What do you get when you mix a couple of feet of rain with volcanoes and geothermal activity? Natural hot springs of course. There are hot water mineral springs all over Costa Rica but the majority are concentrated in the northern central zone along the continental backbone of volcanoes.
Many of the hot springs in Costa Rica are too hot to handle. The water comes out of the ground under pressure and actually hotter than the boiling point instantly converting to steam when it escapes. Several of the natural springs in Tenorio National Park are signed because they can be quite dangerous. Please respect all park regulations. If you come across unmarked springs while hiking anywhere be extremely cautious because surges of very hot water can easily scald you.
There are thousands of websites that have pricing, reservation information and professional photographs of the commercial hot springs resorts in Costa Rica so we haven’t bothered to duplicate that. Instead these are some of the hot springs we’ve hiked to or small family or community developed springs found off the beaten path.
Click on the thumbnails for a more detailed description, location and larger images.
We also have a geocoded list of places we’ve smelled sulfur while hiking or driving on 4WD routes (seriously) or that local have told us there are springs. We’ll check them out at some point and update here if we find anything worth sharing. One of them this weird real estate sales and housing development called Hot Springs Lodge that’s up a 4WD road from Manuel Antonio that we just have to see because on their website there isn’t a single photo of a hot spring and soaking in a natural pool isn’t even listed on their “activities” list.