Guide to Costa Rica Spas

Costa Rica spas seem to be popping up all over the place as the country continues to define itself as a true vacation destination. However, the word “spa” is being used quite liberally these days, as you may have noticed in your home country.

Before you plan your Costa Rica spa vacation, you need to do some research to know what you’re getting. As you will find out, not all spas are created equal, and you want to choose wisely when selecting your resort spa to make sure you’re not just getting something spa-like.

So what is a "real" spa?

A true Costa Rica spa will offer its clientele massage, facials and body treatments, all in a quiet and relaxing atmosphere. For an even better experience, make sure the facility has features like a sauna, steam bath, hot tub, and swimming pool. Certified estheticians and masseuses are also preferable.

For a truly perfect spa vacation, contact the facility to find out what specific body treatments it offers to assure that you get what you want. If you love Thai massage, hot stone massage, acupressure treatments, salt glows, body wraps in chocolate or wine, or reflexology, make sure ahead of time that they offer these services.

Where are the best Costa Rica spas?

Your two main options for spas are in the highlands or at the beach along either the Pacific or Caribbean coast.

The volcanic and natural thermal activity associated with Central America and particular to Costa Rica geography make the highlands an excellent choice. Natural hot springs abound around the Arenal and Rincon de la Vieja Volcanoes, and you can even find some places with bubbling, thermal mud ponds.

Along both coasts there are numerous resort spas to choose from, and many are in resorts with secluded beaches. Prices vary, though many places are quite luxurious with treatment prices similar to places in the States.

The Four Seasons Papagayo in on the coast in Guanacaste offers a tremendous spa as does the massive Los Suenos resort in Herradura. Other, smaller boutique resorts provide a more intimate atmosphere and offer some more unique experiences among Costa Rica spas.

Outside of the high-end there are many others spa resorts with more mid-range prices, with some quite good deals, especially if you’re traveling off-season, from May to November. The shoulder season is still a great time to travel and get a great price on a spa vacation.

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