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Submerge In The Incredible Volcano-Heated Springs of Costa Rica’s Rainforest

Nestled at the base of the Arenal Volcano in northern Costa Rica is a tropical haven that combines rainforest beauty with soothing hot springs. Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa is set amidst more than 900 acres of a pristine rainforest reserve and is blessed with abundant naturally flowing hot springs, complemented by cascading thermal waterfalls, serene river pools and an internationally renowned spa. A member of Small Luxury Hotels, Tabacón is an ideal homebase for nearby adventures, including those in Arenal Volcano National Park, where ecotourists encounter howler monkeys, toucans and coatis.

costa rica

Sustainability is a priority

The resort recently unveiled its official Sustainability Report that demonstrates its many efforts to use its natural resources and emphasizes the resort’s drive for cultural responsibility.

Since Tabacón’s water supply is 100% derived from the natural springs located on-property, with all hot water used in the resort naturally heated by the Arenal volcano, a water usage monitoring system was introduced in 2021. Consideration for downstream water protection and native landscaping was demonstrated during the renovation of the main pool area where Tabacón’s house nursery was able to provide 96% of the 1,036 plants used to surround the pool.

Costa Rica

The property itself consists of nearly 900 acres of rainforest with only a small portion devoted to the resort, and it is home to an ongoing rewilding program. Since 2009, more than 1,500 trees have been planted by guests as part of Tabacón’s ‘Plant A Tree Program’ and are tagged for guests to revisit. These trees are home to a variety of birds, including the green macaw which are an endangered species.

Culture and education

Tabacón has been involved in countless educational and cultural projects in the area for several years, with the promotion of Costa Rican culture at the heart of its mission. These include the Communal Band of La Fortuna which supports 200 musicians of all ages playing wind and percussion instruments, a dance group dedicated to Costa Rican dance and the Color Guard. Through the San Carlos Creativo program, Tabacón hosts artist Freddy Acuña twice a month who exhibits crafts that tell the story of Costa Rican legends.

Home-grown menus

By empowering the Food & Beverage team through supply-chain training, Tabacón has increased the prevalence of home-grown and home-crafted dishes on the menu across the resort’s two restaurants and four bars. New food and cocktail (including vegan and non-alcoholic) menus have been designed to reveal tales of Costa Rica’s history, the seven provinces and native foods. These are served with a side of ‘story’ to provide guests with context about their heritage and role in Tico traditions.

Healing waters

Tabacón’s unique access to mineralized thermal springs and the fundamental role of pure water when it comes to health and wellness provides a natural opportunity to welcome people to a safe space; the ‘COVID-Hero’ campaign invited local and domestic travelers to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the hot springs with discounted packages, while new spa treatments were designed to provide emotional balance and facilitate mental wellness.

Supporting local businesses

A new Coffee Tasting Experience developed in partnership with La Fortuna’s Cafe Metropoli roasting company explores the history and geographic nuances of one of the country’s key exports. Tabacón also uses Biosfera products exclusively in the spa. This La Fortuna-based company was established by a former employee and inspired by her time working at the Tabacón Spa. The carefully crafted products are hand selected and responsibly sourced representing Costa Rican superfoods including pineapple, coffee, avocado as well as volcanic lava.

Find more information on the resort and trip planning here.   

Photos courtesy of Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa

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About The Author
Kathy Strong
Kathy Strong
PS Wish You Were Here Travel is published by veteran travel writer Kathy Strong. Strong has spent the last 30 years authoring more than 20 travel guidebooks. In addition, she wrote a weekly newspaper travel column “Going My Way” for a decade and has contributed to several magazines such as USA Today publications and AARP. Her most recent travel guidebook, SECRET SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA , is a popular guide to off-the-beaten-path adventures. PS Wish You Were Here Travel spans the globe, featuring national and international travel opportunities and focusing on unique explorations.
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