The Relaxing Side of Volcanoes

The Relaxing Side of Volcanoes


Where to swim in volcano-heated natural hot springs.

You’ve probably seen the photos of volcanoes erupting in a cloud of ash and smoke, or gushing glowing lava. It’s quite the sight, but these awe-inspiring natural wonders have another side to them you may not be as familiar with: hot springs.

Hot springs are a breathtaking result of the Earth’s geo-thermal energy associated with volcanoes. They occur all over the globe, but the Tabacón hot springs in Costa Rica stand alone as a unique destination worldwide. They are formed when rainwater enters the earth through cracks in the ground and is heated by magma. This causes the warm water to rise to the surface and bring up minerals buried deep within the earth.

There are several places in the world to swim in hot springs, and one of our favorites is the Tabacón hot springs in the Arenal Volcano region of Costa Rica. These springs offer the perfect combination of water volume, temperature and mineral content. What’s most important about this combination is the low sulfur quantity. This prevents strong odors from negatively influencing the serene experience. There are a number of different springs with different temperatures, including three that flow at 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that your typical hot tub is somewhere around 104 degrees!

The wonder continues as the hot water in these springs can hold a variety of dissolved minerals that may provide chemical, physical and biological benefits for your health. Chemical effects include minerals that are transferred to your skin and bloodstream through osmosis; physical effects are assisted by water temperature that dilates your skin, improves oxygen flow, encourages muscle relaxation and creates a sense of wellbeing; and biological effects produce hydrothermal flora and fauna in an effect that heals your skin and can help prevent some of the effects of aging. All this to say that while enjoying a hot spring is an experience all its own, you may also benefit from their natural healing properties..

The Tabacón hot springs in the Arenal Volcano region are unique for many reasons, but one stands far above the rest. While many hot spring resorts around the world drill for underground wells, use pumps and mechanical systems to fill their pools and re-circulate and re-heat water by artificial means, the Tabacón hot springs are completely natural, eco-friendly and carbon neutral. The water flows by gravity and forms in-river pools, waterfalls and cascades.

These hot springs are truly a demonstration of Earth’s amazing natural beauty and power that you’ll have to experience for yourself to fully appreciate.

David Thimmesch

David Thimmesch is a Contributing Writer for Here & Beyond. He prides himself as a jack of all trades who is passionate about learning and experiencing a little bit of everything life has to offer. His desire to explore and understand has guided him to camping on the beaches of Florida, biking through the streets of downtown Chicago, rock climbing off the cliffs of Colorado, and wandering through the walkways of old Philadelphia. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he honed his skills in advertising and copywriting at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and the Chicago Portfolio School.