Walk anywhere in La Fortuna and you’ll see and abundance of tours available. Anything from guided waterfall hikes to lava flow tours. One of the most popular tours in the area is some sort of lava and hot springs combination tour. Since there are a number of hot spring parks in the area, these tours can range in price from moderate to expensive.
Lucky for you, I’m going to tell you how you get the budget friendly version of these overpriced lava and hot springs tours. They key here is to go where the locals go.
See the Volcano and Lava
On a clear night, many locals venture out to some of the “secret spots” that offer great views of the volcano. One can sit here and watch regular lava explosions that mimic that of a low rate fireworks production. Its highly unlikely that you will see constant lava flows, but the explosion of lava is usually enough to get you ooooing and ahhhing.
Free Hot Springs
There are several parks and pools in the area that have a wealth of hot springs. Many of these are expensive, so the locals have found a few spots in the river that feed the same hot springs that are in the parks. These free hot springs might not have all the fancy stone work or lush gardens, but they are just as hot and just as fun. After all, how much can you really do in a hot spring?
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Getting the Budget Tour
There are two tricks to getting this budget friendly tour. The first is to wait until later in the day to approach tour operators about this tour. The later in the day, the more apt the tour operator will be to making an extra few bucks before he shuts down for the night. I would suggest waiting until just before dark to find a tour guide. The second is to tell them you want to go to the free hot springs. We won’t spill the secret of its location, but any local knows where to find it.
Prices for this budget tour should be around US$10 to US$15 a person. You can try to find a cab to take you, but they will leave the meter running while you hang out, so it will probably be more expensive. A tourist van is definitely the way to go.