We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: | Next to Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
Description:

If you talk with the locals they will tell you to go to Scratch River or...

If you talk with the locals they will tell you to go to Scratch River or the Free hot springs. This is perfect if you are travelling on a shoestring budget as it is FREE! To get there go to the yellow gate next to Tabacon Springs. You can park on the road shoulder and you will definitely see it. Walk down the path behind the gate and in a very short walk you will arrive at a bubbling hot creek. You can go 24 hrs a day but keep your items in your site. Leave your valuables at the hotel and just bring a towel and prepare to relax.

read more
Book In Advance
More Info
US$125.00*
and up
Costa Rica Gravity Falls Canyoning Adventure from La Fortuna
More Info
US$81.00*
and up
Horseback Riding to La Fortuna Waterfall
More Info
US$143.00*
and up
Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 938 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 480
    Excellent
  • 174
    Very good
  • 54
    Average
  • 10
    Poor
  • 4
    Terrible
Free area, not for everyone

We loved this. You walk down some broken up steps to the river, under the bridge of the main road, then under a little arch and you are in the main area. People just walk up the... read more

Reviewed 6 April 2017
MileHighJacket
,
Denver
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

938 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Showing 722: English reviews
Denver
Level Contributor
575 reviews
244 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 208 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2017 via mobile

We loved this. You walk down some broken up steps to the river, under the bridge of the main road, then under a little arch and you are in the main area. People just walk up the riverbed, most of which is between about 10" and 2 ft deep, and sit down wherever they want to. The river is warm.... More 

Helpful?
Thank MileHighJacket
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 April 2017

We have just left the free hot sprins and were very impressed. Beautiful natural setting, river in a rain forest with hot water that created many mini pools and waterfalls. Just pick the spot and enjoy. We got a great massage sitting under one of the rapids, hard to believe its free. Hope big hotels wont shut this down!

Helpful?
Thank Violetta I
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 March 2017

I planned on visiting the free hot springs but thought it wouldn't happen considering we didn't have a car. We were skeptical about taking a cab and having to get one to pick us up. We ended up here by booking a tour that ended at this hot spring. It was dark and scary yet awesome! It's free so why... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank amandatavarez6k
Lausanne, Switzerland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 25 March 2017

After the tour to the volcano or after a walking or justto relax this is the best option. Just 2 USD (1000 Colones) to arrive from La fortuna to Tabacon this hot springs are for FREE the best place to spend 1-2 hours. Bring your own food and take a pic nic there

Helpful?
1 Thank BarbaraLizeth
California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2017

We had a large family group travelling in Costa Rica. Our age range was 13 yrs old to 75 yrs old. This place was awesome and fun for everyone! We went mid-day after hiking the hanging bridges. Hit the spot!

Helpful?
Thank Kathleen J
West Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
36 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2017

We went here after an all-day hike up Cerro Chato. The water is hot tub temperature, but in a river format. Really relaxing and free! If you go at night, be sure to bring a flashlight for the path leading from the road to the river. This is a must-do!

Helpful?
Thank Amy A
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2017

We were a family of 4 with 2 kids ages 8 and 10. We didn't want to pay the big price tag for the thermal hot springs in the area since we didn't want to spend much time there. This was a unique experience to feel the naturally warm thermal water for free. We stayed about an hour, the kids... More 

Helpful?
Thank beachmommy2016
Port Coquitlam, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2017 via mobile

We saw all these people walked in and out of this area on the side of the road and decided to check it out. It is the natural hot spring fed by the volcano. We didn't stay at the high end resort so it was really cool to still be able to experience it.

Helpful?
Thank Tania G
Florida
Level Contributor
99 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2017

As we found out on our trip, Costa Rica has not very many free things to offer. Hot springs are nice, but we did not see ourselves spending more than an hour soaking in warm water, so why pay a big fee? We visited on a Sunday morning and many local people were there as well. You park just below... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank KaliCA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2017 via mobile

It's nice to visit the fancy springs with hotels but it feels more like a US water park than the real deal. I loved the natural springs much more. Park on the road and meander down you'll see everyone in the springs just below the road. Various temperature of pools to check out in a natural setting. Learned also of... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank ilk77

Travellers who viewed Rio Chollin also viewed

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park
 
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park
 

Been to Rio Chollin? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Rio Chollin and other visitors
11 questions
Ask a question

See all questions (11)

Questions? Get answers from Rio Chollin staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?