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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.

Highlights

  • 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

Recent Photos of This Tour

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

Shauna B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

This tour was so great! Between the food, the sights and the hot springs, you cannot go wrong. Please be prepared that weather is not necessarily cooperative and this is the rain forest, there may be rain and clouds. The clouds covered the volcano, but that has be a possibility to expect the guides have no control over this. The food was fantastic at both locations and I felt authentic to Costa Rica. I chose Tabacon over Baldi and other hot springs for the resort's reputation and I was not disappointed. Four hours at that paradise was more than amazing. Everything on the tour ran like a well-oiled machine. We got back later than I expected, but I didn't really care after relaxing in the hot springs, I just went right to bed at my hotel.

Christina B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Jesus and Juan Carlos took great care of us on this day! We learn much about the country and had a great time enjoying the beautiful Hot Springs! The meals were also delicious. Another amazing day in Costa Rica!

Margaret C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

This tour was really fantastic. The lunch after a few hour bus ride was very good they gave you a choice of several options. The town of Sarchi was interesting, as well as the world's largest ox cart. The Arenal volcano was cloudy at the top the day we were there, but you could still see the volcanic black lava on one side very clearly. The hot springs was absolutely terrific, they provide you with dry towels and a medium size locker. You can turn your towel in for a dry one as many times as you want. I left my towel in my locker. The shower area was very nice and clean, but they only provided body soap so I was glad that I brought some shampoo and conditioner from my hotel. The buffet dinner afterward was equally delightful. There was a large salad bar, a hot soup, several kinds of breads, a pasta station, grilled steak, chicken, vegetables, and a dessert buffet. If I went back to Costa Rica again, I would do this tour again. Definitely worth the money, but be advised, it is a long day.

Ours

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

We were lucky that we were able to see it, the hot springs were the best part!

Haynes M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

This tour is All about the Hot Springs and the Dinner Buffet at Tabacón ☆ the mini bus while well air-conditioned the seats could use a little more padding - Our tour guide Eugene and driver Roy were wonderful, informative and safe. This is a Must Do tour every time I am in Costa Rica

Lei United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

This was an awesome day trip. The tour guide was very nice. The hot spring felt amazing. I would definitely do it again. Great stop to buy souvenirs. Please note: if you are scared to drive on winding roads at night take a sleeping pill on the way back. But do not miss out on this. Totally worth every penny. The drive is long but I really didn't mind.

Erika C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Love Tabacon!

Joan H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

Very knowledgeable host - he gave the whole tour in both Spanish and English. I wish we had a little more time to shop in Sarchi we only had 20 minutes for a Costco-sized store packed with wooden gifts, but it was by far the best bargain for souvenirs that I saw while in Costa Rica.

It was a bit cloudy/rainy when we got to Arenal so we never saw the top of the volcano, but got some good photos regardless. Afterwards, the Tabacon hot springs and resort were AMAZING - lots of springs to venture through, a spa if you're into that, and a swim up bar in the hotel pool. Plus the food buffet for dinner was incredible.

The only downside was how far this was from San Jose... about 3 hours each way, so it was a long ride back on the bus.

Kristie M United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

The drive was long but it was very beautiful and the hot springs were the best part of the whole trip. Both of the meals were exceptional!

Marc M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

Great trip. Oscar was our guide, he was funny and informative and gave the tour in English and Spanish. The weather cooperated which gave us a great view of Arenal. Good lunch and dinner and the Tabacon springs were pretty amazing.

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