Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Borinquen Hot Springs

My aunt really wanted to take my grandmother to the "natural hot springs" created from the active volcano range. The last time they had been to Costa Rica, they weren't able to try it, so she wanted to make sure we visited one on this trip.

My family used the same tour guide as yesterday (Guanecaste Viajes) and went to spend a day at Borinquen Resort & Spa, near Volcano Rincon de la Vieja.

The driver for the day cost us $170 and we paid another $45/adult each for a day pass into Borinquen Resort & Spa which included a hearty 3 course lunch at their restaurant. We could stay as long as we wanted and the driver would wait there for us to finish.

We left our hotel around 8AM, and the drive from the Andaz took about 90 minutes. The first hour was on paved roads and highways, but the last 30 minutes was on very rocky dirt roads taking us up the volcano mountainside.

Unfortunately, during the night before, I had a coughing fit and a slight fever. My temperature started getting higher during the morning drive, so after arriving just past 9:30AM, we asked the hotel doctor to check me out. He confirmed my fever and gave me some Costa Rican Tylenol to reduce it. He didn't clear me to go into the steam room or hot springs, but I was allowed to go into regular swimming pool.

So while I sat with my father, the women went into the Steam Room, which was a wooden hut positioned above some natural hot springs boiling below. My mother said it looked like something out of a horror film, but it did the trick. Personally, I didn't care for the sulfur smell, or as I like to call it, the smell of "eggs and fruit."

After opening up our pores, we head back to the other side where there were three hot spring tubs. Our tour guide explained how it worked (each tub was a different temperature, cold, warm and hot).

But it wasn't time yet for those tubs. First we had to get some mineral rich mud on our skin. This mud was collected from the hot springs and then cooled down with mountain river water so that we could apply it all over our bodies.

Unfortunately, I hated being dirty, so I had my father clean my hands right away.

After being covered in the grey mud, my family and I took a walk into the forest where we could see the mud source by the bubbling volcanic hot springs.

By then, the mud started to dry on our skin so my family decided to pretend to be mud monsters and try to scare me. As you can see, I wasn't amused.

Now it was time to wash off the mud and enjoy the hot spring pools. While most my family did that, I rotated caretakers who would keep me entertained in the regular swimming pool on the other side.

Around 12:30PM, I started to get hungry, so I got out of the pool. My parents had the same idea as they were finishing up with the hot springs.

Our tour guide walked us over to the hotel restaurant where we had some delicious tomato soup, Costa Rican casado (plate of rice, beans and protein) and a dulce de leche cake.

After lunch, my family wanted to go back to the hot springs for another dip. We finished up around 2:30PM and went back home where my grandmother and aunt were scheduled to take a 5PM Cervice cooking class at the Andaz.

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