Rio Negro Hot Springs
The easiest way to experience the hot springs is on a guided tour of Rincon de la Vieja National Park—a rugged geothermal landscape in Guanacaste's highlands. Tours may include a strenuous hike among steaming fumaroles and sulfuric pits and a soak in Rio Negro Hot Springs. A highlight is the chance to paint on volcanic mud and rinse it off in hot pools surrounded by rock walls. The Rio Negro flows through the pools, refreshing and reheating the water.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Bring a swimsuit and change of clothes for the drive home.
If planning a hike before or after the hot springs, wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and bring a pair of flip-flops to change into.
There is a small entrance fee to use the hot springs if visiting on your own.
Amenities at the springs are basic and include lockers, towels, and restrooms.
No dining facilities are available in the park, but most day tours include a stop for lunch.
How to Get There
Rio Negro Hot Springs are located in the north of Guanacaste province, about a 2-hour drive from Tamarindo, Playa Flamingo, and Playa Hermosa on the coast. All guided tours include transportation, or you can rent a car to access the springs on your own. For an added adventure, book a horseback ride to the springs, which start at Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin; the ride is about 1.5 hours each way.
When to Get There
The hot springs are open year-round. Time a visit with Costa Rica's dry season (December through April) for a lower chance of rain storms and muddy trails around the park.
A Day in Rincon de la Vieja National Park
Straddling the Cordillera de Guanacaste Mountain range that separates Costa Rica's Pacific and Caribbean sides, Rincon de la Vieja National Park is ripe for outdoor adventures and wildlife watching. The park’s tropical and cloud forests are teeming with life, from large mammals such as tapirs and pumas to exotic birds and vibrant orchids. Get closer to the landscapes that surround the active Rincon de la Vieja Volcano by hiking, horseback riding, and birdwatching.
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