Costa Rica is one of the sought after destinations for adventure travel, lush rain forests, and natural hot springs.  This is definitely a place to add to your bucket list.  The province of Guanacaste has a wide range of activities for the adrenaline junkie such as hiking, zip lining, and rafting.   Here you’ll find pristine hot springs, a natural waterfalls located in La Fortuna area, and of course the giant cone shaped Arenal Volcano.   Guanacaste might just be the best spot for your wanderlust.  Here’s our top 5 things to do in Guanacaste for your next vacation.

Top 5 Things To Do In Guanacaste

Hot Springs

A visit to one of our hot springs located in Guanacaste should be one of the highlights to add to your vacation agenda.  You can soak up the tranquil surroundings sitting in an outdoor hot pool after a day of adventure.   Our two favorites are Baldi which has 25 relaxing pools with temperatures ranging from cool to hot.  The vegetation surrounding the pools is lush and green giving that rainforest tropical feel.

Baldi has a giant sauna if you can believe it that fits up to 60 people.  It’s a perfect spot to spend the day for a couple’s romantic getaway and pampering.  You can pamper yourself even more with a massage in the luxurious spa.  The facility has change rooms with washrooms & lockers to store away your valuables while you enjoy your day.

If you love waterslides there are 3 at this location.   Families can enjoy a day together lounging or playing in the kid friendly zone.  The restaurant & swim up bar is located near the entrance.  If you’d like you can have a nice romantic lunch or dinner with your day pass.   Before you leave make sure to take a short walk to the top end to see the mighty Arenal Volcano.  The best part is no reservations are required for a day pass.

Entrance fee: $35 USD (adults) $17.50 USD (children)

Entrance + Lunch: $57 USD (adults) $28.50 USD (children)

Entrance + dinner: $57 USD (adults) $28.50 USD (children)

Baldi Hot Springs pool
Baldi Hot Springs pool

Tabacon is another of our favorites.  This is more of an upscale location which also has a one day pass available.  This location requires a reservation as they only allow so many day guests.  Peak season sells out fast so be sure to reserve early.    Tabacon is the best place to experience nature, but is also the most expensive of all the hot springs.   There are 5 mineral springs pools at Tabacon, 2 restaurants & 4 bars offering a cuisine of Costa Rican dishes.  If you’re looking for a natural spa treatment bungalows are tucked away among the gardens adding a secluded feeling of serenity to your experience.  The flora & fauna brings in the beauty of nature to this spectacular location.

Standard Rates Day pass + Lunch or Dinner: $85 USD (adults) $30 USD (children)

Peak Season Rates:  Day pass + Lunch or Dinner: $94 USD (adults) $33 USD (children)

photo [Tabacon]

La Fortuna & Waterfalls

La Fortuna is a small town which sits at the base of the majestic Arenal Volcano now dormant.  In the town you’ll find plenty of places to shop for souvenirs and have a tasty lunch at one of the many restaurants.  The La Fortuna waterfalls is only about 6km away from town and stands 75 meters high.  There’s an entrance fee to get in which helps maintain the area it surrounds.  If you’re looking for a waterfalls to swim in La Fortuna waterfalls is stunning with a natural emerald pool.  There’s an abundance of vegetation here in the rainforest.  No waterfalls in Costa Rica is easily accessible so be prepared for 400 steps down to the base of the waterfalls.  This can be challenging for some and of course you still have to climb all the way back to the top but totally worth it.

La Fortuna Waterfalls

Arenal Volcano

Be sure to take a drive around the perimeter of the volcano so you can witness the difference in the volcano from all the eruptions over the years.  One side has lush vegetation while the other seems lifeless.  This is because all the previous eruptions had lava flowing down the side of the volcano destroying all plant life.

Up for some hiking?  Take a guided tour through the Arenal Volcano National Park.  There are several trails to see the lava rocks, the effects from the volcano, and hopefully some wildlife.  On a clear day you should be able to see Lake Arenal.  There are actually 2 craters in the park Arenal and Cerro Chato.  In 1968 the Arenal Volcano erupted destroying 2 towns in it wake.  Today while you will not see lava gushing from the top of the volcano you can marvel in its surroundings.

Entrance fee: $15 USD (adults)

Arenal Volcano

Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal is the largest lake in Costa Rica.  The lake itself covers about 35 sq miles with lots of activities to enjoy such as kayaking, windsurfing, fishing, and sailboarding.  The lake has nice strong winds perfect for these sailing activities.  In 1979 the lake was enlarged by 3 times its original size.  At the bottom of the lake sits 2 original towns Arenal and Tronadora which have been moved to a new location.  This man-made lake also produces 12% of Costa Rica’s energy.    Another helpful energy source for the country.

There’s plenty more things to do in this region from rappelling down the waterfalls, taking a hike at Cerro Chato located on the southeast side of the Arenal Volcano to zip lining on the Sky Trek.

Lake Arenal Guanacaste

Hanging Bridges

You could spend the day here mesmerized by the beauty.  The Mistco Hanging Bridges Park has 10 regular bridges & 6 hanging bridges to enjoy the natural forest.  The trail is 3.2km or 2 miles which should take about 2 hours to complete depending on how much time you take to enjoy the view of the volcano and natural forest.  Keep a watchful eye out for our Blue Morph butterflies.  These are so beautiful!

Entrance fees: $38 USD (self guided adult) $12 USD (child)

Hours: Monday-Sunday 7:30am – 3:50pm (last entry 4:00pm)

Places to Stay in La Fortuna

Arenal Observatory Lodge    (located right inside the national park)

Hotel Kioro Arenal

Baldi Hot Springs Resort


What to bring

  • hiking shoes (closed toe)
  • sunscreen
  • poncho or raincoat
  • water bottle
  • bug spray
  • quick drying clothes

No matter what you choose to do for activities in Costa Rica you’ll be assured to have a great time.

Above prices are subject to change at any time with out notice.  We recommend to contact the location for current pricing.

Have you been to Guanacaste? Share you experiences in the comments below.

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Top 5 Things To Do In Guanacaste