In a country with six active volcanoes and hundreds of dormant ones, it is no surprise that hot springs abound. Tabacon Hot Springs is one of the nicer hot springs resorts in Costa Rica and definitely worth a visit if you plan to be in the area around Arenal Volcano.
Benefits of hot springs
Medical hydrology is the study of the therapeutic use of bathing, water, and hot springs. Mineral hot springs have been identified to have many benefits to health, including:
- Strengthening the body’s natural defenses
- Oxygenating the muscular system
- Stimulating the circulatory system and eliminating toxins
- Treating and alleviating many chronic issues such as rheumatism, degenerative joint pain, skin conditions, vertebral osteoarthritis (back and neck pain), sciatic, crural, cervicobrachial, and other neuralgias
- Convalescence from infectious processes or other medical or surgical conditions
And it just feels amazing! Your skin feels smooth, your body feels relaxed, and your mind feels calm.
Why visit Tabacon Hot Springs?
Most of the hotels in the Arenal Volcano area tout hot springs among their list of amenities. So how to choose which hot springs to visit? Here’s a list of our favorite things about the Tabacon Hot Springs.
The solar panels that were installed in 2021 on the roofs of the hotel generate so much energy that the electricity is then redistributed throughout the local community. Tabacon has been leading the way environmentally through improved water management, zero-waste campaigns, elimination of single-use plastics, and reforestation efforts.
Tabacon’s landscape designers have endeavored to create a very natural environment so that you feel as if you are immersed in the national park that surrounds it. Some other hot springs resorts have concrete or artificial spaces that detract from the experience.
Focus on wellness
Tabacon has identified a niche clientele of people who come to Costa Rica for wellness tourism. Their spa treatments have substantially increased post-COVID as they serve a tourist looking to destress and relax.To ensure wellness for all, Tabacon has added new access ramps to the thermal resort for wheelchair access.
High-end, but not too fancy
As one of the largest and most expensive hot spring resorts, Tabacon is definitely high-end. However, it is still accessible for many national and international travelers.
Corporate responsibility efforts
Tabacon publishes a sustainability report articulating its commitment to sustainability through environmental management, cultural well-being (staff wellness), and local social investments. While these reports can sometimes be disingenuous, we applaud Tabacon’s efforts to hold itself accountable to sustainable development goals and its relationship with the local community.
Tabacon has been recognized by its industry as exceptional by winning some recent awards and recognitions including The Best Spas of Mexico, The Caribbean & Latin American (Spa & Wellness Mexicaribe), Top 25 Hotels in Costa Rica (#13), and Top 10 Luxury Hotels in Costa Rica (#9) (Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards Best of the Best 2022) and GreenLeaders Gold Level (Tripadvisor).
Where is Tabacon Hot Springs located?
Tabacon Hot Springs is located along the main road that wraps around the base of the Arenal Volcano in the north-central part of Costa Rica. It is a 15-minute drive from the nearby town of La Fortuna.
How to get to Tabacon Hot Springs?
Tabacon is accessible by vehicle from both of Costa Rica’s international airports. It is located roughly 130 kilometers (~81 miles) from both airports; however, heavy traffic conditions and mountain roads make the journey from the San Jose Airport (SJO) slightly longer (3 hours 10 minutes) than the journey from the Liberia Airport (LIR) (2 hours and 15 minutes).
The small, privately operated La Fortuna airstrip is a less common option, but it does offer the possibility of flying from San Jose to Arenal in just one hour.
What to do at Tabacon Hot Springs? What amenities are available?
When you arrive at the hot springs, you’ll be received with a non-alcoholic welcome beverage and access to the changing rooms. You will be given a locker key, and we suggest you go ahead and store most of your belongings there, as you will only need a towel for the rest of your time. Tabacon will provide you with a towel to use.
Once you have changed, you can access the 20 different natural pools and cascades. If your pass includes a meal, you will also have access to lunch or dinner at the Ave Restaurant. Bar service is available to all guests.
How are the Tabacon Hot Springs heated? How were they created?
The hot springs are naturally heated underground by the volcano through geothermal heat or heat from the earth’s interior. This means that the water from the hot springs has passed over the rocks that were heated by the volcano’s magma. Tabacon then routes this water through stone-lined pools and natural landscapes.
What to wear to Tabacon Hot Springs?
The most important article of clothing you will need is a swimsuit – the rest is optional! Tabacon is a very popular honeymoon spot so lots of the guests will be wearing their best celebratory resort wear. However, plenty of guests will be visiting the hot springs to decompress after long nature hikes and will be wearing more casual attire. You may feel more comfortable if you err on the finer side of clothing.
What dining/beverages are available at Tabacon Hot Springs?
Whether your day pass includes a pre-paid meal, all guests can access the Ave Restaurant and the Guardiente bar.
How late is Tabacon Hot Springs open?
The hot springs are open from 10 am to 10 pm each day. Most guests find that 4-5 hours is sufficient for a hot springs visit so if you are trying to figure out the best time to visit, here are a few things to take into consideration:
- 10 am – 2 pm: It is less likely to rain in this window of time; however, there is more sun exposure
- 2 pm – 6 pm: This tends to be the rainier part of the day, but at least the sun will be lower in the sky, so you won’t have to worry about sunscreen or coverage.
- 6 pm – 10 pm: The sun sets around 6 pm year round, so if you visit during this window, you’ll enjoy all of the magical lighting and maybe some stars!
Plan a Trip to Tabacon Hot Springs
Please use the contact form below to plan a trip to Costa Rica, including a visit to Tabacon Hot Springs!
John Rabenau has been working in the eco-tourism & adventure travel industry in Costa Rica since 2002. He has worked in a variety of capacities from Outdoor Educator & Principle Guide to Itinerary Design Manager & Business Owner for numerous organizations. He has grown Costa Rica Escapes into one of the most reputable Costa Rica travel agencies since its creation in 2006, hosting more than 5,000 people with custom vacation itineraries.