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The Weekender: La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Sip frozen cocktails while soaking in natural hot springs under lush tropical canopies

Deep beneath the soil of La Fortuna in Costa Rica, the Arenal Volcano’s magma heats the natural springs that bubble above it. It’s a serene, beautiful place that’s become home to a handful of resorts brought to life by the region’s environmental offerings–a tourism movement pioneered by one resort in particular back in the late 1980s. Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa, one of La Fortuna’s most sought-after hot springs destinations, has become a local icon over the years throughout its incarnations, and today boasts 103 guest rooms and suites, two restaurants, four bars, a world-renowned spa and maze of natural springs, all on a sprawling 900-acre tropical reserve at the base of the volcano. It is a place of relaxation and healing, one that also happens to be counted among the ranks of the most sustainable properties in the country (Tabacón is recognized by the Costa Rican Board of Tourism with the highest level of honor per their Certification of Sustainable Tourism program). So pack up your swimsuit and leave your everyday worries at home because the next 72 hours will be devoted to complete relaxation and some serious pura vida.

Friday Afternoon:

Fly into La Fortuna and take a cab out to Tabacón. Drop your things in your guest room, grab your swimsuit, and head to the resort’s open-air restaurant, Ave, for a quick lunch al fresco before making your way to the hot springs for an inaugural soak. After a few cocktails (and some inevitable pruning), make your way back to your room to get ready for dinner.

Ave Restaurant

Ave Restaurant at Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa

Friday Evening:

Dinner awaits on property at Los Tucanes; the lava steak (cooked tableside atop volcanic stone) is not to be missed.

Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano

Saturday Morning/Afternoon:

Rise and shine for a leisurely breakfast followed by a spa treatment of your choice at the resort’s sprawling indoor/outdoor spa, where massages, facials, and the like are inspired by the volcano and its surrounding tropical elements. Follow up with another soak in the adjoining springs, exploring new hidden sections and areas you might’ve missed yesterday (be sure to look out for the adults-only Shangri-La Gardens).

Spa

Spa

Once you’ve wrapped up at the hot springs, venture into town for a bit of local exploration. If you’re the adventurous type, you might want to try zip lining or horseback riding (or both) at the nearby ATHICA Canopy. Otherwise, there’s plenty to take in should you wish to sightsee around La Fortuna; the tiny city is known for having been built from the ruins of Arenal Volcano’s 1968 eruption, and it has thrived as an agricultural hub in the years since.

Aguas Termales

Aguas Termales

 

Saturday Evening:

In the heart of La Fortuna, Don Rufino has served extraordinary internationally-accented Costa Rican dishes to locals and visitors alike for the past decade. This place alone is worth the trip into town. Start with an order of patacones (deep fried plantains with smashed beans, sautéed pork, cheese, and pico de gallo) and the house ceviche, followed by anything from the grill.

Orchid Room at Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa

Orchid Room at Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa

Sunday Morning:

Depart for La Fortuna airport. Pro tip: during your stay, stock up on plenty of coffee to bring home (you’ll thank us later).

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