So you’ve decided to take a relaxing vacation to beautiful Costa Rica. Great! What better way is there to get some much deserved rest and rejuvenation than by soaking in thermal waters heated to therapeutic temperatures by a volcano? Sounds exotic, doesn’t it? Trust me, it feels even better than it sounds.
Given that Costa Rica is home to 5 active volcanoes, volcanic hot springs are a popular attraction. Although thermal water pools exist in various areas throughout the country, the majority (and certainly the most well-known) are located in the La Fortuna / Arenal region, thanks to the nearby Arenal Volcano. Since most travellers opt to include a stop in La Fortuna / Arenal throughout their trip (the area offers more to do and see than any other in the country), most travellers can easily add a visit to a local hot springs attraction to their itinerary without sacrificing precious (and often limited) vacation time.
WHAT IS A HOT SPRINGS ATTRACTION AND WHAT DO YOU DO THERE?
Scientifically speaking, hot springs are:
Geothermally heated mineral water initially fed by rain water that seeps into the Earth through faults and fractures. As it travels into the Earth, it becomes subject to increased energy from natural geothermal heat, and is exposed to gases and an often wide variety of minerals from rock and mineral deposits. The water first adsorbs the minerals via leaching, is then heated by the geothermal heat source, and finally returns to the Earth’s surface. This is the definition of Filtration Hot Springs, the most popular type of hot springs in Costa Rica. Primary Hot Springs are geothermally heated mineral water, where direct volcanic activity plays a far greater role in the process of the hot springs formation. One of the fundamental physical distinctions between a filtration spring and a primary spring is the mineral and gas content of the water, such as radon and bromide. Primary hot springs are often “powered” by magma chambers which exist miles under the Earth’s surface, as well as in volcanically active regions. [Source: Baldi Hot Springs]