Arenal Volcano And Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip From San Jose

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Tour Information

Tour Details


Dont miss out on one of Costa Ricas most popular activities an Arenal Volcano and Tabacn hot springs tour! The day trip from San Jose includes a visit to Arenal 1968, a trail that puts you close enough to the volcano to see any lava that might be spewing out. Continue to the artisan town of Sarch, savor lunch in La Fortuna and finish at Tabacn Grand Spa Thermal Resort, relaxing in naturally heated pools and enjoying dinner. This tour is limited to 20 people, providing a small-group experience.


  • Day trip (destination A to B)
  • Free hotel pickup and drop-off included
  • Lunch included
  • Small-group tour

Know More about this tour

After a minivan pickup from your hotel in San Jose, your day trip begins with the 35-minute drive northwest to Sarchí, a Central Valley town famous for its crafts, particularly wood and leather furniture and decorated oxcarts. Pick up a souvenir or two from a local artisan before making the 2.5-hour drive further north to the town of La Fortuna, which sits below Arenal and offers an unobstructed view of the volcán on clear days.

On arrival in La Fortuna, head to a local restaurant for a typical Costa Rican lunch of rice, beans, chicken or steak, and plantains, accompanied by a great view of Arenal. Then, continue your tour about 20 minutes down the road to Mirador Arenal 1968, a trail system on the edge of Arenal Volcano National Park (Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal) named for the 1968 eruption. Walk along the paths to find the best photo spots of the volcano and Lake Arenal (Lago Arenal), and watch for glimpses of bright orange lava flowing down the volcano.

Finally, head a few miles back toward La Fortuna to the Tabacón hot springs — officially Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort — one of Costa Rica’s biggest and most luxurious hot springs resorts. Enjoy roughly 3.5 hours here to soak in the various pools, which range in temperature from 77 to 102°F (25 to 38°C).

The resort is beautifully landscaped with waterfalls and lush vegetation and offers many ways to relax, from secluded pools to a swim-up bar (drinks at your own expense), so sit back and enjoy it until dinner is served. The resort’s buffet dinner lasts about 30 minutes and offers a selection of Costa Rican cuisine, similar to lunch.

After dinner, head back to your hotel in San Jose (about 2.5 hours), where your tour ends.

Inclusions for Arenal Volcano And Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip From San Jose

  • Hotel pickup and drop-off (selected hotels only)
  • Transport by air-conditioned minivan
  • Professional guide
  • Lunch
  • Entrance fee to the Tabacón hot springs
  • Buffet dinner

Exclusions for Arenal Volcano And Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip From San Jose

  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Additional food and drinks

Additional Info

Confirmation will be received at time of booking

A minimum of two passengers is required for the tour to commence. There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation if there are not enough passengers to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund

Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking

It is recommended that you wear light clothing, comfortable shoes and bring a bathing suit and towel

May be operated by a multi-lingual guide

Cancellation Policy
  • If you cancel within 3 calendar days (72 hours) of the scheduled departure time, the cancellation charge will be 100% of the undiscounted tour price.
  • If you cancel between 4 to 7 Calendar days before scheduled tour departure,the cancellation charge will be 50% of the undiscounted tour price.
  • If you cancel at least 8 calendar days in advance of the scheduled departure time, there is no cancellation fee. You will receive Full Refund for the paid amount.
  • Please note that in case of No show, the cancellation charge will be 100% of the listed tour fare.
  • Please note tours booked using discount coupon codes will be non refundable.

Write A Review

56 reviews by the users

  • Overall a nice tour. The bus ride was long but that cant be helped. The tour guide was average and with his accent and switching between English and Spanish it got too hard to listen to - and the facts were not that insightful. More history and information would have been nice. The food was exceptional for both lunch and dinner. The resort was outstanding in all ways and the hot springs were amazing. I would recommend this trip!

  • The tour was amazing our host was amazing the food was amazing I highly recommend !!! PURA ViDA !

  • The views the host and the excursion was so wonderful and I'm VERY PICKY ! I highly recommended!

  • This is the 4th time I've been on this tour i do it mainly for the Hot Springs at the Tabacon Thermal Resort and Spa, the rest of the trip is nice and after a day of sightseeing and relaxing in the Hot Springs and a large Buffet Dinner it's nice not to have to do anything but rest in the tour bus back to your hotel - Both the tour guide Marcos and the driver Jose were profession, fun and safe

  • Amazing Tour! I wish i could go back to this tour. The views of the volcano were amazing and we learned alot about how the country use the resources from the volcano. Also, the hot springs were so much fun and relaxing. We got to enjoy over 20 hot spring private pools and enjoyed a dinner buffet as well.

    I wish we could have gotten closer to the volcano and actually hiked but overall the experience was great. Also, the tour guide was excellent and made sure we received A service.

  • This was an amazing experience! It was a long journey but we made a few stops along the way to a small town and then a lunch stop before seeing the volcano. Our driver Antonio was also really accommodating and would stop somewhere safe and clean if anyone needed to use the restroom. I had an upset stomach from the previous day and Antonio gave me alka seltzer which I thought was so nice of him.
    The view of the volcano was breathtaking and then swimming in the hot spring was a first for me and this was the perfect place. SO BEAUTIFUL and so many different pools that you never feel crowded. Food was delicious and service was great. Fantastic day

  • This tour was amazing!

  • Long drive to and from San Jose, but very scenic. I'm glad I had my kindle for the ride back. The hot springs were wonderful, but we were there far longer than necessary. While we certainly saw the volcano, we didn't really visit it. Were I to do this again, I wouldn't make it a day trip from the central valley I would include it on a multi-day excursion around the northern parts of the country. We passed a rainforest adventure park on the way and back that included a Tarzan Swing adventure. It would have made for an interesting and fun stop.

  • Fantabulous! Amazing experience. Highly recommend.

  • This tour was the highlight of my trip. If you are not a very athletic person, this may be a good trip for you. If you're expecting a lot of hiking and being outdoors, you probably won't like this tour.

    It started at 7:30am for my pick up stop. I arrived at 7:15 and the bus was already waiting for me. We had several other stops along the way. The bus was fairly big, a bit bigger than a 15-passenger van but the seats were very closer together. If you have long legs I would recommend sitting on the right side of the bus on the single rider seats or in the back.

    My tour guide was Marco, he was very fun and informative. He spoke in both Spanish and English and he basically translated everything per 1-2 sentences. That may annoy some folks, so just be aware. He gave us all the information we needed to know but didn't really talk much after that point. He didn't really point out things along the way which is fine because our group talked a lot and was able to bond on the trip. But when asked what something was, he was very informative.

    Once we picked up everyone we drove out of the city where Marco told us our schedule and how lunch and dinner will work. The ride was relatively smooth considering the bad and winding roads up into the mountains. We first made a stop in Sarchi to see the largest oxcart. We stopped for about 5 minutes to take pictures and there was a beautiful church across the street. There were a ton of weird bugs there....they looked like glorified flying cockroaches so bring your bug spray just in case. After Sarchi we drove a little further and then stopped at a store to shop for about 30 minutes. Marco claimed this would be the cheapest choice for shopping because this is where most of the items were produced but everything still seemed to be ridiculously priced. Just be very selective and spend wisely. After the store we drove for about an hour to a restaurant for lunch. On the way there you choose from a typical meal of rice, beans, salad, and plantains with either beef, chicken, or fish as your meat. There were also a few other choices if you wanted it. The portion were very reasonable and the food was great I got the chicken option. They also served a small scoop of ice cream from dessert. Inside the restaurant is a store but don't get suckered in by how pretty it's disgustingly overpriced. Also, you cannot flush toilet paper in the bathrooms, so be careful or the toilet will clog.

    After lunch, we drove a moderate distance to the Arenal Volcano look out point. This was about a 5 minute walk up hill, so nothing too bad but very worth it. We had a good 2 minutes to take pictures before the sky cracked open. Make sure to bring a poncho and umbrella. Once back on the bus we drove a short ride to the Tabacon Hot Springs Resort. It is VERY beautiful there. You're given a key for a locker and a towel card so that you can use and exchange as many towels as you want. The locker room gets VERY hot and muggy. My glasses were in a constant state of fogginess. The pools were amazing and there were a ton of them! Each had different temperatures and depths. A big con though is that the pool bottoms are either very slippery or are made up of medium to small rocks. It can hurt to walk around although by the end it really made me feet feel smooth. The waterfalls feel like a good shoulder massage but ladies be careful, you WILL lose your suit top. There is a bar to buy drinks from but there were only 2 men working the bar so it took forever to get a drink. Also there were a ton of bees flying near the drink mixes, keep away from that area if you don't want to get stung. Marco gave us 3 hours for the pools but honestly after 2 hours, I was tired and ready to be dry. There was a very long line to use the showers, I ended up changing in the toilet area.

    After the 3 hours were up, we met for dinner in the lobby which was buffet style. The food was okay but I expected something better from a resort of this magnitude. The prepared items were quite small and the hot items were barely luke warm. We had about a good hour to eat and then we headed back to the bus to leave. I would recommend bringing a jacket and/or blanket. You're either wet from the rain or the hot springs and with the AC blasting you don't want to catch a cold. We stopped about half way through to the bathroom and by the time I got back to my drop off point it was going on 10:30pm so it was a very long day. Just be mindful of that.

    Overall, I loved the trip and highly recommend it especially for couples. You could easily find a pool to yourselves and just relax.

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