Our next destination was a “splurge” for us – a three day stay at The Springs Resort & Spa in La Fortuna. It is located in the Arenal Volcano region and a 3 ½ hour drive into the Central Valley of Costa Rica. Our GPS took us on a dizzying route that included steep inclines, tight curves and questionable roads. We found out after arriving that we could have taken a better route. But hey, it was an adventure!
Costa Rica was conquered by the indigenous people – the Maleku tribe, who were discovered 180 years ago. They were a nomadic native tribe that lived in the forest – often hidden and lived in perfect symbiosis with their natural surroundings. Many of their sacred places were well kept secrets. Unfortunately they have been discovered and are now a popular tourist attraction.
Once a month the Maleku chief named Tafar, use to walk up to the volcano on foot and honor its natural force. His most esteemed ancestors were buried close to the Rio Celeste at the base of a 450 year old majestic Ceiba Pentandra tree.
As we approached The Springs Resort & Spa, our arrival brought a jaw dropping moment. What an impressive entrance to an amazing facility. We couldn’t wait to check in and start discovering all the amenities the resort had to offered.
The Springs Resort & Spa is a thousand feet above the valley floor. Sitting safely outside the government’s declared danger zone from a volcanic eruption. The Arenal Volcano is a masterpiece of natural beauty. Since the elevation of the hotel is higher than any other in the surrounding area, every room looking towards the volcano offers a spectacular view of the mountains peak and its lush valley floor.
For us, the most impressive part of the area is none other than the 28 hot springs! The pools are free-formed and obviously have a fantastic view of the volcano. The pools range from 83 to 103 degrees in temperature. Some have quaint waterfalls and others have a forestry ambiance. You can also slide from pool to pool if desired. It was an experience that we never have felt before.
We booked a 2 bedroom town home styled suite situated on 2 levels with both having king beds, a private balcony with views and an in-room bar. I had the pleasure of getting a massage at the resort’s luxurious appointed spa. The spa’s services included a body wrap, facial and full body massage along with a medi-pedicure.
The reception area was very inviting. We were taken back to the changing area and provided with individual closets and robes. You had the option to utilize the sauna and steam areas, all the oils from the botanical ingredients that are indigenous to the area, and the prevalent volcanic clay.
At the end of the massage, a double door was swung open revealing another awe-inspiring view! When ready, you are escorted into a resting area where a sweet treat and refreshing fruit water awaited you. What a way to end such indulgence!
You can chose to have a burger from the poolside – Treetop Grill, sushi served at the swim up bar or better yet, enjoy a formal dining experience in the resorts exotic restaurant. We usually ate breakfast at the buffet every morning basking in the sun while admiring the incredible views.
We enjoyed playing and relaxing in all the connecting pools. The surrounding lush, colorful and tropical landscape added to the atmosphere. Our 3 year old grand-daughter was having as much fun as we were. The Resort & Spa offer many family friendly amenities. Paradise can be savored in so many ways!
The area includes such activities like horseback riding, kayaking, climbing, mountain biking and a guided wildlife sanctuary tour to mention a few. There is also an area for kids to enjoy, plenty of common areas, and a gym for the active adult.
This is a wonderful opportunity to have any accompanying children see these amazing creatures up close. The colors and natural behavior of these fabulous animals excite children and adults alike. Costa Rica is an advocate in preserving these marvelous animal.
One evening we decided to drive into La Fortuna to do some shopping and have dinner off the resort. My son and daughter-in-law had been there before and recommended eating at the Lava Lounge restaurant, which was not a disappointing choice. The menu included pizza and pasta, seafood, burgers and a variety of wraps that offered plenty of Costa Rican flare.
Our son encouraged us to visit the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa. It is located just outside the Arenal National Park. It’s another very popular destination located in close proximity to The Springs Resort. There are plenty of hiking trails leading to the Danta Waterfall.
We arrived after a forty minute drive to a gated entrance to the observatory. We went to the reception area of the lodge and received a map outlining trails and directions to the Danta Waterfall. The trail was clearly marked. We ventured through lush tropical foliage complete with jungle sounds of birds, frogs and falling water.
After an hour long walk, we arrived at our destination. Another ‘awe’ inspiring sight. We had planned on swimming in the pool below the waterfall, but no one was swimming and figured you couldn’t. We found out later that we could have enjoyed a good swim. It would have been very refreshing after our very heated and humid hike.
On our way back, we decide to have a cold cerveza! We high-tailed it back to the lounge at the Arenal Observatory and enjoyed not only a cold cerveza (beer), but a wonderful view of the Arenal Volcano.
As you may have seen in many of the pictures, there was hardly anyone sharing our space! Visiting during the rainy season is a 50-50 chance of having a good or bad experience. Several weeks after our visit, Costa Rica endured a tropical storm which created flooding, mudslides and injuries throughout the Central Valley. We enjoyed the lower prices, access to the hot springs and activities without fighting the seasonal crowds.
I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into our vacation to one of the “Happiest Places on Earth”. Costa Rica is an amazing country. One we plan on visiting a lot more in the near future!
Take time to visit Gay’s “Rock of Gratitude” – https://www.rockofgratitude.com/