Eco Termales Hot Springs in La Fortuna Costa Rica: Guide for First Timers

waterfall at eco termales hot springs

Eco Termales Hot Springs in La Fortuna, Costa Rica is the perfect balance between luxury and budget. Located in a lush piece of the rainforest at the base of Arenal Volcano, the Ecotermales Hot Spring offers six thermal pools in varying temperatures, lounging areas, and a cocktail bar.

Coming in at a mid-range price point, Eco Termales hot spring offers travellers to La Fortuna a more luxurious option that won’t break the bank. Some say Eco Termales Hot Spring in Arenal is the more affordable Tabacon Hot Spring, me included. 

Eco Termales Fortuna is great for couples, older families and groups of friends. When it comes to hot springs in Costa Rica, I rank this La Fortuna hot spring in the top two simply because of the value and setting.

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.

This guide on Eco Termales Costa Rica Hot Springs, will give you details on its location, how to get there, who it’s best for, what is included in the Eco Termales day pass, and what to expect from this La Fortuna hot springs experience.

La Fortuna Quick Guide

LA FORTUNA CAR RENTAL
Check Prices of Costa Rica Rental Cars
*Best way to reach Eco Termales

BEST LA FORTUNA HOTELS
Luxury | Tabacon Thermal Resort and Spa
Luxury | The Springs Resort and Spa
Mid-range | Volcano Lodge
Apartment | Condo’s Vista Al Volcan 
Hostel | Selina La Fortuna

Where is Eco Termales Hot Springs

Eco Termales Hot Springs Costa Rica is located a 3.5 mile (5.5km) distance from downtown La Fortuna in the northern Alajuela Province and Arenal Volcano National Park. 

Click on the Ecotermales Arenal hot springs map below to interact with Google Maps and find your ideal route to visit the top hot springs La Fortuna offers, or read on about the best ways to get to the Costa Rica Tabacon Hot Springs.

ecotermales hot spring map

Eco Termales Hot Springs Address:
Ecotermales Fortuna, Alajuela Province, La Fortuna, Costa Rica

How to Get to Eco Termales
Hot Springs in La Fortuna

By Rental Car

town square at La Fortuna Costa Rica with Arenal Volcano as a backdrop
La Fortuna Central Park with Arenal Volcano

You can reach the Eco Termales Hot Spring in Costa Rica within a 10-minute drive by rental car. I like to reserve my car early through Discover Cars, because the last time I was in La Fortuna, all of the rental cars were sold out! So, make sure to book ahead. I like that Discover Cars compares local and international companies to find you the best deal. 

Check Prices + Availability of Rental Cars in Costa Rica

Enter ‘Ecotermales Fortuna’ into Google Maps (or Waze), and you have yourself the best route to get there. 

Otherwise, follow Route 142 westward out of downtown La Fortuna for 2.3 miles and your destination will be on the right down Hotel Eco Termales road. 

TIP | You do not need a 4×4 vehicle to visit this top La Fortuna hot springs Costa Rica as the entire roadway is paved. 

By Taxi

official red taxi to take to ecotermales
Official Red Taxi

If you don’t have a rental car, you can opt to take an official red taxi from the town centre to the entrance of the Eco Termales Hot Springs Arenal. The cost will be roughly $20 USD return. You can find the official taxi stand on the road in front of La Fortuna central park.

TIP | Make sure your driver turns on the taxi metre to properly track your trip. Otherwise, you may fall victim to overcharging.

Who is Eco Termales Hot Springs
Best For

pool at eco termales hot spring
Thermal Pool with Pool Bar Above

Similar to Tabacon Hot Springs, the Ecotermales hot spring offers a higher-end experience in a more intimate surroundings. Unlike Tabacon, an Eco Termales hot springs day pass costs half the price (without a meal), making your money go further for all of those other awesome things to do in La Fortuna

From my day spent among the thermal pools at Ecotermales, I would say children here are less common. The property doesn’t have much in regards to child-friendly amenities, unlike the bigger Baldi Hot Springs which comes with its own kid’s zone. 

Ultimately, the Eco Termales hot spring is the best hot springs in La Fortuna for people or couples looking for an intimate experience without breaking the bank.

Eco Termales Hot Springs Day Pass

pool at ecotermales fortuna with lush rainforest
Eco Termales Thermal Pools of Varying Temperatures

The Eco Termales Hot Springs in La Fortuna Costa Rica is accessed via a day pass and cannot be visited without a reservation.

Because of the intimate nature of the Eco Termales (one of the smallest hot springs in La Fortuna), the management has put a restriction on daily visitors of 150 people to maintain the experience. Make sure to reserve your day pass early.

Like other La Fortuna hot springs options, Ecotermales also offers a daytime and nighttime entry pass. Towel and locker are provided.

Ecotermales Hot Springs Morning Pass

pools at eco termales
A great spot to soak the day away

The day pass for the Eco Termales hot springs allows entry as early as 9AM and runs until 4PM in the afternoon. While the daytime pass is longer in duration, do remember that the hot humid sun will be beaming during these times reducing the amount that most visitors can stay. 

You can choose to pay extra to include a lunch served at the onsite buffet restaurant situated in the lush rainforest surrounds. Otherwise, you can enjoy the hot springs and find a meal at one of the top restaurants in La Fortuna, instead.

Hours | 9AM – 4PM
Price without Lunch | $44 USD day pass ($26 USD for children under 12)
Price with Lunch | $72 USD day pass with lunch or dinner ($40 USD for children under 12)

Ecotermales Hot Springs Evening Pass 

waterfall at ecotermales hot springs in arenal
Happy Camper in the Eco Termales Thermal Waterfall

Visiting the Ecotermales La Fortuna hot springs after 5PM, allows you to enjoy the contrast between the cooler evening air and the enjoyment of the warmer thermal pools. Along with this, the lighting on the property lends to a more romantic experience at night. The evening pass expires at 9:30PM

Similar to the day pass you can choose to include an a-la-carte dinner in your entry. 

Hours | 5PM – 9:30PM
Price without Dinner | $44 USD day pass ($26 USD for children under 12)
Price with Dinner | $72 USD day pass with lunch or dinner ($40 USD for children under 12)

Best Time to Visit Eco Termales
Hot Spring

girl walking across bridge at eco termales hot springs in costa rica

Time of Day

What time of day to visit the Eco Termales Hot Spring Cost Rica depends on what type of experience you are looking for. 

The daytime pass allows for much more sun-soaking and frolicking. Great for older families and groups of friends. The evening pass is more intimate, private and romantic. Better for couples or individuals looking for solitude.

Do note that I visited the Eco Termales hot springs via the day pass. Arrived at 9AM and left right after lunch. The contrast between the thermal pools and the outside air was too similar to truly enjoy soaking in the pools for a long period of time. So, don’t let the longer duration of the day pass sway your decision. 

The quietest time during my visit was between 9AM-10AM.

Time of Year

In regards to what time of year is the best to visit Eco Termales Hot Springs, you won’t find much difference in visitor levels throughout the year, since it’s a top La Fortuna hot springs.

Even though Ecotermales doesn’t boast its own resort on-site, the restriction on daily visitors evens out the crowds. 

Ultimately though, the busiest time in Costa Rica as a whole is on summer holidays from mid-June to mid-August and the dry season between December and April. 

What to Expect at EcoTermales
Hot Spring

The Ecotermales Costa Rica hot springs Arenal day pass comes with a few established amenities. Here’s what to expect when you visit Eco Termales hot springs:

girl in white dress walking along a lush pathway to eco termales costa rica hot springs
The Eco Termales Hot Springs Property is Lush

Parking

Once you’ve turned off the main Route 142 with your rental car, you will pass through a gate with a large Ecotermales sign. Here you will find a guard booth where you will have to show your day pass reservation before being able to go further. 

At the end of the road, you will find a large paved parking lot where visitors to Ecotermales can park free of charge.

Guest Registration

At the far end of the parking lot, you will find the open-air wooden structure of the reception to Ecotermales.  Show your hot springs reservation (on your phone is fine), and the staff will get you set up with a wristband, locker key and towel. There is no deposit required for the locker or towel provided.  

From here, a staff member will show you where the lockers, changerooms and restaurants are located which you will need for your visit. 

Changerooms + Restrooms

lockers at ecotermales la fortuna hot springs

The lockers provided for your day spent at Eco Termales Hot Springs are not located within a building, rather it is located on an open-air platform. Situated next to the lockers with benches, you will find the large house of restrooms with showers, changing area and a restroom area.

Remember to keep your locker key with you at all times.

The Thermal Pools

thermal pools at hot springs costa rica

Follow the lush path to the left and you will find the Eco Termales hot springs featuring six man-made pools with thermal water. Structured to imitate a natural thermal river, the hottest pools can be found at the top of the property just past the thermal waterfall. There are three small pools in total. The hottest pools reach 41°C

The thermal waterfall area itself is the most intimate throughout the property. With a large lagoon you can soak in and a waterfall around 32°C, this was by far my favourite part of Eco Termales hot springs

From here, you will find the three main thermal pools and cool pools with seating areas and loungers for soaking up the sun. The coolest of the pools is shallow enough for children.

Pool Bar

thermal pools at eco termales costa rica
Pool Bar to the Right

There is a large open-air bar located just above the thermal pools up a set of stairs. Either wait for staff to come around and ask for your order or walk up to the bar and order there.

What’s great about ordering drinks at Eco Termales is that your entry wristband acts as a bar tab. Therefore you do not need to bring your credit card or cash with you to the pool. 

Cocktails here range from $8USD to $10USD. 

Eco Termales allows you to drink your cocktail by the pool and provides you will a plastic reusable cocktail glass. The downside to this is fellow visitors will end up leaving their cups around the edge of the pool and this can detract from the experience.

Restaurants

lake bar at eco termales hot springs la fortuna
Lake Bar at Eco Termales Hot Springs

The Eco Termales La Fortuna hot spring has two on-site restaurants and two on-site bars (including the pool bar). 

Sonidos del Agua Restaurant is where you will have your meal if purchased with your day pass. This is usually a buffet-style meal. Attached to the open-air restaurant is the Lake Bar. A pagoda is located on a picturesque lagoon with comfortable seating. A great spot to enjoy a cocktail before your meal.

The a-la-carte restaurant is called Los Litos Restaurant.

arenal hot springs lake bar

Wildlife at Eco Termales Hot Springs

Because the hot springs are located on a lush rainforest property, it is not uncommon to witness Costa Rica’s wildlife. Keep an eye out for sloths, monkeys and so much more!

Can you Stay at the Eco Termales
Hot Spring?

No, Eco Termales is not classified as an Arenal hot springs resort because it does not offer lodging on site. If staying at a La Fortuna hotel that has a hot spring is a priority for you, I recommend Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa for luxury or Baldi Hot Springs Hotel & Spa for families with kids.

lush pathway at eco termales hot springs arenal

What to Bring to Eco Termales
Hot Springs

When visiting Ecotermales hot springs there are a few important things to bring with you. 

I love to carry my purifying reusable water bottle with me throughout my travels to reduce single-use plastic consumption.


VIFUUR Water Sports Unisex Shoes Black - 12.5-13 W US/ 11-11.5 M US (44-45)

WATER SHOES | I used my water shoes to climb around waterfalls and natural hot springs. They are particularly grippy and come in so many sizes and colours. Good for the whole fam!

Teva Women's Tirra Sandal,Black/Grey,9 M US

HIKING SANDALS | I lived in a solid pair of hiking sandals for the entirety of my trip in Costa Rica. These sandals have great grip and strap you in so your foot doesn’t move around. Plus, they look cute, in my opinion.

Columbia Women's Switchback III Jacket, Black, Medium

RAIN JACKET | Because Costa Rica is covered in rainforest, that means the weather can be pretty unpredictable. Make sure to bring a hooded rain jacket with you that can pack up small in your day bag just in case. I definitely used mine.

ZOMAKE Lightweight Hiking Backpack Water Resistant,20L Packable Daypack Foldable Small Backpack for Travel

WATER RESISTANT DAYPACK | Costa Rica is a wealth of adventure and with that comes multiple day trips or days spent in and out of your rental car. Make sure to have a water resistant daypack that can carry your water bottle, snacks, mosquito repellent and sunscreen.

LARQ Bottle Movement PureVis - Lightweight Self-Cleaning and Non-Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle with UV Water Sanitizer, 32oz, White/Pebble

PURIFYING REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE | I travel full time, so I’ve seen the devastation single-use plastic can have on our environment. Once I purchased this purifying reusable water bottle, I never looked back. It’s super stylish and you can recharge it through USB!

Rainleaf Microfiber Towel,Blue,24 X 48 Inches

MICROFIBRE TOWEL | Costa Rica is humid, so a normal cotton towel will take forever to dry. Let’s try to avoid that moldy towel smell. For those day trips to waterfalls, hot springs, rivers and beach, make sure to carry along a microfibre quick-drying towel.

JOTO Waterproof Case Universal Phone Holder Pouch, Underwater Cellphone Dry Bag Compatible with iPhone 13 Pro 12 11 Pro Max XS XR X 8 7 6S, Galaxy S21 S20 S10 Note Pixel Up to 7.0" -2 Pack,Black

WATERPROOF PHONE CASE | Plan on repelling or canyoning down a waterfall? Snapping pics in the hot springs? You will need a good waterproof phone case.

Thinksport SPF 50+ Mineral Sunscreen – Safe, Natural Sunblock for Sports & Active Use - Water Resistant Sun Cream –UVA/UVB Sun Protection – Vegan, Reef Friendly Sun Lotion, 6oz

SUNSCREEN | Y’all, the sun is HOT in Costa Rica as the country is located close to the equator. Make sure to throw on some sunscreen even if it’s cloudy out. That’s what it gets you. There are some great reef-safe sunscreens out there nowadays, so let’s protect our ocean life!

Natrapel 12-Hour Insect Repellent, 6 oz. Eco-Spray Picaridin Bug Spray – Family Insect Repellent for Mosquitoes, Ticks, & More, Black (0006-6878)

MOSQUITO REPELLENT | Yup, there are mosquitos in the rainforest, who would have thunk. I like to use a more natural mosquito repellent.


Travel Insurance for La Fortuna

La Fortuna Costa Rica is known for adrenaline-packed adventures, and with that, comes the risk of fall, injury or accident. Don’t be left with huge hospital bills and protect yourself with the right travel insurance.

Travel insurance is one of those things I hope you never have to use. But in case you do, you’ll want reliable insurance on your side. Plus, it’s such a small cost for peace of mind. Please, don’t leave home without it!

I used HeyMondo insurance on my trip to Costa Rica and can recommend it.

What’s great about HeyMondo:

  • No out-of-pocket fees
  • 24/7 doctors available through their handy app to answer all of your questions
  • Covers travellers from any country in the world
  • Offers short-term, long-term and multi-trip annual plans (I recommend single-trip insurance for Costa Rica)
  • Covers trip cancellation – very useful these days!

>>> Find the perfect travel insurance for you. (and get an exclusive 5% discount for being my reader!)


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