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redconley Jun 10th, 2008 05:23 AM

Which hot springs in Arenal area??
We're making last minute decisions before we take off for Costa Rica in 2 days!! Would like to visit one of the hot springs in the Arenal area. We're staying at the AOL, love all things natural and pristine - which hot springs is the best overall?

4explore Jun 10th, 2008 07:13 AM

We did Ecotermales in 2005. Never considered Tabacon, based on my research and also feedback here. Way too commercial for my style, but of course MANY people do like it. I go for quieter, less commercial. Food was very good, excellent service, we loved it. Had 2 young teens, they didn't seem to miss the more "energetic" atmosphere at Tabacon.

4explore Jun 10th, 2008 07:16 AM

Also , we stayed at AOL too. Arenal was one of our trip highlights, volcano put on a round-the-clock show, especially spectacular at AOL at night! Didn't do Arenal last trip, tried and enjoyed Carib side, but will definitely go again to Arenal, AOL and Ecotermales.

Have fun!

cmerrell Jun 10th, 2008 03:01 PM

Hi redconley,

We visited Tabacon when we were in Arenal. It was a lot of fun, but I'm thinking you would probably prefer 4explore's recommendation of Ecotermales. Tabacon is very touristy and commercial. The ground are beautiful and they did a good job laying out the various pools, streams and waterfalls. The place definitely makes a strong visual impact when you walk in, and we <i>did</i> enjoy our visit; but natural? Maybe not so much! ;-)

I would probably pick Ecotermales when I return to Arenal, for the reasons 4explore cited.

volcanogirl Jun 10th, 2008 03:34 PM

If you want &quot;natural and pristine&quot; Tabacon is probably not for you. I think their prices have gotten pretty outrageous as well. It reminded me a little bit of Disney World. We're trying Eco Termales next trip.

MichelleY Jun 10th, 2008 05:30 PM

Caution: the AOL staff will try to steer you to Baldi Hot Springs. Stick with your choice be it Tabacon or Ecotermales.

We went with Ecotermales, mostly because of the price and recs here on Fodors.

I am sure you will be pleased with either.


sigms81 Jun 11th, 2008 08:25 PM

have fun on your trip. we went to baldi hot springs last summer and loved it! there is an internet cafe in town which you can purchase discount tickets for baldi. it's legit. that's how we bought our tickets. i want to say it was somewhere in the $15 range. good luck.

gchizz1 Jun 25th, 2008 12:31 PM

What hotel is AOL?

volcanogirl Jun 25th, 2008 12:41 PM

Shorthand for Arenal Observatory Lodge.

gchizz1 Jun 30th, 2008 07:23 AM

Thanks very much!!!!

volcanogirl Jun 30th, 2008 09:02 AM

You're welcome, g. :)

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