paradise tour that takes travelers to the country’s natural wonders. The tour is packed with natural beauty, from sights of exotic birds to soothing soaks in hot springs and hikes in a dense jungle rainforest. It’s the ideal vacation for nature lovers and those looking to relax alike.

Day One: San Jose

The first day of your adventure starts in San Jose, Costa Rica. You’ll arrive at the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose, transferring to your hotel via the official airport taxi service. You can check into your hotel room any time after 4:00 p.m. Enjoy dinner at the hotel before 9:30 p.m. Once you’re settled in, join us at 8:00 p.m. for a welcome briefing.

Day Two: Sarchi and Coffee Plantation

On the second day, your adventure truly begins, starting with a brief sightseeing drive through San Jose. You’ll see intriguing sights in the area, including the Plaza de La Cultura, Central Park, and the National Theater, before continuing on through Costa Rica’s Central Valley.

We’ll stop at Sarchi, an artisan village situated on the slopes of the Central Mountain Range. You’ll have plenty of time to shop the village, browsing through colorful, traditional Costa Rican handicrafts. Next, we’ll visit an oxcart factory, where they hand-paint oxcarts with stunning designs.

In the afternoon, we’ll embark on a guided tour of a coffee plantation, where we’ll learn about the coffee growing and production process and sample locally-grown coffee. Before returning to the hotel for dinner, we’ll visit a butterfly garden.

Day Three: Sloth Park and Volcanic Hot Springs

On the third day, you’ll get to soak in the soothing warmth of the Arenal Hot Springs. Before that, though, we’ll stop at the charming town of Zarcero, visiting Iglesia San Rafael and exploring the sculpted topiary gardens.

We’ll continue northwest, heading through the San Carlos Valley, where sugar cane and pineapple plantations are in great abundance. We’ll stop at Sloth Park, where you’ll get to witness these slow-moving, gentle mammals going about their daily business.

After lunch, we’ll continue to the Arenal Volcano, stopping at an overlook for pictures before continuing to the Arenal Hot Springs. Enjoy a nice, soothing soak in the Arenal Hot Springs, reveling in all the area has to offer.

Day Four: Hanging Bridges, Guanacaste, and the Nicoya Peninsula

Day four is just as action-packed as the rest, starting with a morning visit to the Hanging Bridges Park. We’ll take a hike through the rainforest with a naturalist guide, traversing the intriguing suspension bridges that give the park its name.

If the weather allows, we’ll enjoy incredible views of the majestic Arenal Volcano while taking a scenic drive around Lake Arenal. Our journey will continue, taking us through the cloud forest region before entering the Guanacaste province, home to dry tropical forests, cattle ranches, and sprawling watermelon plantations.

In the afternoon, we’ll visit a Hummingbird Garden, home to dozens of tiny, flitting birds, and watch a demonstration of Guatil pottery making. As the afternoon comes to a close, we’ll continue to Costa Rica’s picturesque Nicoya Peninsula, arriving at the beach resort in time for dinner.

Day Five: Scarlet Macaws and Wildlife Hike

On day five, we’ll make our way to a scarlet macaw sanctuary, a wildlife rescue center dedicated to protecting this endangered species. After spending time at the sanctuary, we’ll embark on a wildlife hike through the lush jungle. Watch for exotic fauna, including sloths, howler monkeys, mapaches, spider monkeys, colorful tropical birds, and iguanas.

After lunch, you’ll have the afternoon to yourself. Spend it as you wish, whether you want to partake in the resort’s many activities, savor its amenities, or meander down to the beach for sunbathing.

Day Six: Playa Tambor

Day six is entirely at your leisure. You’ll have plenty of time to explore the pristine beauty of the Nicoya Peninsula, one of five Blue Zones in the world. Spend your day on Playa Tambor, enjoying the gently sloping, four-mile beach. It’s a nesting site for endangered sea turtles, and if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of them as they go about their business.

Day Seven: Gulf of Nicoya and Tarcoles Cruise

The seventh and final full day of the tour brings us to the Gulf of Nicoya, where we’ll take a ferry back to the mainland. Oftentimes, we’ll catch a glimpse of playful dolphins, who enjoy swimming alongside the ferry as it makes its way across the water.

After lunch, we’ll take a cruise on the Tarcoles River, floating through a mangrove forest home to much wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for whistling ducks, blue herons, snowy egrets, cormorants, and more! In the water, you might even spot water-walking lizards, giant crocodiles, and black turtles.

Once the cruise wraps up, we’ll make our way back to San Jose for our farewell dinner to end the tour.

Day Eight: San Jose

Day eight is a travel day, closing your Natural Paradise tour with a flight to your home country or next destination. Breakfast at the hotel is available after 6:30 a.m., and transfers to the Juan Santamaria International Airport are available through Caravan.

Book an Adventure Today!

Does the prospect of not planning a vacation sound lovely to you? We hear you—planning a vacation, especially one to a foreign country, is a lot of work. With our guided tours, we do the hard part for you, curating entertaining itineraries filled with fun activities, stunning sights, delicious food, and comfortable lodgings.

So, if you’re ready to enjoy the convenience of a pre-planned vacation to the wonders of Costa Rica, our Natural Paradise tour is the perfect option. Book a trip today by calling 1-800-CARAVAN or 1-312-321-9800.