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Rio Negro Hot Springs
Rio Negro Hot Springs

Rio Negro Hot Springs

star-5
486 Reviews
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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Recent reviews from experiences in Guanacaste and Northwest

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
entire group really enjoyed this outing
laura_p, Apr 2021
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
What a great time! Gustav was so knowledgeable and stopped to point out the various birds, plants and iguana that we met along the way. The warm mud bath was fun (do not wear anything white as that mud can stain) and the warm springs were so relaxing. Lots of nice options and the lunch location even for picky eaters.
star-5
Perfect tour-a must do for Costa Rica!!
Rachel_M, Apr 2021
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
Swimming into a water fall and lounging in the hot springs was our favorite part! We also loved the rainforest hike and nature of the volcano. We didn’t see any animals but it was great otherwise! Our tour guide was also amazing!
star-5
Great combo tour!
Nikki_Z, Apr 2021
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
We were excited to get Gustavo, our guide, for a second tour from Tamarindo. We started our tour with a hike in the volcano national park, a moderate hike, with great views of fumaroles and volcanic activity. Our guide, Gus, pointed out various plants, and was knowledgeable about the area and its history. We then walked to a beautiful waterfall where we had a chance to swim and cool down before heading to a delicious buffet lunch. We ended the tour with a trip to the hot springs, with lots of time to soak and relax. Absolutely wonderful tour, make sure to bring lots of sunscreen!
star-5
Excellent!
lindaandclare, Jan 2020
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
Would definitely recommend this excursion. Our guide, Paul, was knowledgeable and went the extra mile to make it a memorable day. Lunch was wonderful. Having small groups on these trips gives one the 'private tour' experience.
star-5
Great experience
Ericka G, Aug 2019
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
I booked this hike late the night before and our tour guide Martin was still able to communicate with us and transport us on our trip. He did an amazing job at making the experience feel genuine and personal. He bought us fruit and water and told us old time stories allowing us to be emerged in the culture. This hike was the highlight of my vacation in costa rica. I would recommend this hike and tour guide to any person who is looking for a cultural and holistic experience.
star-5
Do it!
Joseph_C, Mar 2020
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
My girlfriend and I went on this excursion as well as a few others during our stay in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. This was by far our favorite! Our tour guide Dauly, made the experience worth while, and his knowledge and humor allowed for a great time. Through our hike, he spotted out monkeys, birds, reptiles, insects, and toucans, and taught us about the nature of Costa Rica which was exactly the reason we came to CR for. The mud bath and thermal pools were a once in a lifetime experience and we highly recommend this excursion as well as tour guide Dauly!
star-5
Hiking and hot spring combo with Natives Way Costa Rica
Zyriene, Mar 2020
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
Convenient pick up from our hotel, dropped off in Liberia where we met up with Native's Way Costa Rica tour van at a rest stop with a large souvenir store attached to it. 20 min stop for passengers to pick up breakfast if needed before driving off in air conditioned comfort with water available to refill our bottles. Henry our guide took us on the short 3 km Las Paislas Loop on a clearly marked hard packed trail pointing out trees, bushes and plants of interest along the way. The trail leads to fumeroles, we could see the gases, and hot mud pots with the boiling mud bubbling up and a seasonal waterfall that is just a trickle at this time of year. The clouds cleared briefly and we caught a quick look at the volcano in the distance. Some parts of the trail are sheltered from the hot 34 C weather. Henry spotted some monkeys in the trees on our hike. An easy hike for most people. A little later we cooled off in the freezing waters at the foot of Oropendola Waterfall, there is a steep suspension bridge with wooden steps leading down to the waterfall. A buffet lunch at Hacienda Guachipelin gave us lots of choice. Loved the little round desserts. Juice and coffee included. On to Rio Negro to paint warm mud on our bodies before washing it off in the river, and then soak in the three natural rock pools each has a different temperature. Towels were provided and there are change rooms before you enter the trail to the hot springs. Washrooms only available at the entrance too. It's a 5 to 10 min walk to the hot springs. A very interesting trip learning about the plants, looking at the geothermic activity and seeing a few different kinds of birds and the monkeys.
star-5
The Highlight of My Vacation!
Tanya D, Sep 2019
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
The hiking tour was amazing! First let me say that our Tour Guide Martin and Driver Nelson were so friendly and nice. They really made my entire group of six feel welcomed and comfortable.Martin told us a lot about Costa Rica during the drive to the Volcano National Park. The hike through the exotic tropical forest to the volcanic activity was filled with wonders. We saw spider monkeys swinging from trees (absolutely awesome!), several white-nosed coati, a CR blue jay (which is 2 1/2 times larger than an American blue jay), multiple types of trees including the Ficus Strangler Tree, huge pre-historic looking plants,Touch-Me-Nots (plants that move when you touch them), and various insects. The volcanic activity included boiling sulfur ponds, bubbling mud pits, steaming fumaroles and so much more. The waterfall was magnificent. Lunch was super delicious. And last but not least, the volcanic mud bath and hot springs portion of the trip was an exhilarating experience. The tour was so worth the price. I have to admit that by the end of the day I was exhausted, but then I am not in the best physical shape. The tour was from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and my cousin's Fitbit said we did 14,457 steps for the tour. It was an amazing day!!!
star-4
More athletic than I was expecting, but worth it
TexasWorker, Jul 2019
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
The specifics I wanted to know before I went: -approximately 9 km total distance -1km vertical change -lots of steps/stairs -a little treacherous terrain (slippery spots, mud, gravel, etc) -30% concrete path 70% dirt path The part of the hike through steam pots was what you expect, visiting about 5 areas. We saw 3 types of monkeys, with a set of Capuchins at about 10 meters, several iguanas, toucans, and various butterflies along the way. Lunch was a buffet of grilled chicken, carnitas, spaghetti, and salad choices at the restaurant in the park. While the carnitas were a bit tough, it was some of the best grilled chicken I had in Costa Rica. Not fancy, but very tasty. The waterfall in the park was secluded and ok, but not anything special in a land of many waterfalls. Ending in the hot spring baths was fun, and you get to meet people. I highly recommend bringing (or buying at the top) something cool to drink in the hot pools. HOWEVER, the only public toilets are at the top of the hill. Caveat Bladder.
star-5
Great tour
froberts057, Jul 2019
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
On the hike through the dry forest we saw an anteater, monkeys, iguanas and blue jean frogs. We learned alot about plants especially Ficus trees of Costa Rica. We saw volcanic steam vents and bubbling mud. It was very interesting. Next we hiked to a refreshing waterfall and swam. Everyone loved this. Our trip ended with a hot spring and mud bath. My favorite part. The lunch was buffet style and okay. It was a long day from Playa Flamingo. The previous day we had done another long excursion to the rain forest. I would suggest a day of rest between as 2 people in our party of 16 could not do this day. We ranged from age 9 to 69.

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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