Best Hotels With Hot Springs in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

La Fortuna in Northern Costa Rica is home to one of the country’s most active volcanoes, Arenal. And where there is volcanic activity, there are hot springs. There is a whole industry built around hot springs, eco-tourism, and outdoor excursions here, and many hotels feature on-site hot springs and thermal pools. Here are the best hotels with hot springs in the region, from a mellow yoga colony under the volcano to the country’s leading hot springs destination.

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Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

Tabacon was the first hot springs destination in the area, and is perhaps the only one with completely natural hot springs. Many other hot springs resorts in the area depend on pumps and heat or re-heat the water through mechanical means, but the 18 springs here flow into the pools by gravity, and temperatures naturally range from 25 to 50 degrees Celsius (77 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit). The higher pools are hotter because they're closer to the source, by the way. Sure, you have to wear a silly wristband that makes you feel like you're about to go to your first concert all over again, but for people who pamper themselves, it's a small price for the countless waterfalls, hot pools, and labyrinthine (and perfectly manicured) rainforest paths that lead you to yet more hidden waterfalls and hot pools in the four acres of Edenic tropical gardens. Just note that you'll need to take the free hotel shuttle down the road to the springs.


The Springs Resort and Spa

Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

The Springs Resort and Spa at Arenal is one of the top luxury options in the area, but its vibe is far from quiet and romantic. Rather, this is the spot for adventure-loving, well-heeled families, though couples can still find their niche here too, evidenced by the fact that this resort has hosted Beyonce and Jay-Z. The Springs' crown jewel is the large Club Rio area down by the river, which includes a rock-climbing wall, rafting and inner-tubing, horse stables, a wildlife sanctuary with 22 different kinds of animals (you can get in the cages with the sloths and toucans), and several rainforest trails that lead to hot springs and waterfalls. The springs are of course one of the main draws, and there are 18 hot springs pools ranging from 83 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit.


Nayara Springs – Relais & Châteaux

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

A strictly adult-only haven for honeymooning couples and celebrities seeking privacy, Nayara Springs is filled with North American pleasure travelers luxuriating by the pool, in the spa or restaurant, or in the privacy of their secluded bungalows. The 16 bungalows -- all 1,500 square feet -- are secluded hideaways thanks to screens of vegetation and an ingenious use of sloped paths. In their rooms, guests enjoy free laundry service, free generously stocked minibar (except for the wine and liquor, which must be paid for), indoor and outdoor showers, and nightly turndown service. But the biggest draw is the massive deck with day bed and plunge pool fed by natural hot springs. Guests may prefer the private hot springs pools in their Villa, but there is also a chic infinity-edge pool for all guests overlooking the rainforest.


The Royal Corin Thermal Water Spa & Resort

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

For a small hotel, this 54-room boutique has a lot to offer: The beautiful pool complex has three main pools and several hot tubs, some with decorative waterfalls, all filled with natural thermal spring waters. Other draws are a lovely spa, bar with an outdoor terrace, and on-site restaurant. The Royal Corin is not the top luxury hotel in the area, but for the price, it's a good choice. And on a clear day, the views of the (very) nearby Arenal volcano -- the main draw to this region of Costa Rica -- from the pools and every guest room are just stunning. However, but the property feels more developed, and less lush, than others in the area. Those wanting to feel surrounded by nature might want to stay elsewhere.


Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

If views are what you're after, the 53-room Arenal Kioro Suites and Spa is tough to top. The hotel's developers used lasers to align each room with the volcano, so there's not a bad view in the house. Even better, there's no risk of future development marring the outlook, because the hotel abuts Arenal Volcano National Park. On the grounds, stone paths wind through lush landscaping, and waterfalls connect seven small pools filled with natural thermal waters. The main outdoor terrace combines a freeform pool, several thermal hot spring pools, and an all-day restaurant and bar -- all with panoramic views of Arenal Volcano. This is the hotel's main social hub and the vibe is buzzing day and night, however, it hardly ever feels like an all-out party. The nearby Royal Corin Thermal Water Spa & Resort offers the same amenities and a more beautiful thermal pool, but it's hard to beat the quiet natural setting and volcano views here -- some of the area's best and closest.


Hotel El Silencio del Campo

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

Made up of several pools of varying sizes, the hot springs at Hotel El Silencio del Campo are genuinely hot -- not the lukewarm bathwater that passes for hot at other springs in the area. (You also don't have to wear those silly wristbands that many other hot-springs resorts require.) The 20-room property is a amellow cluster of tree-shaded bungalows that attracts families with young children, frequently returning North American couples, and Costa Rican families and groups on long weekends. Bungalows are simple wooden cabins that are bigger on the inside than they appear outside, and provide a surprising amount of privacy, thanks to careful placement. In addition to the extra-hot hot springs, a hotel bar that stays open later than most others nearby is a big draw.


Arenal Springs Resort and Spa

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

The heart of the Arenal Springs is its hot-spring pool, which has an artificial waterfall with sitting ledge to let the falling waters massage your scalp and shoulder; a large, U-shaped swim-up wet bar with boulders as stools; and an attached sushi restaurant. There are also pools on a couple levels above the main spring, allowing for varying views and degrees of privacy. The 90 attractive rooms all have terraces with volcano views, and Master Suites include large rock-lined hot tubs inside. The hotel is centrally located between La Fortuna and the entrance to Arenal National Park, and is popular with the tour bus crowd, but it has less local character than Hotel El Silencio.


Volcano Lodge, Hotel & Thermal Experience

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

This 11-acre, 68-room resort is located 10 minutes north of town on the way to the Arenal National Park entrance. It's well worth the upgrade to a Thermal Superior Room or Junior Suite to take advantage of one of Volcano Lodge's big selling points: the private outdoor hot springs pools, where guests can relax in the bubbles in the privacy of their own garden, surrounded by greenery. (The regular Superior Rooms do have terraces, but no pools.) There are also a hot-spring pool and regular freshwater pool with adjacent kiddy pool and a swim-up bar butting up to the restaurant. A regular in-ground hot tub (rather than hot springs pool) is also on hand.


Los Lagos Hotel Spa & Resort

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

Hugely popular with Costa Rican families all year round, this 1,050-acre, 98-room resort-slash-water-park is full of little ticos and ticas dutifully followed by their parents and grandparents, with the occasional international family thrown in. You can see kids of all ages running from pool to pool (there are a dozen pools and hot springs), holding their noses and jumping off the bridge into the cold pool, splashing around in the private hot springs, and daring each other down the water slides. There are also zip-line cables strewn about around the property and over the pools, including one that was put in specifically for younger children.


Montana De Fuego Resort & Spa

La Fortuna, Costa Rica

This 66-room, mid-range resort is like a suburban neighborhood, with narrow lanes and close clusters of bungalows (but residents who keep to themselves). The hot springs are a major feature here; they include a vent for volcanic mud, but some guests complain that the temperature is merely warm, not hot (Hotel El Silencio del Campo has truly hot hot springs). The outdoor pool has a swim-up bar, adjacent kiddy pool, and tropical landscaping. An indoor hot tub is available with big windows. The hotel's spa has six treatment rooms and a sauna; a special thermo-mineral circuit is offered to help guests reap the full health benefits of the mineral waters and volcanic clay.


Arenal Manoa Hotel

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

This 27-acre property feels almost like its own sprawling town, and the working dairy farm is a highlight -- it supplies the hotel with milk, and guests are welcome to milk the cows. The freshwater and hot springs pools are the hub of the resort and quite large -- they're not on the same level as the offerings at Tabacon, but larger than the pools at Arenal Kioro (though some may prefer the more natural feel of the hot springs at Arenal Kioro). The pools here feel like they could belong at any tropical resort -- and like at many resorts in warm regions around the world, the swim-up bars are where many guests congregate. The 82 one-story bungalows are a bit lacking in local character, but they offer plenty of privacy and all have terraces with volcano views.


Hotel Kokoro Arenal

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

Yoga- and eco-friendly, Hotel Kokoro Arenal is a 24-unit array of bungalows under the volcano, a 10-minute drive west of La Fortuna. Rooms are dimly lit, rustic bungalows that lack Wi-Fi and might be a tad too open to the elements for the truly squeamish, but they're reasonably clean and comfortable. The hot springs include three pools and an artificial waterfall; note that they have limited hours. The rectangular swimming pool has a waterfall feature and is surrounded by slatted wooden loungers and several bistro tables.