Soak in the Thermal Waters of Rio Chollin


Added by Crystal Sibson

Rio Chollin is a free natural hot spring river near Costa Rica's Arenal Volcano.

Due to a geothermically heated underground river, the area surrounding Arenal Volcano has an abundance of hot springs. The majority of these hot springs are in expensive resorts that have tapped into the underground river to create a variety of mineral rich soaking pools. One of the areas best kept secrets is the free hot spring river, Rio Chollin. This is the same river that flows through one of the areas most extravagant hot spring resorts, Tabacon.

To access Rio Chollin park along the road near the bridge in front of the Tabacon Hot Spring Resort. There is often a local directing vehicles where to park and charging a small fee of around $2 for parking. Next to the bridge there is a path that leads down to the creek. As soon as you reach the creek you will see many locals and tourists soaking on both sides of the bridge. The area is family friendly and many families relax in the shallower water near the bridge. If you hike up the river away from the bridge the crowd thins allowing for a more secluded soak. The river is lined with thick vegetation on both sides so most of your walking will be through the water. The river bottom is full of sharp lava rock so be sure to wear shoes to avoid cutting the bottoms of your feet.

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Known for

Family Friendly
Hot Springs
Swimming Hole



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The hot spring river was beautiful and refreshing. The water was very warm but not too hot to be uncomfortable. There were a lot of families next to the bridge so I walked upstream a bit to have more solitude. The jungle was incredible dense next to the river.

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