“ City: La Fortuna / Country: Costa Rica / World Region: Central America „
Volcanic Hot Springs Baldi Resort
One afternoon was spent relaxing and exploring these amazing hot springs and pools not far from our hotel in La Fortuna just under the Arenal Volcano. This was like a huge water park really and it even had a couple of water slides.
You paid your entrance fee then made your way to the changing rooms. On the way you paid a deposit of $10 for a towel and $5 for a locker but as part of our 'Caravans' tour the guide sorted all this and we didn't have to take any money with us at all, we left everything valuable on the bus with the driver. We were asked to keep an eye on our towels because there was a £10 US deposit on towels some people sometimes 'found' other people's towels and took them back to collect the $10. We kept a very close eye on ours and I did wonder whether it was worth looking around for any towels that looked 'lost' but thought about the embarrassment of tussling with someone over a towel in order to gain $10!!
The changing rooms had showers and toilets and an open area for changing however some people felt the need for total privacy and used the showers and toilets which meant when you wanted to use either of these facilities for their intended use you had to queue to wait for one of these overly modest or shy people to emerge. I didn't bother with a shower before or after as I had spent enough time queuing to use the toilet. Finally I managed to get out with my bundle of clothes to get to the locker. We left our towels in there just to ensure we had them when it was time to get out and also it was raining a bit and they would only get wet out beside the pools.
Now ready for dipping into one of the twenty five different pools that were in the resort. We tried a range of pools from quite 'cool' through to 'too hot to put your foot in'. Each pool had the temperature of the pool displayed on a sign at the entrance. The very hot pool caused quite a bit of interest with some young people who challenged each other to run through from one side to the other. It was really hot and I put just my foot in it and then out again pretty quickly. I am sure you could damage yourself if you did go in with your whole body for any length of time. We found a few that were a lovely warm bath temperature and blobbed about in those for a reasonable amount of time.
When you are in hot tubs or hot springs it is really important not to get dehydrated. In Rotorura, New Zealand when we went to the hot springs spa there were water fountains all round the place but there were none here at all. We had taken a couple of bottles of water with us which was lucky and we made sure that we didn't overdo the time we spent in the hot ones.
We spent quite a lot of our time exploring the place to find all the different pools as they were hidden amongst greenery and rocks so it was very natural looking. Some of the pools had waterfalls in them, others had swim up bars and one even had televisions showing Premier League football so we stayed and watched Liverpool play for a while. One of the larger pools had a couple of water slides too and all around there were lovely tropical plants with brightly coloured flowers. The pools were all very different and the setting was beautiful.
There was a beautiful tropical garden for you to walk through with further pools which we discovered after we had got changed. We had wanted to go for a walk through the gardens but it started raining when we got up to that part of the grounds so we did take a quick look and then changed our mind and headed for the shop.
At the entrance to the Baldi resort there was a bar and restaurant as well as a souvenir shop. We felt no need for either the bar or restaurant as we had been so well fed at lunch and we planned on making use of the great 'Happy Hour' between 6pm and 7pm at our hotel where you got one drink free for every one you bought. I don't know what the restaurant served but it did look quite nice as did the bar. The shop had a decent range of souvenirs including Costa Rican coffee, various T shirts , postcards, jewellery and fridge magnets as well as some very tasty chocolate covered coffee bean samples which we had to test. The prices seemed reasonable, not cheap but fair if you wanted to buy something.
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