4.5 star rating: Recommended 87 Reviews

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  • Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Duration:  11 hours (approx.)

Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.

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4 star rating: Recommended
March 2014

Nice driver and guide. Good food. The hot Springs made my extremely dry skin so soft for several days later. It made for a nice day trip from San Jose.

4 star rating: Recommended
December 2013

Baldi hot spring were amazing and great food

It would have been nice to walk on one of the trails near the Arenal volcano

4 star rating: Recommended
January 2014

Excellent tour! I was in San Jose for business and had 1 day to explore and have fun. This tour is just perfect for that because you get to see so much of the country. But beware you are gone for more than 13 hours. Also, you should know the driving in Costa Rica can be pretty scary.

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2013

This tour was a fun way to spend the day, and really a good value. As other reviewers have mentioned, the food was excellent, especially the buffet dinner at the hot springs. The bus ride was comfortable enough, included basic info about Costa Rica from the guide, who was friendly and helpful, and kept to the schedule well. There were stops along the way which provided opportunities to pick up some pretty good souvenirs. The actual stop at the volcano viewpoint was good, but since this is an Arenal Volcano day trip, I had expected a little more time actually observing the volcano. Maybe a second stop at another viewpoint would have been nice. It wasn't a huge problem though, as we got to move on to the hot springs where we had VIP access for the afternoon. This was a great way to wind down later in the day, and the hot springs facilities are beautiful.

Overall, what this tour had to offer was very satisfactory. I would have liked a little more time to see the volcano, but the other aspects of the day trip were great. I appreciated that the tour company was environmentally conscious, already holding a decent green rating and looking to improve their rating soon. The tour guide was good, and the hotel pick-up and drop-off was easy. I think that you will enjoy this trip, especially if you are looking for a fun and decently priced day trip out of San José.

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2013

Great tour overall. The drive to Arenal was long and curvy through the OMG road. Lunch was delicious but wasn't buffet style. Hot spring was great and refreshing. Dinner was buffet and was delicious. Highly recommend!

miguel
Canada

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2013

Arenal is picturesque, it was a cloudy day when we went so didnt see the cone of the volcano up close. its worth doing

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2013

Die Tour ist im allgemeinen sehr schön! Leider konnten wir wetterbedingt den Vulkan nicht sehn, was wohl auch recht häufig vorkommt. Die Hot Springs im Anschluss sind jedoch sehr empfehlenswert und erholsam. Das Essen war sowohl Mittags als auch Abends sehr gut.

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2012

Loved the tour, tour guide, and other participants. The driver drove safely and the hot springs were amaaaazing. There are only 2 things keeping me from giving this 5 stars... 1. lunch was mediocre 2. once I was on the bus I was told there were 2 hot springs destinations and if I wanted to go to the deluxe one I had to pay an extra $28. I feel like this should have been made clear in the trip description beforehand. I did pay the extra money and I think it was worth it!

4 star rating: Recommended
September 2012

This tour was great. You get to see much of the countryside and the view are wonderful. The hot springs they give you a key for a locker and a towel which was great. They are beautiful and very relaxing.
My negative was out tour guide Alfredo spoke mostly in spanish and we had to keep asking him to talk in english. I felt I missed much information since he spoke mostly spanish. He also was not credible in his facts. He stated items that we Americans all knew were false. Midway through the tour we changed buses and they second guide was much better and spoke much more in english. They company should have english only and spanish only tours.

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2012

This was a great tour that my friends and I really enjoyed. We got lucky and caught a clear day during the rainy season. The drive and the Arenal volcano surroundings are very scenic. Baldi was also fun and relaxing.
Pros:
*Nice full-day of activities, without being too burdened by a tour guide or pressured to buy things
*Delicious lunch
*Great tour for a first time visitor to CR

Cons:
*Long drive from San Jose (3.5 hours on a bus)
*Dinner buffet at Baldi was just ok...lunch was WAY better
*Detour to drop folks off at another hot springs resort was LONG and along some very rough terrain

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2011

Good trip se los recomiendo a todos la van a pasar muy bien .La naturaleza increible.

4 star rating: Recommended
September 2011

It is quite good overall, especially about the 3 hours we spent at the hot springs. But the drive from San Jose to the volcano is too long (about 3.5 hours). It is a scenic drive, but on the way back to San Jose, it's all dark, you won't be able to see anything.

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2011

The hot springs they took us to was Baldi. It was under going renovations in a very small area. The place was still amazing and very clean!!! A wonderful place to end our time in Costa Rica. Pura Vida!

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2010

The trip was a lot of fun and our guide was great - very knowledgable and friendly. Even thought it was cloudyrainy for much of the day, we were able to get good views of the volacno saw it erupt 3 times. The food was also really good, and the hot springs were amazing! I'd definately recommend this trip. However, participants should be aware that it's more of a 14-15 hour trip as compared to the 11 hours advertised.

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2010

The trip was great but the bus broke down, and they did not notify us until we had waited almost three hours. Everythihg was rescheduled and we went the day after the original schedule.

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2010

The mist made it very difficult to see the volcano

4 star rating: Recommended
May 2009

The Arenal volcano is not so active, I just saw smoke on its peak, no thunder, no rolling lava, absolutely quiet, but the hot springs are good. You have to be careful if you are sunburned because the water some times in some pools is too hot.

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2008

This tour took in many different sites and included 2 delicious meals. However, the tour guide did not keep to the schedule. What was supposed to be an 11 hour tour ended up being 14 hours!

3 star rating: Worth doing
February 2015

Long day with only a distant look at the volcanoe. I was expecting to get a look at the crator so my expectations may have been the problem.

3 star rating: Worth doing
September 2013

Overall the trip was okay, but NOT punctual. If there is a tourist who is running late or does not respect the times when you have to be back on the van, the entire group misses out. We didn't get out moneys worth because of this. LEAVE people go are late. They are adults. They can deal with it.

3 star rating: Worth doing
July 2013

This was my first day trip in Costa Rica and it was Average. There were many good points and several bad points.

Pros: Excellent meal at the Arenal volcano, Baldi hot springs is truly magnificent. I highly recommend this place and although mine wasn't a romantic escape, I can see the intoxicating effect this place would have if you were to bring your significant other.

Cons: A 2 hour bus ride that only stops once to buy souvenirs and when we get to the volcano, you really don't go to it. All you do is eat lunch and look at it from afar. It looks like any other mountain, so in essence you are riding 2 hours to look at a mountain. Very lame. As I previously mentioned the hot springs are amazing, but there is NOTHING else to do there. After 3 hours of sitting in a hot tub, you start to prune up and would like to do something else. Other than eat candy at the gift shop or get drunk at a bar (which is WAAAY overpriced), there is nothing. Couple that with a terrible buffet dinner, and I was ready to leave. Also.. a warning. Baldi obviously promotes to schools that are vacationing. There was over 4 tour buses full of teenagers that were at the hot springs. Although they behaved themselves, don't expect a peaceful retreat.

3 star rating: Worth doing
March 2013

This is a long trip from San Jose. We left around 8 and didn't arrive at the hot springs until after 2. We had lunch en route and a stop at Arenal to take some pgo ictures.
I'd advise you to check which Springs you are going to ... I saw the photo of Tabacon Springs and assumed that to be the destination (I'd been to Tabacon and wanted to return) ... but no... I was told I'd only paid to go to Baldi Springs. It cost me another $48 USD to go Tabacon. Tabacon is beaautiful and the buffet superb.

3 star rating: Worth doing
February 2013

NICE RIDE TO THE TWO PLACES. AVERAGE SIGHTSEEING SETTINGS. VERY VERY LONG 14 HOUR DAY.

3 star rating: Worth doing
November 2012

Drive was too long and was disappointed we did not get a closer look at the Volcano after driving for 3 hours. Hot springs was very nice though and the dinner was very good.

3 star rating: Worth doing
May 2012

The tour was OK. The drive was LONG (3 hours) and the vehicle was very small and completely full. There was no restroom in the van. The van was old and it rattled--made a lot of noise. Seats were uncomfortable. The volcano (which didn't do anything but smoke---and hasn't done in 2 1/2 years according to the tour guide) wasn't anything spectacular. The landscape where we stopped to take pictures was beautiful, but at the end of the day, the volcano was just a mountain. The visit to the hot springs resort was well worth it. Very relaxing. Beautiful resort. Definitely the highlight of the trip. My one draw back was that the water wasn't very hot. The day wasn't very hot, so the waters were pretty luke warm. The food (lunch and dinner) was very good. Tour guide was knowledgeable.

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Tour code: 4100AVHS

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