Arenal is a really cool area, and definitely a resort region. The resorts are massive properties with hot springs, spas, multiple pools and restaurants, you name it – designed that you could be perfectly content spending your entire visit to Arenal without ever leaving the resort. BUT, there are so many fun things to do in Arenal, so make sure you take advantage of them!
I’d recommend spending 3-4 days in Arenal. That’ll give you some lounge time around your resort as well as let you experience the beauty of this jungle paradise. The activities I’d most recommend would be checking out at least one of the hot springs as well and also experiencing Sky Adventures.
HOT SPRINGS: most of the major resorts have a hot spring (or more), and you don’t have to stay at that resort to experience them! We opted to visit Tabacon Hot Springs for the evening pass while we were in Arenal as it came so highly recommended by multiple friends, and it did not disappoint! Expect a lot of R&R during your visit to any of the hot springs in this area, but some of the most popular ones are:
- Tabacon Hot Springs @ Tabacon Resort and Hot Springs
- Open 10am-10pm
- Day pass costs: Entrance is $XX for adults ($XX for children); cost is $85 if including lunch or dinner, $105 for entrance, lunch, and dinner; you can also do a night pass only (6pm-10pm), including dinner, for $70
- Baldi Hot Springs @ Baldi Resort and Spa
- Open 9am-10pm
- Day pass costs: Entrance is $35 for adults (50% discount for children); cost is $57 if including lunch or dinner, and $79 per person for day pass, lunch, and dinner
- Los Perdidos Springs and Las Lagunas @ The Springs Resort and Spa
- Open 8am-10pm
- They offer a special two-day pass for $65
- Titoku Hot Springs @ Hotel Arenal Kioro
- Various entrance times: 10am-1pm, 1-3pm, 3-5pm, or 5-8pm
- Day pass costs: Entrance is $30 for adults (50% discount for children), $47.50 includes lunch or dinner
- Eco Termales Hot Springs
- Various entrance times: 10am-4pm or 5-10pm
- Day pass costs: Entrance is $40 for adults, $62 if adding lunch or dinner
Note that many of the hot springs offer free admission if you stay at the hotel where the hot springs are located, so factor that into your hotel search!
SKY ADVENTURES: Sky Adventures offers multiple different options, ranging from ziplining for the thrill-seakers to hikes for those who are more comfortable with their feet on the ground. Because we chose to zipline in Monteverde, we opted for the Sky Walk, and would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone looking to get some beautiful tree-top views of Arenal! Here’s a bit more info on everything this company has to offer:
- Sky Trek: Ziplining
- 4100 ft across 7 ziplines
- Mulitple start times, but the experience lasts around 2.5 hours
- $81 per adult
- Sky Walk: Tree-Top Hanging Bridge Tour
- 2.2 miles across 5 suspension bridges and past multiple waterfalls and observation decks (note that only a portion of the hike is across the bridges, the majority is on the jungle floor)
- Self-guided, but it takes about 3 hours in entirety
- $39 per adult
- Sky Tram: Gondola Ride
- 6 gondola rides across 4100 feet including views of Arenal Lake and Volcano
- Tour lasts roughly 1 hour
- $46 per adult
- Sky River Drift: Rafting
- Includes 2 ziplines, followed by a rafting trip down the Piedras Negras River
- Excursion lasts roughly 3 hours
- $78 per adult
- Sky Limit: High Ropes, Canyoning, Repelling, and more
- $81 per adult
- Sky Wild Bikes: Cycling
- 8 mile scenic ride past Arenal Lake and Volcano
- $47 per adult
I’d recommend booking direct through Sky Adventures or with Anywhere Costa Rica. They also offer discounted packages if you book multiple excursions.
LODGING: as for where to say, check out any of the resorts with hot springs as that may be more cost effective that booking a hotel and adding a day pass to the hot springs for 2+ people. We loved our hotel, Arenal Manoa, which was a quick taxi to Tabacon (we opted to go to the hot springs there). You can read more about why we loved it so much in this post.
Have questions about planning a trip to Arenal or Costa Rica in general? Drop me a line! I’d also love to hear any recommendations you have for this beautiful area.