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Costa Rica's Best Spas Will Have You at 'Hola'



 Costa Rica's spas take rejuvenation seriously. Nestled beneath exploding volcanoes and buried deep within rainforests, these ten best spas are home to giant jaccuzzis bubbling with thermal hot springs and open-air treatment bungalows befit for kings and queens. Splurge on a volcanic mud wrap at the world class Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, soak up the mineral rich hot springs beneath the Arenal Volcano at Tabacon Grand Spa, indulge in a chocolate foot massage made with fresh organic cacao at Pure Jungle Spa, and boost your essential energies through hot stone therapy at Florblanca Resort's Spa Bambu. Each of these spas offers luxurious experiences enhanced by Costa Rica's wealth of natural ingredients in their treatments. Recognized with awards from the likes of Conde Naste and National Geographic, Costa Rica's best spas consistently win high accolades for their exceptionalism and eco-friendly practices; many display the green leaf symbols of sustainability. Yoga enthusiasts will find kindred spirits within Costa Rica's best spas, where practice often takes place to the sights and sounds of the rainforest, which may punctuate the otherwise peaceful ambiance favored by these exclusive sanctuaries; you may even find yourself locking eyes with a howler monkey during your massage.


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Spa Bambu at Florblanca Resort is designed by Costa Rican architect Jean Garnier, who created a sanctuary of space that houses this full-service spa. Built primarily of bamboo, circular treatment rooms feature jacuzzis, and a menu of nature inspired treatments await your aching shoulders and tired skin. Rejuvenate and refresh with a raw coconut body scrub and a hot stone therapy session, book a couple's massage, or refresh with an After Sun Facial. Spa Bambu is most definitely special enough to be a highlight of a honeymoon in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. This spa is open from 10am to 8pm seven days a week.

Recommended for Spas because: This designer spa is dedicated to pampering seven days a week in Santa Teresa.

Sophia's expert tip: Slip into the spa's giant private jacuzzi and let your aches and pains fade away.

Read more about Spa Bambu at Florblanca →




When the weather heats up, sometimes there's just nothing like a swimming pool to cool you off, even in Costa Rica, with it's bounty of beaches on both coasts. What's even better, is that Balneario de Aguas Termales Los Patios has 6 pools to choose from, 4 of which are warm water pools, two that are cold water. Since 1966, this swimming pool park has been a mecca for dippers, swimmers and divers, and floaters who come to get wet and frolic in the pools. Set against the backdrop of Cartago's rolling green hills, these pools invite all ages to partake in their refreshing waters. Pool hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 8am to 4pm Entry for those over 3 years old: 2000 colones, or about $4.

Recommended for Spas because: Sometimes a refreshing dip in these naturally thermal pools is all you need.

Sophia's expert tip: Get their early to stake out an umbrella covered table for your picnic lunch.

Read more about Balneario de Aguas Termales Los Patios →




The Esencia Spa at El Silencio Lodge invites you to embrace health and wellness deep within the green womb of the Costa Rican rainforest. Here, you'll experience rejuvenation inside and out that comes from this unique place so alive with nature. Sounds of rushing water and and the occasional bird songs punctuate the sounds of silence at Esencia Spa, a sanctuary of wellness inspired by the rainforest, nestled within the grounds of El Silencio Lodge. A premier destinations for relaxation, this spa features an outdoor yoga deck, designed, like the spa treatments, to channel the essential life energy of Costa Rica's rainforest.

Recommended for Spas because: Designed to inspire wellness through nature, Esencia Spa pampers inside and out.

Sophia's expert tip: Book a private class on the yoga deck.

Read more about Esencia Spa at El Silencio Lodge →


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Located at the base of the majestic Arenal Volcano, this spa at Hotel Arenal Kioro has something for everyone, couples and kids, too. Signature treatments include a chocolate body wraps and a volcanic mud massage. A highlight of a visit to this luxury spa is a soak in a thermal pool that offers an unobstructed view of the volcano. The Costa Rican Flavor Package is a favorite for coffee lovers and includes the coffee bliss scrub and holistic coffee body wrap, while the Best of Arenal Package features the Aremal Aromatherpy Bath and a Swedish Massage; a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours relaxing while in Arenal.

Recommended for Spas because: Soak in thermal hot springs while gazing upon the Arenal volcano at this stellar spa.

Sophia's expert tip: Kids can enjoy a pampering package, too, which includes a mani/pedi and massage.

Read more about Spa by Hotel Arenal Kioro →


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If any more prestige and accolades could be lauded on the Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort it might be dipped in gold. It's a 102 room luxury hotel located at the base of the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. As one may expect from one of the leading spas in the world, the Grand Spa is beyond beautiful and National Geographic considers it one of the world's top ten eco-spas. Understandably, it's a favorite among brides and honeymooners. What makes it so special? This spa brings nature to you in open-air bungalows, surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, with the Arenal volcano in the background. Popular treatments include volcanic mud wraps and soaking in thermal hotsprings.

Recommended for Spas because: The Grand Spa at Tabacon is recognized as one of the world's most amazing eco-friendly spas.

Sophia's expert tip: Discover the therapeutic qualities of mineral-rich volcanic mud and naturally thermal hotsprings.

Read more about Tabacón Grand Spa →


Pure Jungle Spa
Photo courtesy of Sophia LaMonica


In a thatched bungalow set just back from the main road across from the fray of Rockin' Js Pure Jungle Spa is the original and best spa in Puerto Viejo, a refreshing oasis offering all-natural pampering with lush organic products in an invitingly exotic setting. Pure Jungle Spa is open for walk-ins and by appointment, every day of the week. and it makes the perfect end to a day spent biking and beaching. The spa menu includes an enticing list of facials, massages, and body treatments using all natural, tropical, and locally grown ingredients, like virgin coconut oil, organic cacao, sweet papaya, and fresh lemongrass. The experience is relaxing, therapeutic, and purely luxurious.

Recommended for Spas because: Pure Jungle Spa is the best place to refresh with massage and body treatments made with organic coconuts and cacao.

Sophia's expert tip: Try the chocolate foot massage for rejuvenation from top to bottom.

Read more about Pure Jungle Spa →




In the idyllic green Orosi Valley, Churacas Hotsprings Estate offers full day tours of its coffee plantation and includes a dip in its naturally thermal hot springs. Surrounded by mountains, this is an ideal destination to relax and take in "la pura vida," which the Orosi Valley is proud to keep intact. Ricardo Fallas, the owner of Chucaras, owns eight other coffee plantations with a total of nearly 4 million coffee trees, all at an elevation of 3,450 feet or higher, giving his high-altitude beans beans a superior quality and taste, while being grown sustainably. The Churacas Hotsprings Estate is open seven days a week, 7am to 5pm, but reservations for tours are required.

Recommended for Spas because: This is an authentic health spa near Costa Rica's original capital city.

Sophia's expert tip: An exclusive opportunity for coffee lovers: take a tour, enjoy a tasting, and then soak in thermal hot springs.

Read more about Chucaras Hotsprings Estate →


Soaring wood beamed ceilings and glass windows overlook lush greenery of the expansive 400 hectares of the Savegre Hotel and Natural Reserve. The Del Rio Spa feautres three treatment rooms, each a special place dedicated to relaxation, healing and wellbeing. The Del Rio Spa offers a comprehensive menu of massages, wraps, facials, body treatments and a circuit of hydrotherapy that includes whirlpools, saunas and steam bath. Only an hour from the capital city of San Jose, the Del Rio Spa still feels worlds away from it all, a perfect place to escape into a sanctuary of wellness unlike any other.

Recommended for Spas because: Close enough to San Jose yet far away from it all, this resort spa offers an easy escape.

Sophia's expert tip: Check the resort's website for special promotions: http://www.savegre.com

Read more about Del Rio Spa at Sevegre Hotel & Natural Reserve →




Within the beautiful and lush environs of Manuel Antonio, the expansive Parador Resort and Spa overlooks the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Indulge in a most lavish spa experience that you won't soon forget, or regret- thankfully, this resort and spa are dedicated to offering the utmost in luxury without sacrificing sustainability; the folks behind the Parador Resort and Spa are committed to protecting the environment, too. The spa offers a wide selection of treatments and massages that will surely ease your tensions and relax your mind while pampering your body and skin with the finest ingredients to be found in Costa Rica.

Recommended for Spas because: At the top of its class, Parador Resort and Spa is a perfect destination for a special occasion.

Sophia's expert tip: Comprehensive spa packages offer full use of the whirlpools, gym, and yoga facilities.

Read more about Parador Resort and Spa →




The Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo is indeed the crown jewel among the luxurious hotels and spa of the Pacific coast of Costa Rica . Above and beyond the already extraordinary experience one may associate with the Four Seasons brand, this world class spa takes massage, facials, and body treatments to another level. Seeming to capture the dreamy side of Costa Rica, the spa floats above Playa Virador on the waters of the Pacific Ocean, and invites you to indulge in holistic experiences inspired by nature, such as the signature Organic Costa Rican Coffee Body Scrub and the Volcanic Mud Wrap.

Recommended for Spas because: This Costa Rican treasure is the cream of the world-wide crop of spas.

Sophia's expert tip: Spa services are offered daily from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, and reservations may be requested online.

Read more about Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo →


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Meet Sophia LaMonica

On Sophia's first trip to Costa Rica, she came face to face with white-faced monkeys, gasped at the sight of giant purple crabs, and rode horseback through plunging waterfalls. Costa Rica...  More About Sophia

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