Lush mountains surround you, while you sit immersed in soothing hot water. A light mist falls and creates a cloud effect in the sky. The cool air contrasts against the warmth of your skin. This is the experience you can get at Hacienda Orosi’s hot springs.
This lesser-known hot springs resort in the Orosi Valley near San Jose has a handful of gorgeous thermal pools. It also has a small farm where you can see animals. In this post, we’ll explain everything you need to know about visiting Hacienda Orosi.
Hacienda Orosi is a large property in the town of Orosi. It is just southeast of the city of Cartago and capital of San Jose. Set off on its own, on the fringes of Tapanti National Park, it has sweeping valley views in almost every direction.`
The Hacienda Orosi property is still being developed, but for now, it does not have a hotel. The main draws are the hot spring pools and farm with many different animals.
If you’re visiting Orosi, Cachi, or Paraiso, we highly recommend spending a day at Hacienda Orosi. Because Orosi is only about a 1.25 hour drive from San Jose, Hacienda Orosi also makes a fun day trip for those looking to escape the city.
Hot Spring Pools
When you enter the Hacienda Orosi property, you will come to an elegant reception area. This has a comfortable seating area with loungers and small tables. An open-air restaurant is just beyond the reception.
Directly in front of the casual restaurant are the hot spring pools. There are seven pools in total. While this isn’t as many as in some other hot spring resorts in Costa Rica, Hacienda Orosi is much less busy so doesn’t get as crowded.
The pools are fed by thermal mineral water, not volcanic thermal water like at many other resorts. The thermal mineral water originates from fractures in underground tectonic plates. This is very unique and makes the water rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, aluminum, sulfate, and zinc.
Water temperatures in the pools range from a comfortable 36°C (96.8°F) to a steamy 39°C (102.2°F). We recommend starting in the cooler pools first and working your way up to the hot pools. You can really feel your muscles relax in the hottest ones!
The pools are fairly large, making it easy to spread out if there is already another group there. They have sloping ramps or steps to help you get in safely. In different areas of each pool, there is also a sitting area built along the edge. This is nice for relaxing and also a good place for little kids to hang out.
Some of the pools have an infinity edge. This was an amazing spot to take in the views.
The pools themselves are made of concrete but fit nicely into the natural environment. As you can see from the pictures, the property is well manicured, with tropical plants and flowers all around.
The Farm at Hacienda Orosi
From the reception area, it is just a short walk to the farm. Most people check out the farm before doing the hot springs.
In addition to the big red barn where the horses were, there were four barns housing many different farm animals.
One barn had turkeys, peacocks, guinea hens, and pheasants. Another had cows, ponies, and donkeys. This one also had a huge, stunning black horse that we had never seen before called a Percheron. We learned from the sign on the stable that Percherons originated from Normandy, France and were widely regarded for their strength and integrity during the Crusades.
Each stable had a sign like this in both Spanish and English. They gave information about each animal, including taxonomy, diet, lifespan, size, weight, and some other fun facts.
We also saw bunnies and several different varieties of pig.
For the bird lovers, there were colorful exotic species. A Golden Pheasant wowed us with its striking red, orange, and yellow feathers, and long tail.
A third barn had some cows and charismatic sheep and goats. These guys were actually running around in the field outside their stable.
This is what was great about Hacienda Orosi’s farm. The animals not only had large, clean spaces indoors, but they also had ample space outside to move around. The larger animals like cows and sheep also had designated time in the pasture. The animals were kept in wonderful conditions and all seemed happy and healthy.
Those interested in orchids will enjoy the small garden structure right next to the reception area. This has several species of orchid, including many we had never seen before.
Planning Your Visit to Hacienda Orosi
We recommend spending at least half a day at Hacienda Orosi. This way, you can enjoy the pools for a couple of hours and also check out to the farm.
Keep in mind that it’s usually busier on weekends and holidays, with locals visiting from San Jose.
Most people eat at the resort restaurant since it would be a drive to go anywhere else. We had lunch and the food was excellent. It’s upscale and pricey for the area, but we found it to be worth it. You order at a window and then servers will bring it to your table when it’s ready.
The menu is big. If you just want snacks, they have a variety of traditional Costa Rican foods like empanadas, patacones (fried plantains), fried yucca, and chifrijo (a bowl of rice, beans, fried pork, pico de gallo, and tortilla chips). For entrees, you’ll find things like hamburgers, sandwiches, fajitas, traditional rice dishes, and many options for steak and seafood. There was also a kids’ menu with four options.
Here is a link to the full menu.
For drinks, they have a full bar and also local craft beer on tap.
Since the restaurant is right next to the pools, many people left their belongings/towels at their table. Bags and things are not allowed in the pool area.
Next to the reception is a good-sized locker room and bathroom; one side for men and the other for women. These had nice showers to rinse off after, with complimentary shampoo and body soap.
With admission, they give you a locker key and towel.
Day Passes: Cost and Information
Day passes are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Cost: $45 adults, $22.50 children ages 6-11, free for children 5 and under.
Night passes are from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Cost: $45 adults, $22.50 children ages 6-11, free for children 5 and under.
Both passes include use of the entire facility (hot springs, farm, and trails). *Note: There is currently one trail that leads to the source for the hot springs. We’ve heard you can get some nice views from here. They are supposed to be working on expanding the trails.
We did see some people doing a mud bath with mineral-rich volcanic mud in the lower level where there was a waterfall from the hot springs. This can be fun to do if you have never experienced it.
The Orosi Valley receives some of the most rain in Costa Rica. And during our recent visit, we definitely experienced this, with on-and-off showers most days. But this doesn’t take away from the experience at the hot springs. It actually can be really refreshing to do hot springs when temperatures are cooler and there’s a light mist.
Just be sure to wear a rain jacket or have an umbrella for the farm tour.
Customer service was excellent on our visit. Each employee we interacted with was friendly and helpful. Since Hacienda Orosi is more of a locals’ spot, Spanish is predominately spoken, though some of the staff did speak English.
We were really surprised by our visit to Hacienda Orosi. We weren’t picturing such a classy hot springs resort in the modest Orosi Valley. If you’re looking to experience some thermal hot springs on your visit to Costa Rica, we highly recommend them.
Have a question about visiting Hacienda Orosi? Ask us in the comments below.
Looking for more information to plan your trip to Costa Rica? Check out these posts:
Tapanti National Park: Wet Rivers and Wild Forest – If you’re visiting the Orosi Valley, Tapanti offers a nice hike through dense rainforest and to rivers.
La Fortuna: What to Expect from Costa Rica’s Most Popular Destination – La Fortuna/Arenal Volcano has the most popular hot springs in the country. Learn about this area with this post.
9 Off-the-Beaten Path Destinations in Costa Rica: If you prefer to avoid the crowds, check out this post for more low-key towns in Costa Rica.