The only place where it is possible to bathe in hot springs without paying is the Tabacon River. This river is located 11 kilometers from La Fortuna. There is a private site with natural Hot Springs and infrastructure called Tabacon Grand Spa. You can only enter if you pay the entrance fee, but right next to it you can go to a natural river for free.
This free access place is adjacent to the main road and is well known by everyone as "El Choyin". It must be taken into account that to visit El Choyin, you have to find a suitable place to park the car since the parking areas are very scarce and in some cases it is difficult to find where.
Among the economic sites you can find Termalitas and Los Laureles, in these sites you pay a very accessible entrance fee (less than $16).
Some of the facilities they have are, picnic huts, changing rooms, bathrooms, several swimming pools and snacks for sale. These places are approximately 4 and 5 kilometers from the La Fortuna downtown towards the Arenal Lake.
There are other places fairly more expensive (over $20), for example: Baldi Hot Springs, Ecotermales, Titoku, Kalambu, Paradise Hot Springs and Los Lagos. These places usually offer enough swimming pools and rest places inside; as well as the possibility of enjoying a good lunch or dinner as they have restaurants near their hot springs.
These sites are also characterized by offering a wide variety of cocktails including the famous "Piña coladas".
Among the hot springs options of La Fortuna area, there are 2 sites that can be considered as luxurious. One of them is Tabacon Grand Spa, and the other is known as The Springs. These sites are characterized because their entrance fees generally do not cost less than $50 per person.
They are quite exclusive places and have sometimes been the escape sites of some movie stars, athletes and other celebrities. As an example, the famous actor Will Smith has recorded movies in The Springs, renting the whole resort for his staff while a long time.
Both places own a 5 stars hotel, so staying in them means unlimited access to their hot springs. Other facilities include restaurants and the possibility of getting massage services in their famous spas.