• Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Duration: 13 hours (approx.)
From USD $ 146.00 View price calendar

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Find your bliss with a classic Costa Rican experience that combines a seismic dose of adventure and relaxation! On this full-day trip from San Jose, visit the very active Arenal Volcano and explore its base with a guided nature hike. Then, unwind with a soak in a variety of geothermal pools at the luxurious Tabacón hot springs. The tour also includes a stop at the artisan town of Sarchí, plus delicious lunch and dinner.


  • Day trip from San Jose to Arenal Volcano and the Tabacón hot springs
  • Shop for locally made wood and leather crafts in the town of Sarchí
  • Enjoy views of Arenal while you eat lunch in La Fortuna
  • Look for lava, take photos of the volcano and admire Lake Arenal at Arenal 1968
  • Try out all the thermal pools, from warm to hot to really hot, at Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort
  • Lunch and dinner included
  • Small-group tour limited to 20 people

What You Can Expect

Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

Enjoy the naturally heated pools at the hot springs!

Discover why so many visitors flock to Arenal to relax and soak up the majestic scenery. Your full-day tour begins with early morning pickup at your San Jose hotel in a comfortable minivan. After a 35-minute drive, stop briefly in the artisan town of Sarchí, where craftspeople have been making traditional, brightly-painted wooden oxcarts for generations. 

Continue on another 2.5 hours to the town of La Fortuna, where you’ll enjoy a typical Costa Rican lunch at a local restaurant with stellar views of the nearby Arenal Volcano. Next, get ready for adventure as you head to Arenal Volcano National Park for a hike around the base of the volcanic cone. You’ll trek along a trail system known as Mirador Arenal 1968, named for the last year that the volcano experienced a major eruption. 

Arenal is considered one of the most active volcanoes in the Western Hemisphere and emits a steady stream of smoke and lava from its sputtering crater. Rest assured that trails are carefully screened for visitor safety. Throughout your hike, take in different perspectives of the majestic peak and learn about the area’s geologic history. 

Next, it’s time to unwind at the renowned Tabacón hot springs and resort. Spend the afternoon soaking in natural thermal pools that range from 77 to 102°F (25 to 38°C). You’ll find small secluded pools and larger lagoons with cascading waterfalls, all surrounded by lush tropical scenery. Enjoy about 3.5 hours of leisure time at the spa.

When it’s time for dinner, enjoy a tasty buffet dinner at the resort and soak up the romantic atmosphere of steam rising from the pools and views of the nearby volcano under a starry sky. Sit back and relax into your newfound bliss on the return drive to San Jose, where you’ll be dropped off back at your hotel.

Customer Reviews

Alan DC Philippines

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2018

It's a long trip but it's so worth it especially if you don't have the time to visit the place on your own, which needs several days unless you have a private vehicle. The volcano wasn't so impressive but the stay at Tabacon Hot Springs was awesome. The resort's clean and dinner was sumptuous!

Joe O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2018

We were impressed with our Tour Guide Antonio. We appreciated his punctuality and professionalism. He was very knowledgeable about everything, from the history of Costa Rica, its people, culture, and anything we inquired about! We had visited the National Museum the day before this tour and felt like Antonio was our own walking, talking museum! He drove us safely, and our stops along the way to the churches, cart painting and dining were so interesting as he explained the origins, traditions, etc. of Costa Rica. The drive to the Arenal Volcano is long, but worth the trip! The view is breathtaking and can see why there is so much interest in viewing it and the land and water around the volcano. We had a delicious lunch with tasty, fresh food and fruit drinks. At lunch, we were able to see many birds and walked around to view some sloths in a tree, see some flowers and plants, and caymans in the water. The Tabacon Hot Springs were so relaxing! At first we wondered how we'd stay there for 3 hours, but then the time flew by as we sat in the hot springs and let the water fall and massage our backs. We had a great dinner with a magnificent selection of foods to choose from. We were quieter on the return back to the hotel, but Antonio still answered any questions we asked. This was one of the best tours we have had as it was personalized and having a guide that loves his job and has an even greater love for his family and country makes all of the difference!

Patricia B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2018

Our driver Antonio was amazing. He was kind and caring and wanted to make sure that we had the best experience. From making sure everyone was comfortable, pointing out interesting sights, timing the stops to avoid crowds, etc. The views were amazing of the volcano, we received a lot of history of the area and ended the day with the hot springs/dinner. I would recommend this tour.

Susan M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2018

This was my first trip with Viator and it This was a day trip and the quide was so knowleable

Momo United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

Excellent. Very enjoyable trip. The bus was comfortable and air-conditioned. We started with lunch before visitng La Fortuna and Arenal then dinner after spending a few hours in the hot springs at Tabacon and before heading back to the hotels.

Arrena S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

The hot springs at Tabacon were amazing and the pictures do not capture the full experience. The information about the Arenal volcano and view from the look out point was fabulous! Eric was by far the best guide we had while in Costa Rica! We contemplated staying in the La Fortuna area, but decided to stay in San Jose and do day trips instead to different areas. The trip made for a very full day, but was worth every minute. They really do pick you up from your hotel and drop you off. We stayed in Escazu, and that was a concern of mine, but they work with you and even pick up from Air BnBs at the closest hotel. Completely worth the whole day. Two meals were also included and very good!

Estellaleigh F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

Not the greatest tour to take if seeing a volcano is important. The lookout point not close to the volcano and the day that we were there visibility was cloud covered. But Tubacon Hot Springs was a home run. Absolutely pristine and beautiful, highly professional staff, next time I will stay at the resort for a day or two to completely enjoy the experience.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

Max guide and Ricardo driver were great and very personable. The timing for each stop on the tour was enough for each destination. The lunch and dinner were better than I expected. Don't forget your bathing suit and bring flip flops or water shoes for the hot springs since some of the pools have uneven ground. Towels and locker rentals are included at the hot springs. A piece of advice though about the hotel pickups, ask in advance for the name of your guide and driver since the Hotel Aurola pick up point had multiple tour companies picking up guests at the same time.

Joanna S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

This tour was amazing!

Jennifer M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

The tour exceeded our expectations despite the overcast day preventing good views of Arenal. Our guide, Hugo, was knowledgeable, humorous and patient. He dealt skillfully with the various personalities on the tour—an impressive feat! The hot springs at Tabacon were breathtaking. All in all a very good value

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