Jungle Resort with Mineral Pools Overlooking Arenal Volcano
Although it recently became inactive, Arenal Volcano still dominates the northwestern Costa Rican landscape, rising nearly 5,500 feet above the surrounding jungle in a conical peak. The Springs Resort & Spa sits atop a neighboring ridge just across the valley, where it overlooks breathtaking views of the famous volcano. The paradisiacal resort echoes the surrounding landscape with colorful bromeliads, tiered waterfalls, and 18 lagoon-style pools. The setting is so romantic that it was chosen for a group date night on the 2011 season of ABC's The Bachelor.
The property’s main building feels like a cross between a castle and a zen temple, surrounded by a handful of swimming pools. Many of these pools are fed by mineral hot springs thought to have therapeutic benefits. To continue the rejuvenating process, pay a visit to the 14,000-square-foot spa, where the staff uses volcanic clays and rainforest-botanical extracts.
You can see spectacular views of Arenal Volcano from almost anywhere at the resort. One of the best perspectives is from the Las Ventanas restaurant—its name means "the windows”—which is enclosed by wall-to-wall plate glass. Guest rooms look out onto similarly dramatic views. Alta Vista rooms frame the peak through triple-arched windows, and the Villa Calatea and presidential suite complement the view with private plunge pools surrounded by sun decks, hammocks, and stained-glass windows of jungle animals.
Get up close to real wildlife at the onsite preserve, home to ocelots, capuchin monkeys, and sloths. The preserve is part of the Club Rio Outdoor Center along the Arenal riverfront, where guests can reserve tubing, kayaking, and horseback-riding trips (extra fees apply) or take a morning bird-watching tour to try to spot passerini’s tanagers and chestnut-mandibled toucans.
La Fortuna, Costa Rica: Rainforest Wildlife and Volcanic-Heated Springs
Since 2010, the Arenal Volcano has been in a resting phase, leaving most of Arenal Volcano National Park's rainforests and hardened magma fields open to exploration. Howler monkeys and scarlet macaws perch in the rainforest canopy while tapirs poke around the forest floor.
Hot springs can be found throughout the slopes, heated by volcanic vents deep underground and reaching temperatures up to 100 degrees. Nowadays, many hot springs have transformed into tourist draws, as developers have added stone borders, swim-up bars, and water slides. It's worth dipping into the springs surrounding the Arenal River to feel the trippy sensation of warm currents meeting cool ones underwater.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.