Hot Springs, a Live Volcano and Pampering!

Trip Start Oct 13, 2004
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5
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Trip End Jun 21, 2005


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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Thursday, November 4, 2004

He Said:
Highlights:
1.Getting to see the Volcano spew lava and molten rocks and then getting to see them explode into lava streams/trails after rolling quite a way down the Volcano's face.

2.The most amazing hot springs ever. It makes Banff and Fairmont look pretty lame. The hot pools are natural pools in the river as are the falls, the river is actually a flowing hot spring. Bonus, they are mineral pools without the high sulphur content.

3. The swim up bar. Salut!
4. A morning at the Spa, Hot Stone Massage/Facial and a VERY Deep Tissue Massage.
5. Exploring the pools with kids.
6. The grilled prawns in the main restaurant.
7. 2 for 1 Happy Hour at the Hot Springs Bars, pretty much all afternoon.
8. The Hot Fudge Desert, we also tried Tres Leche a typical Costa Rican Desert that was very good.

Lowlights:
Spendy, relative to our trip, but with all you get for the price of the room, Full Buffet Breakfast, Fresh Squeezed Juices, and free access to the Hot Springs, it was a really good value.


The drive from Monteverde to Arenal was again not one you'd want to be in a hurry on. The trip took us the better part of a day with one major stop for a couple of hours at a series of Waterfalls along the way. We arrived at Tabacon Hot Springs just in time for dinner. After eating in the Main Restaurant at the Hotel I'm glad we did not miss out on dinner. I had the Grilled Prawns on the first night and the last night and they were fantastic. The service impeccable and the live music thoroughly enjoyable.

The next morning we headed off to the Hot Springs and boy were we surprised. None of us expected how amazing these Hot Springs are. They are made up of a series of Natural Pools and Falls along a river of Hot Mineral Water. Then they have enhanced this with some man made pools and a Spa. It is simply beautiful with the Arenal Volcano as the back drop. WOW!!! We just hung out and the kids swam and Kayla loved being able to have a drink at the Swim Up Bar as did Shannon and I. Basically the first day was just relaxing and hanging out. Shannon hit the Spa in the afternoon and I hit it first thing the next day. The second day was more of hanging in the pools and more relaxation although they did drain the main pool with the swim up bar and waterslide for maintenance. That totally bummed out the kids. That night we again had a wonderful dinner and on the way back to our room we got to watch the Volcano going off. It was really quite something as you could see the red lava flowing down the slopes. The highlight was watching a huge boulder of lave get shot out and as it rolled down the slope it broke into multiple red flows of lava. Simply awe-inspiring, just the sheer power that we were witnessing makes you realize the power of nature. It was nice capper on our two plus weeks in Costa Rica.

She Said:
Mount Arenal:

What can I say, yet another completely different experience. This is more a typical high end resort with all the amenities. The amazing thing here was that the hot springs were absolutely out of this world - a myriad of secret pools and falls spread all over the property, where you could escape to different places depending on your desired water temperature and privacy needs. It was truly the nicest hot springs I've ever encountered and the icing on the cake was a wonderful spa to partake in a little pampering. Ok my spa buddies - take note...I may be suggesting this as a future getaway destination!!! It was heavenly to take in a couple of days of spa therapy - so much so that Mark & I decided we'll have to make this a periodic addition to our itinerary.


Highlights:
1. Sipping a drink in a hot springs while watching the volcano erupt - where else on earth, could you be doing those things simultaneously??

2. SPA DAY at Tabacon Hot Springs Resort and Spa. A little pampering is always good for the soul!!!!

Lowlights:
1. Ty's "Fire Ant Incident" (more on that later)

Accomodation:
Mount Arenal: Tabacon Hot Springs Resort & Spa - first rate, upscale resort with every amenity. Prices seem high by Costa Rican standards but we found exceptional add-in value (hot springs, pools, great breakfast) Spa prices very reasonable by NA standards.

Kid's Said:
Highlights:
Tyler -
1. The many pools, especially the shallow kids pools
2. Exploring the pools
3. Swimming between the Bar Stools in the pool
Kayla -
1. Having a Shirley Temple at the swim up bar
2. The water slide in the bar pool
3. Exploring all the pools
Lowlights:
Tyler -
1. The fire ant incident while hiking to the waterfalls
Kayla -
1. The water slide pool being empties for maintenance on our second day...
2. Thus not being able to have any more drinks at the swim up bar
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