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“Blue River Resort is a Natural Playground near Rincon!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Blue River Resort & Hot Springs

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Blue River Resort & Hot Springs
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   600 metros Oeste del puente del Rio Azul, Rincon de La Vieja, Costa Rica   |  
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San Jose, Costa Rica
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Blue River Resort is a Natural Playground near Rincon!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2012

I had been up to Rincon de la Vieja before, and have stayed at Borinquen and Hacienda Guachipelin - but had never been to this side of the volcano. I was really impressed by the area, the peacefulness of these rural communities found below the mountain. The friendliness of the people, the amazing scenery and the clean, comfortable accommodations made this an ideal place to stay.

I stayed for three nights and would recommend that you go for at least two if you are planning to visit this beautiful area. There is so much to see and do here! I went on a horseback ride to the waterfall, a hike to the Penjamo river, tubing down the Blue River, and even hiked to the crater of Rincon de la Vieja. After a day of adventure, there was nothing better than a relaxing dip in the hot springs of the resort. This is a great destination for families as kids seemed to love the water slide and the variety of thermal pools found here. Blue River resort was truly a natural playground and I hope to visit again some day!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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604 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Crystal Lake, Illinois, United States
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2012

I just returned from a family vacation to Costa Rica booked by B&C.
I sold our boat and called B&C and said, "the kids are getting older and I want to take one more awesome vacation before they are off to college. Please put something together for me."

The five of us left on a Saturday morning and arrived Saturday night at the Blue River Resort. B&C arranged the transport from the airport. This is one spectacular place. We loved it. It is at the base of a volcano, has five hotspring pools, cool butterfly garden and is in the heart of Costa Rica country. We went Zip Lining as a family. Two of my kids joined me on a 7 hour round trip hike up Rincon de la Vieja volcano which was a vicious climb but the payoff was awesome at the top. The trek down led us to a waterfall and a natural pool... just what you'd picture paradise to be. Over half of the hike was through the rainforest which was amazing.

We saw a toucan and monkeys. They also had a really nice spa and restaurant where we ate all of our meals. The people at the resort were over the top helpful. This was real Costa Rica. We saw all the housing, the farms, the schools, everything. We loved it. There are only 20 rooms and at times we seemed to have the entire resort to ourselves.

On Tuesday we were transported (again set up by B&C) to the Flamingo Beach resort. About a 2-1/2 hour trip. Flamingo is a top notch beach resort. Very classy, awesome pool right next to the ocean. So you can hit the surf or the pool and we did alot of both. Personally I spent alot of time bellied up to the swim up bar as well. We got the all-inclusive and I would highly recommend it. The people who didn't were spending alot of money. I just kept ordering!
There is a really good restaurant there and since we got all-inclusive we ate all of our meals there and were real happy. There are other restaurants around but we didn't bother. We also took a day and took a 15 minute cab ride to a little surf town called Tamarindo. That's where you can find a ton of shops for souveniers.

We went over spring break, last week of March. It was 98 degrees every day and got down to 50 at night. It was not humid. And I was shocked that we never really came across bugs. Not even in the rainforest. The heat didn't bother us at all, we loved it and plenty of water to cool off in.

At Flamingo we had one hiccup with the billing and we called Charles at B&C and he took care of the whole thing. It was really great having them to work with and they took care of everything from start to finish. We booked our own flights and shopped it hard.

There are only two things I would have changed on this trip. 1) We took 3 flights there and 3 home to save money. In retrospect I would have spent a little extra and done two flights each way. I didn't mind it so much but the family was pretty spent. (2) We would have stayed one more day at Blue River and one less day at Flamingo. Simply because Blue River was amazing and the real Costa Rica experience.

I would and am recommending B&C book a trip for you and for all of my friends, family, etc. You will not be disappointed - especially if you just duplicate the trip we made.

Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
washington dc
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012

Beautiful drive in and the grounds arevreally enjoyable. Loved the mud baths, the room was nice, the kids had a great time in the many pools. Hummingbird area was nice. This place IS in the middle of nowhere, but that's cool. Our waiter at lunch seemed a little insane, but our waiter at breakfast the next morning was fine.

We asked for towels three times before getting them (for a family of 5 they provided 3 towels) and when the shower fixture broke off when we went to turn it on, it took a looong time for someone to come repair it. As opposed to the rest of costa rica, the staff here seemed put upon when we asked for anything. Could just be that they were working good friday and Easter weekend though.

When we checked out, they tried to disavow the price quoted to us and confirmed by email (and confirmed during check in) because that employee didn't work there anymore (!!!). We stood our ground, though, and the lady eventually gave in.

Got lost on the long drive back to a main road due to lack of signage, and of course we didn't rent a GPS (our own fault) but we made it out eventually!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2012

My family and I arrived at Blue River Resort after driving through a scenic but rough road. When we first got there, I noticed the entrance was odd and consisted of a wooden fence tied together with a rope. The check-in room was just a small, cramped shack with a small laptop. But the man checking us in was friendly and quick so we were able to check into our room fairly quick. Our room was spacious and clean. My kids loved the Hammock and walk in shower. I thank god that there was a AC since we're from Upper New York and were not exactly used to the intense heat in Costa Rica. After unpacking we went to the Gardens, which my wife loved, and the butterfly garden. Both were very enjoyable. We also went to the pond. While my wife went to the Spa (she told me it was awesome) my kids and I went to the hot springs and pools. We loved all of them. They were very relaxing and enjoyable. My kids loved being able to go on the slide without waiting. The only problem was that some of the pools were unbearably hot and some had dead bugs and leaves floating on the water. After countless hours in the pool, we went to have some dinner. All of us loved it and through out the trip, the food was very fresh and tasty. The wait can get long during dinner, since I think they only have one waiter, so I recommend going to dinner early. We swam in the Blue River, which was very fun and took a zip-lining tour, which was amazing. Overall,the trip was very enjoyable and we would love to come back again. When we got back home in New York, there was two feet of snow on the ground and we Instantly missed Costa Rica.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlottetown, Canada
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2012

My wife, 8-year old son, and I stayed here from March 25-28. We drove in a small car which is do-able during dry season but very slow for the last 20 km as the road is very rough. While not absolutely necessary, I think I'd recommend a 4x4 just for the added comfort. I wouldn't want to attempt it in a small car if the roads were wet as traction could be an issue.

Anyway, once at the resort, we found our cabin to be beautiful and it had the best AC unit I've ever seen - an efficient and very quiet, high-tech unit - plus there was a good ceiling fan to help move the air around. Wifi was not available in our cabin (203) so we had to walk out in front of cabins 101/102 to access it, or go to the restaurant. We thought the food in the restaurant was good and reasonably priced. We weren't sure what to expect given some of the reviews, but we found it to be better than adequate and we never left hungry.

The grounds were beautiful and we found the hot springs quite comfortable. We loved listening to the nearby howler monkeys, which once scared the b'jesus out of us while we were walking out from our mud bath at the natural spa (note that you get the mud from the spa/gym reception desk before heading into the woods). Our son had the time of his life with his unlimited access to the waterslide with no line-ups.

I especially enjoyed the hot springs after completing the hike to the top of Volcan Rincon de la Vieja! My wife and son stayed at the resort for this, which was a good decision for them as the climb was fairly demanding. I think it was about 7 km up plus 7 km back down, according to our guide, Ronald. I was surprised that he hiked it wearing rubber boots! I wore a pair of running shoes with good traction and my feet were comfortable. There were 7 of us plus Ronald and Echo the dog who accompanied us. The first hour is through the rainforest and then it gets more open and exposed and eventually you climb above the vegetation for the final push to the crater lake at the top. The last section is the toughest but I was able to do it safely even though it was my first time ever doing such a thing. There is some danger involved, though, so keep that in mind. Coming back down we stopped for a dip in a natural cool pool and then saw a beautiful waterfall. The pace was rather brisk and we completed the round trip in about 6 hours. Seeing the views from the top, including Lake Nicaragua, was spectacular. I think all of us who made the hike felt a real sense of accomplishment and connection [Hi from Darin to Irka, Caroline (and your Chuck Taylors), Jeff, Kevin, Katie & Anthony if you are reading this]. I had such a great time, I can't even complain about having to ride back to the resort in the bed of a pickup truck! One other comment is that they recommend wearing long pants or wearing bug spray if you just have shorts - I chose the latter and it was perfectly fine.

Thanks Blue River!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blue River R, Owner at Blue River Resort & Hot Springs, responded to this review, April 6, 2012
Thank so much for this and to all those who have posted their feedback. We are very proud to boast receiving a prestigious award called the Travelers' Choice Award for being among the top 25 hotels for families in Central America!!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2012

After a bumpy drive out (I guess the locals call this the "Tico Massage") we checked into Villa #103 and the room was a such a pleasant surprise--clean, spacious, with a robust ceiling fan and AC unit that kept us cool, wonderful hammock, and a large flat screen TV to wind down to at night. We overheard the owner talk about expanding this resort over time, and there is definitely a lot of potential here. So far, the grounds are pretty. The hummingbird area was very cool, almost meditative. Like another reviewer said, the volcanic mud bath needs instructions (i.e. no need to dig the mud out of the stream as my husband attempted to do...you pick it up in the Spa.) We hiked to the water fall which was great. We didn't have enough time, but heard the hike to the volcano crater was intense, and not for the faint of heart. Surprisingly, we didn't see anyone else swimming in the Blue River itself, which is just a short walk from the resort entrance. We hiked down to it, swam and waded thru the rapids--magical!! We stayed only two days and nights, so the restaurant didn't get old, but I can see how it would if you stayed longer. Another reviewer mentioned the odd, and seemingly only waiter. He gave us the same line about Spanglish...before we even opened our mouths to order. We didn't care much for him. Service is very slow even though it was never busy, but I think that's just the pace of things, so we adjusted our expectations. My kids liked the food choices, especially desserts, and my husband said the steak was excellent. I caved into my craving for "American" pasta after a week of Costa Rican food and it hit the spot. The Caprese salad was a nice touch and I ate it both days. The red wine was also surprisingly good. This is a VERY quiet and languid place. I wish there was a little more "energy" to it. I agree with other reviewers that if you are an "on the go" traveler, you'll need to plan excursions. If you just like to chill out, or want to add a couple very relaxing days to the end of your visit, this is the place. We do have one cautionary tale to tell.....the signage out to the resort from Liberia is excellent. We didn't have a map and the signs led us right there (do be prepared for a long piece of bumpy roads). However, the way back to Liberia was a different story. We had to leave at 4:30am to catch an 8am flight. Plenty of time, or so we thought. The security guard stopped us at the gate. He spoke no English and it was difficult to explain to him that we needed to check out. He woke up one of the front desk employees who had to come out, boot up her computer and go through our itemized bill. We wrongly assumed that like other hotels, they apply charges to your card and close you out. Not here. It took us 30 minutes just to leave the property. (Check-out the night before. The front desk closes at 8pm. We had a late dinner and didn't do that.) This was all OK, because we allowed for extra time. Until, however, we got lost. There are NO signs leading you back out to Liberia. We tried to follow the directional signs backward, but that's a lot tougher than you'd think. We still don't know which turn we missed, but we ended up back on the Pan American Highway, about 5 miles south of the Nicaraguan border. We missed our 8 am flight and were lucky to get 4 seats on the afternoon flight. In hindsight, this is kinda funny. But, at the time, not so much. If you're driving yourself, be smarter than us, and have a good map.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago illinois
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2012 via mobile

Went with my family including two kids, 11&17. I enjoyed the cooler climate up here and all the beautiful flowers and scenery. Had an excellent massage as well. Food was pretty good, very fresh and good quality. The churrasco and the sea bass were excellent. The staff is very nice and works hard to please. Fruit smoothies were also very refreshing. Not all of the staff are fluent in English so some basic Spanish is helpful. Cabins are comfy, plenty of towels, cable tv, and hammocks on the front porches. Nice showers and big bathrooms. Kids enjoyed the pools, butterfly exhibit, ziplining adventure, and waterfall tour. All in all, a great place for a vacation! We loved it. You can arrange for them to pick you up at the airport or another resort which we did, and it worked out fine.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blue River Resort & Hot Springs

Address: 600 metros Oeste del puente del Rio Azul, Rincon de La Vieja, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Rincon de La Vieja
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Rincon de La Vieja
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Blue River Resort & Hot Springs 3.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Blue River Resort and Hot Springs is an authentic Costa Rica experience in the rainforests of Rincon de la Vieja. Our jewel is the spectacular natural mineral "green" hot spring pools – but that’s just the beginning. There is a large fresh water pool & bullet slide, the spa, botanical gardens, butterfly farm, iguana and frog pond and much more. Set out on several authentic eco Costa Rica adventure tours, all nearby. Eco-tours include visits to gorgeous blue volcanic rivers and waterfalls by horseback, nature walks, volcano hike, zip-lining across waterfalls and much more. The breadth of eco-nature tours will amaze you. Blue River Resort & Hot Springs offers luxury accommodation in new, spacious 720 square foot cabanas. Book your dream Costa Rica vacation! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blue River Resort & Hot Springs Hotel Rincon De La Vieja
Blue River Resort And Hot Springs
Blue River Resort & Hot Springs Costa Rica/Rincon De La Vieja

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