Baldi Hot Springs, La Fortuna

As you may have read in my accommodation review for La Fortuna, we ended up on some tours that weren’t really what we expected. Baldi Hot Springs was one of them.

Luckily, Shaun and I managed to make the most of it.

Our tour started around 2:30, with what we thought was a volcano tour. What we ended up getting was a nature hike around the base of the volcano with a guide that spoke very little English. We wandered around for about 2 hours, and all we saw were two different kinds of worms. It was odd, and Shaun and I were quite happy when it was over.

Ready for some hot springing!

Ready for some hot springing!

We weren’t too concerned with the lack of excitement on the first part of the tour, as we knew we had the hot springs to look forward to afterwards.

There are several hot springs to choose from in the La Fortuna area, but our hostel recommended Baldi. Our book describes Baldi as “The Disneyland of Hot Springs”, and it certainly lived up to its name.

lovely eh?

lovely eh?

Located just outside of the centre of La Fortuna, the hot springs is just as big, if not bigger as the town itself. It boasts a huge number of hot spring pools of various sizes, and temperatures, many of which have bars, and disco like lights and music.

Not exactly the relaxing soak we were looking for.

Regardless, after several days of hiking, tours, and cold showers, a soak in any hot springs seemed like a lovely idea.

Our tour dropped us off in front of the hot springs and said they would be back at nine to pick us up. We were given wrist bands, and booked in for our buffet dinner at 8pm.

The helicopter pad!

The helicopter pad!

This gave us a couple hours to enjoy the springs before cleaning up for dinner (as soppy bathing suits are not allowed).

As we entered the springs we realized…this is where the other half lives. It was super swanky, and far classier then anything we’ve seen in a long time. I was so glad I had shaved my legs!

We changed into our suits, rented a locker, and towels and went out to explore. There are maps everywhere because this place is huge. Between the multiple waterslides, sauna’s, swim up bars, and helicopter pad, it is very easy to get lost.

One of the many swim up bars

One of the many swim up bars

I decided I wanted to go into every hot spring pool, so we started at the bottom of the hill and worked our way up. Luckily, the first pool  had a swim up bar, so we decided to have a slow start, and get a drink.

We glanced at the menu and our eyes bulged. Beers were 5.50, and cocktails were 10 dollars. It was just like being back at home. We laughed and figured there were people who came to stay at the hotel in Baldi, and never leave. Therefore spending all their money on this expensive booze, not realizing that there are 2 dollar beers offered right down the road.

Enjoying one of the many falls (also hoping it washes my hair at the same time)

Enjoying one of the many falls (also hoping it washes my hair at the same time)

Anyways, we drank our pricey Imperials, savouring every overpriced drop, and relished in the deliciously hot water. We both agreed that after our lack of hygiene we were probably the dirtiest people in the pool. I joked that we should have brought a bar of soap to really get our money’s worth.

After our bevvies, we moved on to the next pools. I stuck to my word, and went in every one. Although the cold ones I just dipped a toe it.

That counts right?

Make sure you hug the infamous "Fat Lady" at the entrance!

Make sure you hug the infamous “Fat Lady” at the entrance!

Some of the pools were hotter then others, but the vast majority were really nice and warm. If someone had told me the week prior,while I was roasting away in Panama, that I would soon be enjoying a hot tub, I would have laughed. But there we were!

We made our way through all the pools and sauna’s, pausing to relax in some of the less crowded ones. At the top of the hill is the buffet, and the waterslides. I had read all sorts of things about these infamous waterslides, mainly that they are pretty dangerous. Just Google “Baldi Hot Springs Waterslides”, you’ll see what I mean.

We opted out of this part of the adventure, and headed back to the lockers to change for dinner.

At this point we were pretty raveous, and ready to get our moneys worth at the buffet. And let me tell you, they could have rolled me out of there like the blueberry girl from Willy Wonka! After a week of salads, chickpeas, and eggs, having such a huge selection was so awesome.

Shaun and I started with soup, chicken for me, and cream of vegetable for him. Then we rocked a salad bar, with this amazing plantain ceviche (which we went back for seconds and thirds of). After that, we went and sampled a little bit of everything for our mains. Seafood jambalaya, Chilli, Pork, Beef, Chicken, some good, some bad, but we tried a little bit of it all.

After fruit, and a little piece of chocolate cake for dessert, I went back for more jambalaya, and Shaun went back for more soup. Can you tell the food was a real highlight for me?

We managed to waddle our ways back to our shuttle, and then back to our hostel. We woke up in the morning so full still, and puffy from all the salt we had ingested!

Baldi certainly is a once in a lifetime experience. If you are looking for the exciting hot springs, this if the one for you. If you are looking for somewhere to relax that has a more serene spa like experience, I would check out some of the others.

Have you ever been to a hot spring?

Pura Vida

Kate

Follow me on Twitter:@caketress

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3 thoughts on “Baldi Hot Springs, La Fortuna

  1. When I was in Costa Rica last January, we visited the hot springs of the Thermomania resort. It was definitely an interesting experience to say the least. I loved the swim-up bars but it was a little over-priced and the water seemed very dirty. I understand it was “spring water” but they coulda scooped out some of the leaves every once in a while. They also had a water slide, although not as dangerous as the ones in Baldi. And we got a pretty crappy tour of the geothermal plant nearby thanks to making the reservations through the hotel (gotta love those commission-based tours). It was an experience but not necessarily one I’d like to repeat, at least not at that specific resort.

    • Oh I’d heard such good things about Tabacon! In retrospect that is where we should have gone. Still in Costa Rica, but likely not heading back to La Fortuna. Hopefully we can save it for the next trip. Thanks for stopping by!

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