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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3 star rating: Worth doing
December 2011

Lunch was poor

3 star rating: Worth doing
September 2011

It was a nice day trip. Although, I wish that the group didn't have to split up to go to 2 different hot springs and restaurant locations. Also, we were the first picked up and the last dropped off. It was a lot of time just sitting in the bus....kind of a drag

3 star rating: Worth doing
March 2010

This trip is a lot longer than described. The way to the volcano took abot 5-hours since they stopped at a souvenir shop. If you get car sick, it is recommended to take some medication with you since there is a very good chance you will get sick. Other than that this tour was very pleasant, the food was excellent and the facilities at Tabacon resort were very, very good.

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
April 2015

Sorry to say it was too long on a bus to see a volcano that was mostly hidden in clouds
The Baldi Hot Springs were OK but the buffet dinner was mediocre
I would give it a 3 star rating if it didn't involve over 8 hours in a bus

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
September 2013

There were 25 people on the bus. 20 went to one hot spring and 5 of us got dumped at the other.
Poor instructions from the guide . All 5 of us were lost as the guide was with the larger group.
We would have preferred to stay with the group, even if it was a down grade in facilities.

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
January 2013

Viator was great but the local tour operator was terrible. They forgot to pick us up and told us it was our fault. We had to re-organize our trip to reschedule the tour and when they were suppose to pick us up a second time, they went to the wrong hostel and told us to take a taxi to another hotel.

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
February 2011

Extremely disappointing for time spent and price. Over a three hour drive from San Jose. We did not get to see or hear anything about the Arenal, the excuse being cloud cover. If we had known that all we would do was go to hot springs for several hours we would not have booked the trip and wasted six plus hours on a horrible van ride. By the time the driver picked us up the van was full. I sat on a seat over the wheel well with my legs cramped up for the whole day! The whole day was spoiled because of the discomfort of that van.

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
December 2014

The Hot Springs were excellent. The food was OK, the bus was old and not very comfortable. We also had a guest on the tour that made the trip very difficult, she was constantly insisting the driver stop for her "smoke and bathroom" break. Due to the weather, we never got close to the Volcano (the main reason for the trip). We were extremely disappointed, the driver and the guide were OK at best. The shopping stop was not worth the time, they take you to a souvenir shop and give you 15 minutes, it would be nice if it was a small artsy town, where you could pick up unique items. We will not be using this group when we return to CR.

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
January 2014

Poor! We drove 3 hours to spend 3 hours at a gifts shop, church, and restaurant... To eat barely enough! drove another hour and a half to not see a volcano! Hot springs was ok but food was average! And alcohol was expensive! Then drove 4 hours home with a screaming kid! Worst tour I have paid for!

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
January 2012

This tour is not marketed well at all. If your goal is to sit on a bus for 7-8 hours and see the hot springs for 2-3, you'll be pleased. But if you are going to see a volcano, skip over this one.

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
February 2011

Unfortunately they were going to take us to Baldi and not Tabacon who is the most beautiful one to visit and a must. Deal 93.99 is no deal it is just the rate charged by every tour company. You have to pay 116.00 to see the Tabacon and Viator makes it look like you are going there for 93.99. Luckily we upgraded with an additional fee.

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
February 2011

I booked this tour anticipating that at least part of our day would be spent touring the Arenal volcano itself, and National Park (the day trip was misleadingly advertised as 'Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs'). Instead, we were taken directly to a thermal spa, after an unnecessarily long (2-hour!) buffet lunch stop at a nearby restaurant. The spa itself was nice, if a little too touristy. After spending more than 3 hours there (it was well after sunset when we departed), we were driven around the Arenal lake reservoir, completely pointlessly, as by then it was dark and we could not see any of the surrounding area. Equally pointless was a later stop at a viewing point, which supposedly provided an optimal view of the Arenal volcano (perhaps it would have, if our visit there had been scheduled to take place when there was still daylight!). The tour concluded with another long stop for dinner, at the same restaurant where we had lunch. The service was hopelessly slow this second time, and the food mediocre quality.
To make matters worse, throughout the trip the tour guide's commentary was frustratingly dumbed-down, providing no useful, or substantial information on local history, or the volcano itself. He also kept addressing our group as if it consisted of schoolchildren on an excursion.
In conclusion, I found this tour to be a huge disappointment. It was certainly not worth its price (over £50 per person). I would discourage any tourist interested in seeing and learning about Arenal itself and the National Park from booking it.

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Tour code: 4100AVHS

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