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Rio Negro Hot Springs
Rio Negro Hot Springs

Rio Negro Hot Springs

Guachipelin, Guanacaste and Northwest, Costa Rica

The Basics

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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Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
star-4.5
$125.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Great tour and day
Seeing the forest and volcanic spots with a knowledgeable guide was well worth it. We had an amazing time and saw so many cool things! Highly recommend. Don’t skip the waterfall swim, it’s invigorating!
Holly_B, Sep 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Guanacaste and Northwest

star-4
Very interesting
mimasoy, Sep 2021
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
Had great tour guide & driver Hector & Pablo. Very knowledgeable, answered all of our questions. The pathway for the hike is mostly concrete & it's doable. I'm not a hiker, just take your time. For the waterfalls you do have to cross a hanging brige ( i skipped, lol). Hot springs is a MUST.
star-5
The Wonder, History and Beauty of Costa Rica
Diana_R, Aug 2021
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
The most incredible thing of the experience was how attentive and knowledgeable our guide was. Throughout the forest, we all learned the history and legends that survived time. Meeting nature and watching the harmony all around. The waterfall was simply miraculous and the hot springs were the best way to dissolve the aches that come from such an incredible hike. If anyone is searching for a full experience of wonder, history and beauty, look no further.
star-5
Good time, beautiful views of nature, and just the right length.
Josh_B, Aug 2021
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
The mud bath and hot springs were unique. The waterfall portion of the experience was beautiful and jumping off the rocks was fun (be prepared, the water is cold). We saw some white-faced monkeys and several different types of pretty birds, along with fantastic scenery and cool features of the volcano. Also, it is an easy hike - not demanding but good exercise. Our family had a great time.
star-5
Great tour
LisaKristin_X, Aug 2021
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
It was an amazing experience. Kevyn was a great tour guide and knows a lot about local wildlife. The food at the restaurant was also really good.
star-5
Amazing Experience
Benjamin_F, Jul 2021
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
Our driver and tour guide Paulo and Ronnie were great! They made sure we got the most out of our day. We got to swim in waterfalls, take a mud bath, bathe in hot springs, and hike around the volcano. This was an amazing experience.
star-5
Lots of amazing sites to see! Worth the money!
WENDY_F, Jul 2021
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
This excursion was full of surprises! My favorite part was watching the spider monkeys swing from the trees and the mud bath & soaking in the hot springs. A lot of beautiful & amazing sites to see and our tour guide was very knowledgeable and pleasant. It was a good workout if you like to exercise. I highly recommend!
star-5
Awesome
JayR, Jul 2021
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
We loved every part of this adventure! Our guide was knowledgeable about the landscape and the history of the country which made it all the better
star-5
Great day!
Kate_W, Jul 2021
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
Great tour! Hector was a fantastic guide, very friendly and knowledgeable. The initial walk was fun and a good introduction to the park but for me the highlights were the waterfall and the hot springs. I’d highly recommend this day trip.
star-5
A Full Day Tour Totally Worth It
AUP, Jul 2021
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
It was a great experience! Drive from Tamarindo was about 2 hours each way, but comfortable. The hike was mild to moderate intensity. In total we walked around 12k steps with some steps, inclines and a few hanging bridges. Our guide Gustavo was awesome. He was both knowledgeable and entertaining. Highlights of the tour was bathing at the waterfalls and then relaxing at hot springs. A must do in Costa Rica!
star-5
Amazing experience
Elena_G, Jun 2021
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
Awesome tour, great guide. It was wonderful to experience so many different things in one day. Would highly recommend.
star-5
Great experience
Quianna_Y, Apr 2021
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
Had a great time and learned so much. It was a very long day our guide and driver (Ranny and William) were both awesome! Ranny made sure to remind everyone about keeping their masks on and there were hand washing stations at every stop, so it felt Covid-19 safe. It was definitely exhausting for someone who had never hiked before, but I enjoyed it.
star-5
Hike/Watwrfall/Hot Spring oh my!
Karina_H, Oct 2021
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
We were picked up from our resort by a guy in a small Susuki. It was a little sketchy at first because we weren’t told we were getting picked up by a car. There was another tourist in the car, so we decided to trust and get in the car. We were taken to El Jardín, which is a souvenir/restaurant stop to meet the rest of out tour group. We had a little bit of time to get some breakfast and look at the souvenirs. Be warned that the food at the restaurant isn’t good. Save yourself some money and just drink coffee at your hotel. Once we were on the road, it took about an hour to get to the base of the volcano. We went on a 2 hour walk/hike around the volcano crater and stopped at various points. Our tour guide, Gustavo, was very knowledgeable about the ecology and volcano. A short walk after the hike from the tour van was the waterfall. You have to walk about 10 minutes to the waterfall and pass a hanging bridge. The water at the waterfall is cold, but we’ll worth it. It a bit rocky at the bottom so if you have water shoes, keep them on. There’s a point in the waterfall where you can jump from, excellent pictures. Lunch was after, we went to a restaurant that’s part of the National Park. Food is served buffet style, but food was pretty good. They served fresh watermelon juice which was excellent. Last part of the tour is to drive down to the hot spring, you also walk about 5-10 minutes to the spot. The tour guide will it explain that each hot spring is at different temperatures, there’s about 9 different pools. After you’ve relaxed in the hot spring for about 40 minutes, you can do some mudding. There’s some showers there to wash it off. Overall, very good experience. Because we went during this time of year, nothing was crowded and we didn’t have to wait for anything.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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