Last updated on December 17th, 2020 at 04:45 pm EST
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We’ve experienced all 12 hot springs in La Fortuna Costa Rica!
Continue reading below to read about our visits to Costa Rica’s EcoTermales Hot Springs.
This article offers our review of the EcoTermales Hot Springs. Don’t miss all of the hot springs reviews we include in our La Fortuna Hot Springs Guide:
Get the Costa Rica info you need by browsing our article’s TABLE OF CONTENTS:
An overview of the EcoTermales Hot Springs in La Fortuna Costa Rica
Since 2002, the EcoTermales Hot Springs have been helping La Fortuna locals and visitors reap the rejuvenating rewards of thermal-water soaks. When Ricky and I first started living in La Fortuna, this property was one of only three operating hot springs attractions in town, its only major competitors being the luxe Tabacon Hot Springs (which was significantly more expensive) and the large Baldi Hot Springs (which rivaled EcoTermales in price). Everyone looking to relax at a small hot springs property that wouldn’t dent the wallet ended up at the EcoTermales Hot Springs. Us included.
Now that the Arenal area offers several hot springs attractions that vary in quality and cost, visitors can be more particular about choosing the type of hot springs experience they want to have and sticking to their hot springs budget. If you’re looking for a lively and social space where you can kick back and relax in therapeutic thermal water while conversing with friends or loved ones, EcoTermales may not be the place for you. Part of the appeal of the EcoTermales Hot Springs is that it offers a small property with quiet, natural-feeling pools you can hole up in for a few hours. Though a few other (less expensive) hot springs options in La Fortuna provide the same, the EcoTermales Hot Springs, who have managed to maintain much of their initial monopoly despite the development of competing sites (and arguably inflated rates), remain a popular choice.
Who should (and who shouldn’t) visit the EcoTermales Hot Springs
Consider choosing the EcoTermales Hot Springs if you’re looking for a hot springs site to enjoy on your own, or with a friend or significant other. Though the small property does welcome groups, such as family groups, friend groups, school groups, and sports teams, there isn’t a ton of space to comfortably spread out in, and the atmosphere is more calm than communal and entertaining.
Due to the layout of the EcoTermales Hot Springs (see the “size and design” section below for details), the EcoTermales Hot Springs are also recommended to travelers who need (or who prefer to visit) a small hot springs property that reduces walking distance between pools.
If you wish to visit a La Fortuna hot springs attraction that has a hotel on-site, it would be best to choose a different hot springs offering. The EcoTermales Hot Springs does not provide rooms/accommodations.
Learn what to expect from Costa Rica’s La Fortuna Hot Springs according to which hot springs attraction you plan to visit
Want to know what kind of thermal water experience you’ll have before you decide which hot springs in La Fortuna is the best to visit? We’ve got you covered. Not only have we personally experienced 12 different hot springs attractions in Costa Rica’s La Fortuna area alone, we’ve written a review of each La Fortuna hot springs property to help you decide for yourself which is most deserving of your time and money. Below is our review of the EcoTermales Hot Springs attraction which documents the following:
- Location: Where you’ll find the hot springs property, complete with the hot springs’ physical address and a map
- Hours: When you can visit the hot springs property during the day and throughout the week
- Price range: A range of prices you can expect to pay for a hot springs pass with or without a meal included (prices are subject to change without notice)
- Reservations: A confirmation of whether advance reservations are required to acquire a hot springs pass
- Size and design: Whether you can expect to enjoy and explore a small, medium, or large hot springs property
- Popularity: Whether you can expect to be joined by crowds at the hot springs
- Pools and rivers: What you can expect to find at the hot springs in terms of thermal-water pools and rivers
- Additional on-site features: What else you can expect to find at the hot springs in addition to thermal-water pools/rivers
- Atmosphere: What type of ambiance you can expect to find at the hot springs
- Dining: Whether you can expect to eat and/or drink on-site at the hot springs
- Accommodations: Whether the hot springs property offers a hotel on-site
- Towels and lockers: Whether you can expect to receive and/or pay for towels and lockers at the hot springs
- Parking: Whether you can expect to find parking at the hot springs
- 4×4 vehicle required: Whether a 4×4 vehicle is required to reach the hot springs
- Alternative hot springs names: Other names for the hot springs property that locals, GPS navigational systems, and maps may cite
Our La Fortuna Hot Springs rating system
We also rate Costa Rica’s La Fortuna hot springs according to a 1-10 scale (1 being the worst and 10 being the best). If you’re short on time, visit each hot springs review page on our blog (we’ve written one review for each hot springs property in La Fortuna; see the top of this article for links to each review) and look for the scale to quickly identify how we rate the hot springs.
The scales look like this:
To learn which rating we gave the EcoTermales Hot Springs, please see the rating provided at the top of this article.
EcoTermales Hot Springs photo gallery
We took the below photos during our most recent visit to the EcoTermales Hot Springs. Click on any photo below to view a larger version.
EcoTermales Hot Springs location
The official address of the EcoTermales Hot Springs is 5 km oeste del Parque Central (5 km west of the Central Park), La Fortuna, 21007, Costa Rica.
It takes approximately 10 minutes to drive to the EcoTermales Hot Springs from downtown La Fortuna. If arriving from the south/east (via downtown La Fortuna), the cutoff to the EcoTermales Hot Springs will be on your right (just before the Baldi Hot Springs, which will be on your left). Turn onto the paved side road signed for the EcoTermales Hot Springs. The EcoTermales Hot Springs are located at the end of this road, approximately a 1-minute drive from the turnoff.
EcoTermales Hot Springs map
EcoTermales Hot Springs hours
Though the EcoTermales Hot Springs hours are subject to change at anytime, the most recent operating hours we’ve recorded are 10:00am to 10:00pm Monday through Sunday.
EcoTermales Hot Springs price range
Though entrance fees to the EcoTermales Hot Springs are subject to change at anytime, the most recent prices we’ve recorded are $40 per adult and $26 per child age 5-11 (children ages 0-4 are free) for either a hot springs day pass or a hot springs evening pass without a meal included. It’s possible to add lunch or dinner to your hot springs pass for an extra cost.
Are the EcoTermales Hot Springs expensive?
On the spectrum of hot spring attractions you can visit in La Fortuna, the EcoTermales Hot Springs sit between middle-of-the-road options and high-end options in terms of overall quality. For this reason, the costs associated with the attraction’s hot springs passes fall between average costs and high costs.
EcoTermales Hot Springs reservations
Advance reservations are required for EcoTermales Hot Springs passes. Though hot springs passes can be purchased directly from the EcoTermales Hot Springs, we recommend requesting your day pass (with lunch) or evening pass (with dinner) through our sister site, Pura Vida! eh? Inc., in order to gain access to a free EcoTermales Hot Springs pass discount. For more information about our EcoTermales Hot Springs discounts, please see this page.
EcoTermales Hot Springs size and design
The EcoTermales Hot Springs are one of the smallest hot springs properties in the Arenal area. They’re also one of La Fortuna’s most natural-feeling hot springs attractions because they’re set among dense secondary forest.
All of the features you’ll find on-site at the EcoTermales Hot Springs including the property’s restaurants (the Sonidos del Agua Restaurant and the Los Litos Restaurant), bars (the Lake Bar and the Ranchitos/Pools Bar), change rooms, and lockers are scattered around the property. Each is only a short walk beyond the entrance and reception area via flat paths comprised of brick, concrete, or stone. Conveniently, all of the property’s cold-water pools and hot springs are located in the same area. Most butt up against one another and flow sequentially into the next, but some are a few steps away up or down a set of stairs. Several hot springs have in-pool steps that allow for easy entry and exit, though only a couple provide railings for stability.
EcoTermales Hot Springs popularity
From its onset, the EcoTermales Hot Springs’ reputation grew as an affordable alternative to the more expensive Tabacon Hot Springs. So did the attraction’s popularity. Today, though the EcoTermales Hot Springs competes with at least 11 other hot springs sites for visitors, it remains one of the most sought-after hot springs properties in the Arenal area. Even without an on-site hotel to deliver a steady stream of bathers in the form of hotel guests, the EcoTermales Hot Springs receives visitors on the regular year-round, especially during busy periods (mid-December to April and mid-June to mid-August). Since the EcoTermales Hot Springs property is small, there isn’t always enough space to keep up with the volume of requests for hot springs passes. For this reason, the attraction enforces a strict visitor capacity limit of 150 people for the day pass and 150 people for the evening pass.
EcoTermales Hot Springs pools and rivers
The cold-water pools and hot springs at EcoTermales are made up of 6 pools that range in temperature between 20 and 41 degrees Celsius.
The sequential line of pools you’ll find at the EcoTermales Hot Springs were built to mimic a hot springs river. At the top of the property is a wide, man-made waterfall which dumps thermal water into a private-feeling pool surrounded by lush flora. From there, water tumbles down a tiered rock face and a couple of small waterfalls to fill a few large pools constructed from concrete and stone. Some pools are lined with chaise lounge chairs and a few have grottoes blessed with their own waterfall. Nearly all of the hot springs are protected from Costa Rica’s tropical sun by the walls of tall palms and other trees that encroach upon the pools in all directions. Though the property’s wild, natural landscape gives the EcoTermales Hot Springs a remote and jungle-like feel, the gardens here aren’t as well-manicured or visually-appealing as those on display at several other well-kept hot springs in town.
Are the EcoTermales Hot Springs natural?
The EcoTermales Hot Springs are natural in the sense that the property’s mineral-rich thermal water comes from the area and is heated in part by the Arenal Volcano. The thermal-water is contained on-site in man-made pools designed to mimic a river.
Additional on-site features and amenities offered by the EcoTermales Hot Springs
Extra features and amenities you’ll find on-site at the EcoTermales Hot Springs
- Restaurants and bars (food/drinks not included in the cost of the hot springs pass, except in cases when a hot springs pass including a meal is purchased)
- A small, enclosed lake that has fish and crocodiles
Pool-area features and amenities you’ll find at the EcoTermales Hot Springs
- Small waterfalls
- Poolside tables and chairs
- In-pool chairs
- In-pool steps and railings
EcoTermales Hot Springs atmosphere
Though the popular EcoTermales Hot Springs welcome all kinds of travelers (independent backpackers and travel groups included), it’s a favorite among couples and honeymooners thanks to its serene vibe. Though higher-quality (and more expensive) hot springs attractions provide some of the most romantic (and solitude-serving) hot springs experiences you can have around Arenal, the EcoTermales Hot Springs are a decent choice if you’re looking for quiet and cozy hot springs to relax in. Private soaking spots are limited at this particular hot springs property, however, so be forewarned. This isn’t a place where you can easily snuggle up to a loved one without catching the attention of other bathers.
Dining at the EcoTermales Hot Springs
The EcoTermales Hot Springs has two on-site restaurants: the Sonidos del Agua Restaurant, which is typically a buffet restaurant, and Los Litos Restaurant, which is typically an a la carte restaurant. It also offers two on-site bars: the Lake Bar and the Ranchitos/Pools Bar. Day pass holders who visit the EcoTermales Hot Springs are welcome to purchase food and drinks at the hotel’s on-site establishments. Lunch and dinner (if purchased with the hot springs pass) are served at the Sonidos del Agua Restaurant.
Staying overnight at the EcoTermales Hot Springs
There is no on-site hotel at the EcoTermales Hot Springs. This hot springs attraction in the Arenal area caters to hot springs pass visitors only.
Towels and lockers at the EcoTermales Hot Springs
The EcoTermales Hot Springs offer a free towel rental service and a free locker rental service. Payment of a refundable deposit for either service is not required.
As a side note, I particularly love that the lockers at the EcoTermales Hot Springs are provided in an open space across from the staffed desk where towels and locker keys are obtained. Unlike most other hot spring properties in La Fortuna, which provide lockers in enclosed spaces such as change rooms, the lockers at the EcoTermales Hot Springs are visible to staff and guests. This makes it more difficult for anyone (including individuals with access to master locker keys) to steal your personal belongings.
Parking at the EcoTermales Hot Springs
Secure parking on the property of the EcoTermales Hot Springs is accessible and offered free of charge to EcoTermales Hot Springs visitors.
EcoTermales Hot Springs 4×4 requirement
A 4×4 vehicle is not required to reach the EcoTermales Hot Springs.
Alternative names for the EcoTermales Hot Springs
The hot springs at EcoTermales
“EcoTermales” may also be cited as “Ecotermales” or “Eco-Termales”
QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Have you been to the EcoTermales Hot Springs? How would you review the hot springs experience?