Honeymooning in Costa Rica – Day 5 Baldi Hotspring
At the base of Arenal volcano and a few kilometers from La Fortuna are at least a dozen hotspring resorts. Tabacon is well known as the first and is the most expensive. From what I can tell they are all in the same price range for a day pass and each has its own personality. Tabacon, Ectomales, The Springs, Baldi… Two years ago we went to Baldi and only wished we had more time there. This morning we got ice cream and coffee and asked the waiter his favorite spring and he said Baldi so that was all we needed to return. We made another traditional Costa Rican breakfast and arrived at Baldi early afternoon. It’s $35 USD per person for a day pass and lunch/dinner is anywhere from $7 – $22 USD per person. We were told $17 over the phone, we talked to a couple from New Jersey that paid $7 through their hotel and at the door they quote $22. The dinner is buffet style cosado and maybe worth $10 so look around in town for a dinner deal. There are over 30 different pools, a lot of hidden coves, waterfalls, 3 water slides (caution), overpriced swim up bars and in general the pools get hotter as you climb up the mountain.
We love starting at the lowest pool and working our way to the top. Taking time to explore each waterfall and cove. We brought our own bottled water and wine which saves a ton of money, a Mai Thai for example is $22, and as long as it’s a plastic or aluminum container they don’t seem to mind. About half way up there is a large pool with an island in the center and three water slides toss visitors into the water like rag dolls. The first slide is open and isn’t too bad, it’s strait and just has an extremely steep drop. The second slide is enclosed and pitch black inside with a dozen turns, this one is like a human washing machine. The third one is also enclosed and as I entered it the “lifeguard” shook his head and then gestured to go. I’m not really sure what happened but about half way through I was thinking I hope this is over soon. After a big drop and a sharp turn I came flying out sideways. I watched guys that looked like linebackers come out of that slide screaming and looking like they had seen a ghost. Ok, so how bad could a water slide be?
Baldi is a resort and very fancy but it’s personality is also a little Casa Bonita for adults, the one statue they have is of a couple getting a little frisky. If you want the grand spa experience I hear Tabacon is the place but we love Baldi for the variety. At the very top is a massive waterfall with the hottest water flowing down it into a shallow pool with built in tile lounge chairs for two and children tend to not stay up here very long or at all. There is a section of the springs that is dedicated for kids too. We spent 8 hours and feel like we got our money worth (except on the buffet). All in all Baldi will always be a highlight of our Costa Rican trips.