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Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

star-4.5
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San José, Costa Rica
60

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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icon12 to 16 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more
Good for avoiding crowds

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Face masks provided for travelers
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
Gear/equipment sanitized between use
Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Regular temperature checks for staff
Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
More questions?
(888) 651-9785

Overview

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.
  • Day trip from San Jose to Arenal Volcano and the Tabacón hot springs
  • 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

Why Travelers Choose This Tour

Unlike on a trekking tour, this excursion lets you enjoy Arenal Volcano without having to hike up its steep slopes.
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Hotel pickup and drop-off (selected hotels only)
Transport by air-conditioned minivan
Professional guide
Lunch
Dinner
Gratuities
Additional food and drinks

Departure Point

San José Province, San José, Costa Rica

Departure Time

8:00 AM

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
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. Stop briefly in the artisan town of Sarchí, where craftspeople have been making traditional, brightly-painted wooden oxcarts for generations. 

Continue on to the town of La Fortuna, where you 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. 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). Find small secluded pools and larger lagoons with cascading waterfalls, all surrounded by lush tropical scenery. Enjoy ample 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 are dropped off back at your hotel.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
La Carreta
after a minivan pickup from your hotel in San Jose, your day trip begins with the 35-minute drive northwest to Sarchí, a Central Valley town famous for its crafts, particularly wood and leather furniture and decorated oxcarts. Pick up a souvenir or two from a local artisan before making the 2.5-hour drive further north to the town of La Fortuna, which sits below Arenal and offers an unobstructed view of the volcán on clear days.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Arenal Volcano
On arrival in La Fortuna, head to a local restaurant for a typical Costa Rican lunch of rice, beans, chicken or steak, and plantains, accompanied by a great view of Arenal. Then, continue your tour about 20 minutes down the road to Mirador Arenal 1968, a trail system on the edge of Arenal Volcano National Park (Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal) named for the 1968 eruption. Walk along the paths to find the best photo spots of the volcano and Lake Arenal (Lago Arenal), and watch for glimpses of bright orange lava flowing down the volcano.
Duration: 2 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Tabacon Hot Springs
officially Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort — one of Costa Rica’s biggest and most luxurious hot springs resorts. Enjoy roughly 3.5 hours here to soak in the various pools, which range in temperature from 77 to 102°F (25 to 38°C). The resort is beautifully landscaped with waterfalls and lush vegetation and offers many ways to relax, from secluded pools to a swim-up bar (drinks at your own expense), so sit back and enjoy it until dinner is served. The resort’s buffet dinner lasts about 30 minutes and offers a selection of Costa Rican cuisine, similar to lunch.
Duration: 4 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Due to the pandemic, this tour is subject to availability. A minimum of passengers is required for the tour. But you can check our availability. There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation if there are not enough passengers to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund
  • Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking
  • It is recommended that you wear light clothing, comfortable shoes and bring a bathing suit and towel
  • May be operated by a multi-lingual guide
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Gray Line Tours Costa Rica

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose?
A:
The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose?
A:
The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose?
A:
The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose?
A:
The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose.

Traveler Photos

Traveler Tips


  • "It's a long trip but it's so worth it especially if you don't have the time to visit the place on your own, which needs several days unless you have a private vehicle." See review
  • "If you do not do well in cars with lots of turns, be prepared to take precautions such as motion sickness bracelets or pills." See review
  • "Stay in the hot spring about 5 and half hours not necessary." See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
200 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 200 reviews
star-5
Paradise
Irina_N
, May 2021
Amazing paradise 🤩 I had a great experience today and Hot Springs are just miracle place that makes you feel like you in a paradise. They have bar, many different spots with hot or warm water. That’s awesome!
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star-5
Great mix of scenery and relaxation
Brett_M
, May 2021
The oxcart factory seemed to me at first like it was going to be my least favourite part, but I was really glad that we stopped there. Great handmade souvenirs and an interesting tour. Lunch was delicious at a restaurant right out in nature, saw a few basilisk lizards by the pond. The view of the volcano was amazing. Didn't get to see it completely without clouds until we were in the hot springs pools....which are the highlight of this tour. This can be a lot of driving if you're staying in San Jose, so just prepare for that. Marco was a great guide. Was always on time.
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star-5
Full Day of Fun and Memories
davidflack
, Dec 2020
Ideal tour for those who are in San Jose but want to see some of the highlights of the north of the country. First stop is at an ox cart wheel factory in Sarchi, where workers paint these elaborate symbols of Costa Rica. There is a giant souvenir store on the site as well selling anything you could want to remember your time here. It's another couple hours drive north to La Fortuna and a lovely lunch before heading off to view Arenal Volcano, which is just stunning. This symmetrical stratovolcano is the only one of its kind in a country filled with volcanoes and has a hypnotizing silhouette like Mt Fuji. After you've had your fill of volcano pictures, it's off to an extended stay at the Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, which includes a huge network of heated pools and cascading waterfalls. You can sit directly under and behind a heated waterfall for the ultimate thrill, or relax in one of the calmer side pools. After a few hours enjoying the hot springs and watching the sun go down, the tour ends with the elaborate sumptuous buffet dinner at the resort before the approximately 3 hour drive back to San Jose. I love tours like this because they maximize your time from sun up to sun down while leaving the logistics of pulling it off to the experts. Max was our guide/driver and was a fountain of knowledge about Costa Rica. He regularly checked up on everyone to make sure they were enjoying themselves and was always on hand to answer questions or take photographs for you. Wonderful guy who made the trip even that much better! Highly recommend.
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Great family getaway
Siarhei_H
, Nov 2020
Hot springs, great guide, terrific views, superb experience, divine food, courteous service, friendly local people!
icon Response from Host , Nov 2020
Thanks, Hubarau, Siarhei For your comments, it motivated us, because we can grow with our clients and our services. I send your evaluation to our different departments that make this possible.
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star-5
Awesome excursion
Donarie_W
, Nov 2020
We actually went to the Baldi Hot Springs since the Tabacon Springs were closed. The day was beautiful the excursion was the best. The hot springs were very impressive. The tour guide Jesus was informative, pleasant, safe driver, patient and made everyone on the bus felt like a family. I would recommend this excursion.
icon Response from Host , Nov 2020
Hi, Whilby, Donare Thanks for your comments, It is very important to us, we can grow in our service, I send the comment to our Gray Line Costa Rica team. We hope you enjoy your trip and you can visit in the future. Thanks for visit Costa Rica.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Volcano and hot springs
Adrian_G
, Mar 2020
Long minibus trip with 18 others to the volcano park,but got lots of good commentary en route(only problem was the guide had to do the commentary in English and Spanish,as half the passengers were Spanish speakers,and it was sometimes hard to follow him). Had good stops-at a local handcraft place,where we could alos taste local coffee and sugarcane spirits(and buy them);and at a lunch spot,and a toilet stop at a big Service Station. A short walk got us good views of the Arenal volcano,then we spent 3 hours at a lovely hot springs,with beautiful tropical gardens,followed by cocktails by the pool,then a delicious buffet dinner before the 3n hour trip back to our hotels. A long day,but well worth it!
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Wonderful tour guide. Very organised Hot Springs were one of the best experiences of my life! Food was awesome. Highly
Glen_B
, Feb 2020
Tour guide was great! Very organized. The hot springs were one of the best experiences I've had! Food was a 10!
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
star-4
Not bad
SChoice
, Feb 2020
Good Tour Operator. But bust stops in the middle in nowhere for sort of coffee and shop — completely wast of time. Lunch can be better for the price of the tour. The hot spring was nice.
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Arenal Tabacon Hot Springs
clazonly
, Feb 2020
Awesome experience. All what’s important to me covered! Emailed confirmed trip, follow up confirmed location & time. Abundance of good food. Bathroom stops clean! Mario & Walton personal & friendly. Well organized!!!
icon Response from Host , Feb 2020
Hello! Greetings from Gray Line Costa Rica. Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback with us! We hope you visit us again soon!
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
star-3
Not the best
insoonfelch
, Jan 2020
The guide did not explain at all on way to the volcano. Tourists/we were kept asked, explain to us. Unlike the other guide, they did not stop once for the scenic area until we asked them...
icon Response from Host , Feb 2020
Dear insoonfelch, thank you for letting us know about this. Your honest feedback helps us get better.
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Product code: 3171TABACON

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