Most of Costa Rica’s natural hot springs are found in the mountains, close to the country’s volcanoes. However, for those traveling to the central Pacific coast, there is one rustic option between the towns of Manuel Antonio and Dominical. Eco Termales Quepos has naturally heated, warm pools set in the remote countryside. In this post, we’ll share more details so that you can plan a visit.
Eco Termales Quepos is located in Dos Bocas, near the small town of Hatillo. Although the name implies that these hot springs are in Quepos, they are actually to the south. The closest major town is Dominical, about 20 minutes away. If you’re coming from Quepos or Manuel Antonio, the drive will be about 50 minutes.
Dos Bocas is a very small community with only a handful of houses. It is accessed by a dirt road.
Getting to Dos Bocas can be an adventure at certain times of the year. Although the road has improved, it is still prone to washouts and landslides. See directions below for more about the drive.
About Eco Termales Quepos
The Eco Termales Quepos property is off on its own, next to a peaceful river bordered by dense jungle.
At Eco Termales Quepos, you will not be given a white bathrobe and slippers, and have the full spa experience. This is a rustic property, run by a local family and that’s all part of its charm.
Once you turn off the main road, you will find a grassy parking lot and an open-air rancho. Here, you will pay your admission. They also offer drinks and lunch.
Off to the side is the family’s home and you will likely encounter chickens, geese, and a dog or two roaming around.
From the rancho, a flat trail enters the forest. In less than a minute, you will reach the thermal pools.
The Hot Spring Pools
Eco Termales Quepos has two hot spring pools. The upper pool is larger and divided with little rock walls into three smaller sections. This allows different groups to have a bit of space to themselves.
The lower pool is steps away, just off the trail down to the river. This pool is also divided by small rock walls into two sections, one higher up and one lower.
The water in these spring-fed pools varies in temperature and each section feels a bit different. We have visited a couple of times, and on our second visit, the hottest sections just felt warm, not hot. Since the springs are naturally fed from the earth, it’s normal that they vary.
Generally, the hottest pools are the first one you come to on the trail (front section) and the top part of the lower pool. In these two areas, you can feel the warm water seeping out from under the rocks.
Integrated into the landscape, the thermal pools have pebble bottoms and some larger stones to sit on and relax. The staff cleans the pools so that there aren’t many leaves.
The upper pool overlooks the forest, and the lower pool has a nice view of the river.
Another highlight of visiting Eco Termales Quepos is the scenic and refreshing river. When the current isn’t too swift, you can swim in the shallow pools that form between the smooth rocks.
There is also a section of rocks that makes a sort of slide. Just be very careful with the river currents, especially in rainy season (May through end of November) when water levels are higher. Swimming can be unsafe if there has been a lot of rain.
The river water is cool since it comes from the nearby mountains. But it’s a nice contrast with the warmer hot spring pools.
On hot days, locals enjoy setting up picnics next to the river, taking turns swimming.
While Eco Termales Quepos is simple, it has everything you need.
The rancho itself has a big refrigerator case with soda and beer, and a restaurant where you can have lunch for an additional fee. Connected to the rancho are bathrooms and very simple showers with cold water.
There is also Wifi in this area, which is nice because there was no cell phone service during our last visit.
Around the property and next to the thermal pools, you will find some picnic tables in case you want to bring your own food and drinks.
Planning Your Visit to Eco Termales Quepos
Eco Termales Quepos is open every day, including holidays, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Foreigners: 3,500 colones (about $7) per person adults. 2,000 colones (about $3.50) per person children under 10.
Residents or Citizens: 3,000 colones (about $6) per person adults. 1,500 colones (about $2.50) per person children under 10.
The lunch is a traditional casado (plate of chicken, beef, or fish with rice and beans and side salads). The cost is around $10. Order before visiting the pools so they can prepare it.
Eco Termales Quepos also offers camping.
Important: If using Google or other maps, the route may not be correct. Be sure to read these directions for easier access.
The road to access the thermal springs is dirt and may have mud and ruts in the rainy season. There are a few inclines. We recommend a 4×4 during that time.
Take the Costanera Highway (Route 34) north to the last entrance for Hatillo and take a right into the town. Cross the long bridge and continue for a minute. At Soda La Unica, take a left onto the dirt road. There is a sign for the hot springs. Follow for 8 km (5 miles) and enter on the right at the Aguas Termales sign. Driving time is about 20 minutes.
From Manuel Antonio or Quepos
Take the Costanera Highway (Route 34) south to the first entrance for Hatillo and take a left into the town. Cross the long bridge and continue for a minute. At Soda La Unica, take a left onto the dirt road. There is a sign for the hot springs. Follow for 8 km (5 miles) and enter on the right at the Aguas Termales sign. Driving time is about 50 minutes.
If you are looking to soak in some natural springs but in an off-the-beaten path type of way, Eco Termales Quepos is perfect for you. We have taken both Matt’s parents and some friends to these charming springs and everyone always loves them.
Have a question about visiting Eco Termales Quepos or want to share your experience? Leave a comment below.
Looking for more fun activities near Dominical or Manuel Antonio? Check out these posts:
Reptilandia Dominical: Snakes, Turtles, Crocs, and More – This reptile exhibit is a hidden favorite. There are dozens of species of snakes and turtles and beautiful gardens to enjoy as well.
7 Off-the-Beaten-Path Things to Do Near Manuel Antonio – These activities are less crowded than the national park or beaches.
8 Things to Do in Dominical – More activities around the Dominical area, like waterfalls, caves, and wildlife facilities.