Costa Rica Trip Report – Day 4 – Part 2
After a full day of whitewater rafting and a delicious lunch experience (Read Friday Part 1) we were still eager to experience the most of Costa Rica as possible. Over the prior day and a half we asked everyone about the local attractions and it became clear we needed to go see the hot springs this evening. To say we went to the “hot springs” just doesn’t do the experience any justice. The “hot springs” are a resort with 20+ pools of varying temperatures and atmospheres. It really can’t be put into words and barely even into pictures…
When our whitewater rafting bus stopped at the tour office we took the opportunity to run inside and have the tour company book us tickets and transportation to Baldi, one of the well regarded hot springs nearby. We got back on the bus with the rest of the rafters waiting to be dropped at their hotels and the driver dropped us at Baldi on the way. As the bus pulled into the parking lot at Baldi all the other travels ooh’ed and aah’ed with jealousy as we jumped off.
The lobby of Baldi was very impressive – on par with high end hotels and resorts I have visited. After checking in we headed to the locker room where we rented towels and a locker. We changed into our swimsuits (note to self: bring more than one swimsuit so you don’t have to put a damp suit on in the future) and embarked into the resort. There were about 27 pools of varying sizes. Some were little hot tubs while others were large with swim up bars and had waterfalls. One in particular had a bar and was playing loud Bachata music and had strobe lights. Another of the large ones had two big waterslides in it. We went down one of the slides and while Little Star found it to be a heart pounding thrill, I found it to be the second worst experience of the trip (details on the first to follow.) These were not children’s water slides, these were clearly for adults and some of the grown men we watched slide down them screamed like babies as they splashed into the pool.
After being traumatized by the water slide I was ready for a drink so we went to one of the medium temperature springs to have a mojito (with non-filtered ice – oops!). We relaxed for a bit and then continued exploring. The resort is set on the side of a hill so as you go deeper into the resort you start walking uphill. It seemed that the higher we climbed the hotter the springs were. The top three springs were almost unbearable to step into. By this point it was dark out and the air temps had cooled. Everything was lit up and the colored lights plus the steam from the springs gave the air a magical tint. I would recommend going at night, I would think in the heat of the day and under the sun the springs would just be too hot to enjoy.
Included in the admission price was dinner so after finishing up in the springs we changed and headed to the on site restaurant. The dining room was an elevated open air room which had a roof but still allowed the elements in. The food was served as a buffet and at this point we were a bit tired of our gallo pinto. They had a french onion soup that was very tasty but aside from that the food was all a bit bland.
By the time we finished eating we were exhausted. Desafio, the tour company, was supposed to be sending a driver for us in another hours time but smartly when we booked they insisted that we take the phone number and call if we were ready sooner. Well we certainly were ready to go. The kind receptionist at the resort made the call for us (he already knew their number by heart) and a taxi quickly came and deposited us at our hotel. It was not quite 10 pm yet and we were exhausted and quickly passed out.
Continue on to Day 5