Costa Rica is known for its pretty beaches. But you can also find pristine waterfalls, myriad geysers, natural swimming holes, bubbling mud pots, fumaroles, rejuvenating thermal hot springs, hiking, horseback riding, orchids, bird-watching, a canopy zip line, white-water rafting, and a quarter-mile waterslide — a visit to Hacienda Guachipelin in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, is anything but boring.
Our stay in Costa Rica was in the pretty seaside town of Tamarindo but there are also many other great places to stay in Costa Rica.
It’s easy to get around Tamarindo and were happy with our decision to rent a car. Car Rentals from $8.98 A Day: 7 Major Car Vendors, 15,000 Locations, Save Up to 40%.
The Hacienda is located at the foot of Rincón de la Vieja (“Old Woman’s Place”), an active volcano approximately 6,000 feet high with almost vertical sides, which provides the activity needed for the thermal springs. My family of four decided on a day of both action and relaxation—the perfect balance.
We began the day with an uphill trek through the forest and hanging bridges. When we made it to our destination, we were promptly strapped into harnesses, attached to a cable and zipped through the tree canopy.
Note: You can also find fun adventures in Monteverde, Costa Rica!
Next up, a quarter-mile long adrenaline-rush waterslide. It finished with a sudden drop into a pool that I was thoroughly unprepared for. As a result, I ended my slide feet-over-head with a snout full of water—much to the amusement of my kids!
A quick towel-off and we set out on a guided horseback ride where we enjoyed the natural, rugged beauty of the area.
After a belly-busting buffet lunch, we reached our final destination—the mud baths and thermal springs, which were hands-down the highlight of the day. After opening our pores in the sauna, we made a bee-line for the mud vats where we applied generous amounts of the thick, warm, rich, brown volcanic substance to every inch of exposed skin.
In just a few minutes, the dark slime dried to an ash-colored, dry-packed second skin.
After a rinse in the showers, we were off to what I called the “Goldilocks” thermal pools. One was too hot, one not hot enough, but the last was…ahhhh….just right! The pools cast a kind of social spell on the thoroughly stress-free guests who were quite chatty and friendly.
At the Hacienda Guachipelin in Guanacaste, we stayed in the pools until dusk where we were kindly ushered out by the spa staff and not-so-kindly inbound mosquitoes. How much did all this cost? Day passes to access all the facilities cost $80 per person.
Costa Rica is such a fun country to visit. This was a jam-packed one-day activity during our stay in Tamarindo, but there are also other parts of the country that are beautiful and worth exploring. Check out this great itinerary for 10 days in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica: The Cure for Boredom was first published by International Living Magazine, July 26, 2011
Looking for more fun things to do in Costa Rica?
- Costa Rica’s Hidden Beach
- 15+ Things to Do in Costa Rica
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About the Author
Patti Morrow is a freelance travel writer and founder of the award-winning international blog Luggage and Lipstick and southern travel blog Gone to Carolinas. TripAdvisor called her one of “20 Baby Boomer Travel Bloggers Having More Fun Than Millennials.” Patti is the author of the book “Girls Go Solo: Tips for Women Traveling Alone,” and has over 150 bylines in 40 print and online publications, including The Huffington Post, International Living Magazine, Washington Post Sunday Travel, Travel Girl, Travel Play Live Magazine, and Ladies Home Journal. She has traveled six continents looking for fabulous places and adventure activities for her Baby Boomer (and Gen X!) tribe.