Costa Rica boasts some of the most amazing thermal springs in the world, approximately 150 in all. Every year, some 2 million people travel to Costa Rica just to enjoy the thermal springs, which are heated from volcanoes. Located in the northern part of the country, the cluster of springs provides visitors with a soothing, relaxing, and healthy getaway.
La Fortuna, a small city in the highlands, is an outstanding place to begin the journey. This city is actually at the base of Arenal, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. There, you can enjoy the thermal springs while seeing the sky light up at night. From within the core of the volcano, a river makes its way downhill, where it heats the magnificent mineral-rich thermal springs.
For an amazing experience, you should consider visiting the Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort. Situated on 872 acres of lush tropical gardens and cascading waterfalls, the natural-flowing thermal springs are therapeutic and healing. This site also features the Grand Spa with open-air bungalows for privacy while listening to the sounds of the rainforest.
If you do not plan to stay at this 5-star resort, you can walk across the street to the yellow gate. After passing through, you head down the hill to a free thermal spring. You can even park nearby for just a few dollars.
Located a little further to the north and west, the Rincon de la Vieja National Park is surrounded by a magical rainforest and the Rincon de la Vieja volcano. This volcano is one of six peaks that are currently active in Costa Rica. If preferred, you can stay at Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin, which includes free admission to 10 or 12 thermal springs, all close by. However, if you are not a guest of the hotel, the springs can be enjoyed for a nominal fee.
If you love the outdoors and exploration, consider visiting the Juan Castro Blanco National Park. Stretched over 3,500 acres, this park features three volcanoes that heat various thermal springs throughout the park. A guided tour is available. Although there are no hotels or resorts in this park, you are given the opportunity to see an unspoiled rainforest, cloud forest, array of wildlife, and beautiful flora and fauna.
Reaching Costa Rica
To reach beautiful Costa Rica, you can take one of the daily nonstop flights offered by JetBlue out of JFK airport heading to the Liberia International Airport. This is the closest airport to Rincon de la Vieja National Park. For La Fortuna, the closest airport is between San Jose and Liberia.
Although there are no nonstop flights to the Juan Santamaria International Airport from the JFK airport, this is the closest airport to the Juan Castro Blanco National Park. From the Newark airport, United offers daily nonstop flights to the Juan Santamaria International Airport.
Getting Around Costa Rica
From Liberia and Juan Santamaria airports, ground transportation is easy to find. You can contact Rezdy, which coordinates a schedule of transfers provided by different companies coming out of both of these airports. The companies offer various options for ground transportation, including group and private shuttles. The featured destinations include Rincon de la Vieja, La Fortuna, and Quesada.
Tours of the Juan Castro Blanco National Park are available through Anywhere Costa Rica. You can take a shuttle to the national park to and from the magnificent Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort for a reasonable rate.
Visiting La Fortuna and Rincon de la Vieja
While in La Fortune, you have the opportunity to enjoy many different things. The Kalambu Hot Springs Water Park is a recreation center that caters to families. There, you will discover a huge swimming pool filled with thermal water.
When in La Fortuna, you definitely want to sample some of the local cuisine. The amazing Nene’s Restaurant specializes in steaks, fresh seafood, and ceviche. Although you can stay at any number of resorts, the Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort ranks at the top of the list.
If you plan to visit Rincon de la Vieja, Sensoria offers a three- or four-hour guided tour. The tour will take you straight to the heart of the Rincon de la Vieja National Park. For accommodations, the Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin is truly the best place; it has affordably priced standard rooms and suites.