Last updated on May 2nd, 2023 at 12:14 am
If you’re looking for a luxurious escape in the heart of Costa Rica, Tabacón Resort & Spa should definitely be on your list. This breathtaking resort is situated at the base of Arenal Volcano, surrounded by lush rainforest and natural hot springs. In this Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa review post, I will dive into the details of a Tabacon day pass & what to expect on this stunning property!
You will not have trouble finding a hot spring when you are in the Arenal region of Costa Rica, primarily due to Arenal Volcano. The natural hot springs in Costa Rica are formed from the heat produced by their volcanoes, geothermal heat and probably something else (that I don’t understand, lol).
I love to mix my trips with adventure and relaxation, which made it a no brainer to have a full relaxation day at one of the famous hot springs in Costa Rica.
This blog post details what is included in a Tabacon day pass and how to enjoy yourself at Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa, including my personal review on this resort.
Some links in this Tabacon day pass post are affiliate, if you click on them I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you.
My Tabacon Day Pass Ratings
Experience & Vibe: 9/10
Noise levels: 3/10 (the lower the better, in my opinion)
Food at Ave del Paraiso: 7/10
Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa Review: What Tabacón has to offer
Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa is a luxurious destination nestled in the heart of Costa Rica’s rainforest, at the base of Arenal Volcano. The resort offers a wide range of amenities and activities to suit every traveller’s interests, whether seeking adventure or relaxation!
The highlight of this resort is their natural hot springs, which provide a tranquil and rejuvenating escape for its guests.
Tabacon Day Pass Packages
Tabacón Resort is an expensive accommodation in Arenal, Costa Rica. It is for the luxurious traveller, and for most, is outside of budget! With that in mind, there are options for the mid-range or budget traveler to still enjoy this gorgeous respite!
Purchasing a Tabacón day pass is a great way to be able to immerse yourself in the opulence of this resort.
In order to access the resort with a day pass, you must book well in advance.
If you are visiting Tabacon from Guanacaste province and need transportation, check out this tour that offers transportation, entry tickets & lunch!
Hours of Operation: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Hotel: If you have the budget, and want to stay overnight, check out their hotel prices here! The room views are WONDERFUL and look out onto Arenal Volcano. Additionally, hotel guests have complimentary access to the hot springs daily, including a shuttle transport to & from the hot springs!
Spa on site: for Tabacon spa information, click here.
Other Day Pass Facts:
- Reservations are required
- Welcome drink included!
- Towels & lockers available, temporary deposit required
- Access to 20 hot springs & pools with temperatures ranging from 72 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit
- Hotel guests ONLY can access the Shangri-La Gardens (adults only)
- 2 restaurants (1 at the hot springs), 4 bars (2 at the hot springs)
Is a Tabacon Day Pass worth it? Personal Review
Short answer is: YES!! More details below…
When booking our trip to Costa Rica, I knew we had to plan around a full relaxing day at a hot springs. This was an obvious fact, for me. That being said, when figuring out which hot spring to visit, there were so many to choose from, I was getting quite overwhelmed.
If you are in the overwhelmed group, head over to my blog post that lists the best Arenal hot springs. I try to simplify it, however, you may just have to head to each hot spring yourself (haha, good luck).
How we chose Tabacón
Tabacón was one of my top choices, but the way our trip lined up, Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa kind of “fell” into our laps.
We had to cancel our initial Costa Rica trip and change around some details. The only resort available when we went to change our travel plans happened to be Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa, and I am here to say, we were VERY happy.
We could not afford to stay at the resort, which can cost up to $600.00 USD per night. If you are able to afford this (check out updated prices here)!
Therefore, we opted for a day pass that included dinner, costing us $90.00 USD per person.
We were happy to spend the latter half of the day at Tabacón, as we booked a couple’s massage in La Fortuna for the morning.
Tabacón Hot Springs Booking Process
I recommend reserving online here at least a couple of weeks ahead of time, to be more flexible with your vacation schedule.
We booked our day pass online three weeks in advance, for our last full day in the Arenal region. I advise you book ahead of time.
You will never be able to guess the weather, so do not try to book around weather forecasts, they are most likely not accurate anyway.
When booking a few weeks ahead, we had no issues with availability. We did however, have to change the date about two weeks ahead of time due to trip changes.
The Tabacón customer service was impeccable! They answered us within one day and helped us to rebook to another date that ended up working out better by changing the booking details on their end. No extra work for us, which we loved.
Once booked, you are emailed your confirmation, bring this in with you, and you are good to go!
Parking at Tabacón
If you have purchased a day pass, you are most likely driving in. We had no trouble finding the parking lot for Tabacón.
If you are driving in from La Fortuna, ensure you pass the first Tabacón building, this is the hotel. The hot springs are behind the second building on the left. Not to worry, if you end up at the hotel they will direct you down to the hot springs (this is what happened to us). Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful!
The parking lot is right across the street from the hot springs entrance. There are multiple staff members helping with parking. We arrived at around 11:30 AM and had no trouble finding parking spots.
Parking is free, as long as you have a Tabacón day pass.
If you are a hotel guest, the hotel offers a free shuttle service to and from the hot springs that runs multiple times on the hour.
Tabacón On Arrival
Upon arrival, we were greeted and checked in. They provide you with your towel card & locker. You must provide a deposit of $20.00 USD.
The change rooms (located right outside the hot springs), toilets & showers were kept clean. We did not have any complaints in this department.
The Hot Springs
Finding a place to sit was not difficult for us arriving at around 12:00 PM. We were lucky enough to get one of the last two secluded cabanas to ourselves for the rest of the day. If you are coming later in the day, your chances of getting a cabana are low.
We spent the rest of the day trying out the many hot springs and pools.
I found the hot springs to be HOT. Honestly, I should have known this, but for the HOT weather, the springs being hot was a lot of hot in one day, haha. I would have loved it even more if the weather outside was on the chillier side. This was my only “complaint…” which is not even a complaint.
The hot springs are luxurious, we felt like we were in paradise.
The main pool has a swim up bar that sells snacks & drinks. We loved the cocktails they served, especially the beautiful drinks in fruit.
I had to order the watermelon daiquiri (pictured here), it was large enough to share, it was also a bit pricey at around $35.00 USD.
We spent the rest of this wonderful day relaxing in our cabana and going out to all of the hot springs. It was truly amazing.
Dinner at Ave del Paraiso
Dinner was included within our Tabacón day pass package. Tabacón has two restaurants, however, only Ave del Paraiso is located at the hot springs (the other restaurant is at the hotel).
The meal is a three course fixed menu. We had seafood ceviche for an appetizer and their burger and fries for the main course. In my opinion, I found the burger to be really delicious & juicy.
The service at the restaurant and overall throughout the day was fabulous.
Ending the day with dinner was a nice way to wrap up the day. I am happy that we chose to have dinner instead of lunch, as it was filling and I probably would’ve been bloated running around the hot springs after.
My Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa Recommendations
- Bring water shoes or shoes that you can wear in the hot springs (even if they look ugly). Unless you have numb feet, I assure you it is difficult to walk along these rocks.
- The hot springs were the busiest around 4:00-5:00 PM. If you want to avoid the crowds, I would arrive around opening time ~10:00 AM.
- The Day Pass with one meal is amazing value for money, your choice on if you want to do lunch or dinner. I would not recommend two meals as there are so many places in La Fortuna to check out. I wrote a blog post on where to eat in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
- Lastly, I am probably biased (this is NOT sponsored), I recommend Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa for your Arenal hot springs day!
Don’t want to forget? Pin it for later!
Final Thoughts on Tabacon Day Pass
The hot springs in Costa Rica are something you should not miss while visiting Arenal, Costa Rica! Tabacón takes the cake for one of the most luxurious experiences of my life.
If you are on a budget and cannot afford to stay at the resort, the day pass is the way to go! It is of great value and you are sure to have a wonderfully tranquil day.
Joanna Neander is the author and creator of Plan Before Land. She is dedicated to creating detailed travel itineraries from around the world. Joanna’s most visited continents include, North America, Central America & Europe. Asia coming soon! Join along on Joanna’s travels!