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Hot Springs - La Fortuna/Arenal Area

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West Melbourne...
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Hot Springs - La Fortuna/Arenal Area

My husband and I are going for a 11 day/10 night trip to Costa Rica in September. We will be staying at Volcano Lodge & Springs (La Fortuna/Arenal) for 4 nights, Hotel Costa Verde (Quepos/Manual Antonio) for 4 nights, and La Condesa Hotel & Villas (Central Valley) for 2 nights. I've done a lot of research and it seems like we are going to be absolutely spoilt for choice of attractions/activities in the Arenal area and of course there a ton of choices for hot springs as well so I wanted opinions on the hot springs in the area. I researched Tabacon, Paradise, Baldi, and Ecotermales. Tabacon was the one I had heard the most about and seemed the nicest, but Paradise is very highly reviewed as well. Baldi & Ecotermales did not appeal to me as much when I read that they have pool slides/lots of kids/etc. Of course, Tabacon is quite a bit more expensive than Paradise, so that's the main thing I am curious about is if it is "worth it" to go to Tabacon. I believe the cheapest option at Tabacon is $70 per person, with $95 for a full day pass. The best option in my opinion was the spa package that gave you a $140 spa credit at $185 per person. However, Paradise is only $23 per person so that's a huge difference! My husband kind of feels like it might be a "waste" of a day to do the hot springs instead of some of the other activities in the area but I do enjoy the spa experience. I would also consider just doing a night time visit to the springs but am wondering if you miss out on most of the views that way? We enjoy nature walks and the botanical gardens and butterfly gardens that some of the hot springs have really appeal to me. Would love any opinions on Tabacon vs. Paradise, plus any other recommendations that I didn't already research. Thanks in advance!

La Fortuna de San...
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1. Re: Hot Springs - La Fortuna/Arenal Area

If it works in your budget, go to Tabacon. It IS worth the splurge and the best springs in the area, in my opinion. Very romantic. You don't really need the all-day pass though ---- spend your day doing some hiking or activities, and then do the buffet dinner + hot springs pass in the evening to relax. You could also do the volcano hike + Tabacon hot springs combo tour as well. Tabacon limits the number of passes they give out each day, so other springs like Paradise and Baldi are going to be super crowded and in all honesty are not as nice. Spoil yourself and go for it, it is worth it!

Frederick, Maryland
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100 posts
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2. Re: Hot Springs - La Fortuna/Arenal Area

I've been to Tabacon and it is huge and a really nice experience. I think just the night pass with dinner is fine (if you want to grab dinner in town, you can skip this as well, since that adds to the expense and nothing special). Also remember that Costa rica is pretty warm in the summer so you will not feel like sitting in hot water during the day anyways. Nights are cooler.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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3. Re: Hot Springs - La Fortuna/Arenal Area

Sorry as far as I know and I was there 2 days ago...no slides at Ecotermales...maybe the most friendly springs in the area...only 100 people allowed every 4 hours...the food the best... ice typical menu...

Agree maybe the worst Baldi such a cheese place....some EXBEACHERS there that are not very nice people ...well they are not there all the time..

roadadvisor

Kingman, Arizona
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4. Re: Hot Springs - La Fortuna/Arenal Area

Tabacon is awesome ... I've been to Baldi as well and Tabacon wins hands down

I've never been to Paradise so I can't give you any feedback on that one.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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5. Re: Hot Springs - La Fortuna/Arenal Area

ECOTERMALES incredible nice people..they even run a courtesy tab for your drinks…meaning that at the end you tell them how many drinks you had…TABACON very nice…but they will charge you big bucks for anything…

Sounds like song name but yes I have been at PARADISE…I was not to impress…

roadadvisor

Kingman, Arizona
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6. Re: Hot Springs - La Fortuna/Arenal Area

Once you get to your hotel, ask them if they have any discount coupons for any of the activities in the area.

There is a good chance they might! Not everyone in Costa Rica is looking for a commission.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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7. Re: Hot Springs - La Fortuna/Arenal Area

Yep the best contact the Hot Springs directly…they may have a deal for you…now days a wide number of Hot Springs…almost for any body budget and taste…

roadadvisor

West Melbourne...
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92 posts
76 reviews
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8. Re: Hot Springs - La Fortuna/Arenal Area

Thanks for all the great advice and recommendations, everyone!!

Brooklyn
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9. Re: Hot Springs - La Fortuna/Arenal Area

The Springs resort is also a nice option and I think it is $50 for a two day pass.

West Melbourne...
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92 posts
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10. Re: Hot Springs - La Fortuna/Arenal Area

I'm thinking of splurging with the Tabacon day pass with the $140 spa credit. The open air massage bungalows just look so beautiful! And I love that they have the cool pool too because that's one thing I haven't liked about other hot springs I've been too is that there was really nowhere to cool off. Now I just have to talk the hubby into it :)

Are the lockers big enough to leave a large camera? I'd like to take some good pictures of the gardens and I've read that sunset pictures are really good as well. I also read about the high fees if you loose a towel. Can you bring your own towels instead?