Tabacón Hot Springs (Balnearío Tabacón)

Castillo, Costa Rica

Text©Beatrice Blake-New Key to Costa Rica

There are several choices for enjoying the thermal waters that spring out of the volcano. However, you should be aware that the famous Tabacón area was the site of a 1975 hot avalanche deposit (the ongoing source of heat for the thermal waters) and vulcanologists consider the location hazardous and at risk for future hot avalanches. In fact, during stronger-than-usual explosions on May 5, 1998, and October 25, 1999, lava flowed to within 500 meters of Tabacón. Four hundred tourists and employees were evacuated, but business was back to normal within 48 hours. Another blast on September 5, 2003, sent lava to the north/northeast. With that in mind, you can die happy at Tabacón Resort (open daily, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., children ages 6-11, $20; children under 5 free). Here a stream is channeled into a veritable thermal wonderland: 12 pools of varying temperatures and depths; one waterslide; benches tucked under waterfalls; jacuzzis and individual tubs. There is a great restaurant (open daily, noon to 10 p.m.) with a creative and varied menu including vegetarian dishes and a great volcano view. The place seems a bit hectic out front, especially when you see all the tour buses parked there (all cars and buses must park facing out toward the road for quick evacuation), but there is plenty of room once you get onto the lushly landscaped grounds to find your own little stream and a steaming hot waterfall to massage your shoulders. There are several cold pools and showers to cool off in. The management recommends that you alternate hot with cold water every 15 minutes to avoid high or low blood pressure. Two paramedics are employed by the resort.We loved the mud wrap experience at Tabacón’s Iskandria Spa. Your massage therapist rubs your body with a thin layer of warm, gritty volcanic mud. You are then wrapped in a large sheet of plastic and covered by a hot towel. Your therapist might burn incense as you relax into the warmth, feeling the mud drawing toxins out of you as it dries. After half an hour you are unwrapped, given a towel, and led down a path to a private, warm stream that flows into a swimming hole, where you skinny-dip to swim off the mud. Bliss! Prices range from $05-180 for various treatments including manicures, mud wraps, facials and massage to $150 for The Grand Temazcal(a sweat lodge ritual).. shiatsu, reiki, aromathearapy and yoga are also offered.

Amenities & Features

Website & Contact

phone: (506)2519-1999 toll free 877-277-8292 fax 2519-1940

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Recommended Near Tabacón Hot Springs (Balnearío Tabacón)

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Nearby Activities & Attractions

Nearby Hotels & Lodges

Tabacón Lodge
Kioro Hotel
Lost Iguana Resort
Arenal Nayara Hotel
Mountain Paradise
Hotel Arenal Springs Resort
Arenal Lodge
Arenal Observatory Lodge
Arenal Oasis Ecolodge
Arenal Backpackers Resort
Pura Vida Hotel y Restaurant
Hotel La Amistad Arenal
Hotel Arenal Carmela
Hotel Arenal Rabfer
Leaves and Lizards
Hotel La Fortuna
Rancho Margot
Finca Luna Nueva Lodge

The nearest town is Castillo, 7.4 km away and Aeropuerto Arenal airport is 16.2 km.

Please note that distances for nearby hotels, attractions, activites & other points of interest are in a straight line. Distances by road may be significantly longer!

The exact gps map coordinates of Tabacón Hot Springs (Balnearío Tabacón) are latitude 10.48777, longitude -84.72245. (exact GPS coordinates are accurate to within a few meters, gps data labeled approximate is within a few hundred meters)