We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Rio Chollin

| Next to Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Costa Rica Gravity Falls Canyoning Adventure from La Fortuna
More Info
and up
Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Hot Springs Day Trip from San Jose
More Info
and up
8-Day Best of Northwest Costa Rica from San Jose: Arenal Volcano National Park...
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
If you talk with the locals they will tell you to go to Scratch River or the Free hot springs. This is perfect if you are travelling on a shoestring budget as it is FREE! To get there go to the yellow gate next to Tabacon Springs. You can park on the road shoulder and you will definitely see it. Walk down the path behind the gate and in a very short walk you will arrive at a bubbling hot creek. You can go 24 hrs a day but keep your items in your site. Leave your valuables at the hotel and just bring a towel and prepare to relax.
  • Excellent67%
  • Very good24%
  • Average7%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
| Next to Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
Write a Review
Reviews (955)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

1 - 10 of 734 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Close to wellness center Tabacon you can just go for free to the hotspring Rio cholin. We really enjoyed it. Wear watershoes....flipflops can be lost easily as my wife noticed!

Thank Ibis498
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Very nice. Lots of people. Went at night and someone came with disco lights and boombox which was disappointing. During the day it was less crowded.

Thank lileta
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

People: this is a sketchy place. It's weird that Tabaconcito or Chollin or Free Hot Springs or whatever it's called is a top -10 activity in the Arenal area, I mean, you have to go through a hole in a fence to get inside. There...More

1  Thank Nats B
Reviewed 15 July 2017

Ok so almost skipped this altogether but made a short stop between activities. This ended up being one of my favorite things I did only my eleven days in Costa Rica. I only wish I had allowed for more time to do it. We happen...More

Thank Vacationhope
Reviewed 9 July 2017

this was THE highlight of our time in La Fortuna. Rio Chollin thermal waters was the last stop of our hiking tour and it was the top of the cherry! My husband and I were completely unprepared for the rain storm throughout our beautiful rainforest...More

Thank disalmeron91
Reviewed 9 July 2017 via mobile

As you get to the water under the road bridge you have two choices. Turn left into the tunnel and go upstream or turn right and head downstream. Both are good options. Upstream is calmer and probably better for children. Downstream has some rapid and...More

1  Thank Christopher S
Reviewed 27 June 2017

Quiet. Relaxing. Warm (almost hot). Wildlife. Massaging cascades. Cooling pools. Great conversations. Worth the stop! Oh did I say??? It's free! FYI... there are NO amenities here, be prepared. It is 100% natural

Thank dr917
Reviewed 27 June 2017

Based on the positive reviews, we decided to check out this "free and authentic" activity. The first thing that visitors should be aware of is that there is no parking area. You must basically leave your car on the asphalt and there's really no shoulder...More

2  Thank puravida3
Reviewed 15 June 2017

I read reviews before we went to Costa Rica so I knew it would be busy on the weekend, so I had this on my itinerary for Monday. We happened to drive by on the weekend so I had my wife and cousin hop out...More

Thank NomadTeej
Reviewed 12 June 2017 via mobile

There is something magical about parking and taking a quick jaunt off the side of the road to encounter an amazing and totally free geothermally heated river. It is an easy trek, and the surroundings are gorgeous. We generally ended our days of trekking around...More

1  Thank kristinrye
Nearby Restaurants
La Mesa de Mama
94 reviews
4.59 miles away
Red Frog Coffee Roaster
196 reviews
4.40 miles away
Howlers Bar & Grill
91 reviews
4.70 miles away
Loma Linda Restaurant
56 reviews
4.51 miles away
Nearby Attractions
Baldi Aqua Spa
29 reviews
2.93 miles away
Lake Arenal
1,415 reviews
2.73 miles away
Arenal Hanging Bridges
1,444 reviews
2.02 miles away
Ask a question
Questions & Answers
Derek S
7 March 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Meganaroundtheworld | Reviewed this property |
It's steep and slippery, there is a small wall you have to climb over as well.
1 January 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Michiganaki | Reviewed this property |
It's right across the road from Tabacon Resort. You can park at Tabacon (costs $2) and walk down to the river.
27 October 2016|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from CalderonPR | Reviewed this property |
I don't think so. Most of them are in the ground of private hotels. But why would you want others? These are really nice and free.