If you are looking for a relaxing, wellness-focused, adventure-filled, completely rejuvenating experience…look no further than Hotel Rio Perdido in Bagaces, Costa Rica.

This beautiful, unique resort is tucked away in the canyons and jungle of northern Costa Rica in the Guanacaste Province.

One of the most sought-after attractions at Rio Perdido is the thermal river that runs through the property.


The Story of Rio Perdido

Rio Perdido has an incredible history and story. It was recently rediscovered after being lost in the wilderness for many years. The dream of the hotel became realized after exploring the land and finding the hot spring that feeds the warm waters of Rio Perdido (the lost river).

After careful planning and development to minimize disturbing the natural landscape, Rio Perdido was born. The main hub with dining, spa, swimming pools and reception sits amid the jungle canopy with wildlife all around.

If you take a walk down one of the many trails, you\’ll find yourself in a desert-like terrain with views of volcanoes, or a canyon filled with beautiful trees, and a warm flowing river.

Getting There

Rio Perdido is in the northern region of the Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica, specifically in Bagaces. You can find this hidden gem amongst the canyons and jungles of Costa Rica by driving an hour east of Liberia.

Flying into Liberia

Liberia is the closest airport to Hotel Rio Perdido. It is a short, mostly paved, 1-hour drive from the resort.

Rio Perdido offers one-way transfers to/from Liberia Airport for 1-4 passengers that cost $164

Flying into San José

If you fly into San José the commute is a bit longer. You will find the resort about 4 hours northwest of San José International Airport.

Rio Perdido one-way transfers to/from San José Airport for 1-4 passengers cost $283.

My Stay at Rio Perdido

When we arrived at Rio Perdido, there was a guard shack that checked us in and informed reception to pick us up in the parking lot (if you are driving a rental car).

We were then transported to reception and greeted with the daily \”clean\” specialty mocktail.

We got a quick overview of the resort property, amenities, excursions, and experiences from reception, and then were taken to our private bungalow.

The bungalows are private, set amidst the jungle, and have walls of windows so it feels like you are in a treehouse!

There are paths throughout the property that winds through the jungle and lead you down to the thermal river, numerous hiking trails, and across the property to the thermal mineral swimming pools.


The River & Pools

The reason we were drawn to stay at this resort is because of the unique \”The Lost River\”. The Rio Perdido (Lost River) is incredible.

There is a trail down to the canyon that this beautiful river runs through. The river boasts several different natural swimming holes at different temperatures to enjoy depending on your preference.

Rio Perdido

The hotel\’s mineral swimming pools are thermal as well. 3 pools vary in degree of temperature. My favorite was the warmest pool because it was like a bath that never gets cold!


One of the pools offers a swim-up bar and also seating around to enjoy lunch if you don\’t want to go up to the restaurant. This was one of our favorite things to do in the afternoons, especially since most days we were the only people there!

Hotel Rio Perdido Thermal Swimming Pool


Rio Perdido\’s open-air restaurant is in the heart of the resort. Their food is sourced locally or grown on-site.

The restaurant offers a complimentary breakfast to all guests and is also open for lunch and dinner. You can also grab lunch at the poolside and swim-up bar.


Breakfast is a sit-down meal and has a variety of healthy options. The staff is more than welcome to make any adjustments for dietary needs.

Something we loved about breakfast was that there was always a daily freshly squeezed mixed juice. One of our favorites was pineapple, lime, and mint!

The menus are labeled gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and vegetarian; but any additional adjustments are also welcome for guest preference.

Why I Love Rio Perdido

  • Rio Perdido created their environment, accommodations, experiences, and amenities to promote passive wellness.
  • The products used in the guest rooms for toiletries are from a local Costa Rican organic, synthetic free skincare company, Raw Botanicals.
  • There are 3 thermal swimming pools and they are all mineral pools…so you don\’t have to worry about toxic chlorine.
  • The restaurant at Rio Perdido focuses on wellness, clean eating and has a variety of options for different dietary restrictions.
  • Rio Perdido\’s thermal mineral river was our favorite pastime while we visited. There was nothing more serene than relaxing in the warm, crystal clear waters of the river and enjoying the nature around us.

Activities to Enjoy

Because of the vast property of Rio Perdido, there are several activities to enjoy. Most of which promote wellness and a clean lifestyle!

Complimentary Yoga Class

Rio Perdido offers daily complimentary yoga classes for each guest. Yoga at Rio Perdido is quite exciting. After you grab your mat at the spa, there is a short hike to the yoga platforms that sit amongst the rainforest canopy.


Complimentary Nature Walk

Every morning, you can enjoy a guided 1-hour nature walk that takes you around the property. Be sure to bring your sunscreen for this one! Unlike much of the shaded property surrounding the immediate resort, the walk takes you to the more desert terrain that encompasses the area.


On the walk, you learn so much about the history of the property and how Hotel Rio Perdido came to be. It makes you appreciate and enjoy your stay at one of a kind resort.

One of my husband\’s favorite parts of the walk was getting to see the helipad and also the great views of the volcanoes in the distance.


Relax in the Thermal River

The Thermal River is the real treat and one of the reasons we chose this resort to travel to. There are several pools – three in particular – that the resort highlights. Because of the hot spring source of the river, as the river flows, it gets cooler and cooler.

The first pool that you come to when you arrive at the river, is the coolest, although it is still warm and very comfortable to relax in.

As you continue up the river along the well-trodden path, you\’ll come to the second natural pool. This one is extra special because it has a wooden vat of volcanic mud that you can spread across your skin, let dry, and then soak in the thermal mineral waters for a natural spa treatment!


The third pool is the warmest, largest, and deepest pool. It\’s like a hot bath that never gets cold. Divine.

You can continue up the river and go to the hot spring, but it is extremely hot.

Find the Medicinal Carbonated Spring

A short trail hike from the main resort area will bring you to the naturally carbonated spring on the property.

This spring is considered a medicinal carbonated spring that you are free to drink. It is known to have wellness and health benefits.

Visit the beautiful Llanos de Cortez Waterfall

Llanos de Cortez is known as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Costa Rica. It is noted to be less of a tourist attraction, so it\’s often not as crowded as some of the more popular waterfalls in Costa Rica.


It is an easy 45-minute drive from Rio Perdido and is located just off of the highway. Since this site is now run by the local government, they do charge 4000 colones per person at the entrance.

Once you arrive at the trailhead there is a large gravel parking lot, nice bathrooms, and a few local artists set up at the trail entrance.

Llanos de Cortez Parking Lot

You\’ll find local guides at the trailhead that are for hire if you\’d like assistance down to the falls and up to the second smaller waterfall. However, the trail is a very easily managed set of concrete stairs that were recently redone by the government.

Stairs down to Llanos de Cortez

Once you get down to the waterfall there is a nice sand beach to relax on and some shaded areas as well. I loved the sand beach because, unlike many other swimming holes and waterfalls, you need shoes to protect your feet from the rocks and gravel. Here, I was barefoot and happy the entire time!

The swimming hole is large and you can swim right up to the waterfall. There are also lifeguards at the waterfall, provided by the government.

Enjoy a Massage or Facial at the Spa!

The Rio Perdido Spa uses clean, non-toxic products for its services and has peaceful massage pods that open up to the thermal pool area so you can relax to the sound of the flowing pool fountains.

Go on a Rio Perdido Signature Adventure!

Some resort-hosted activities and tours are a big attraction for visiting guests! Go on a guided mountain bike, white water tubing, or a canyon zip line adventure.

Canyon Zip-Line

Rio Perdido\’s Canyon Zip-Line adventure is one of a kind! Fly through the canyons of Rio Blanco and be surprised by all of the unexpected sequences and extras.


White Water Tubing

White Water Tubing is on Rio Blanco, which is a short drive from the main resort area. Several guides are available to take you on a short hike down into the river canyon, tubing through the white water, with soaring canyon walls around you.

This activity is particularly better in the green season because the river levels are higher. *They do require close-toed shoes for this.

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