Our story starts with a nature lover that became a legend in Arenal. Costa Rican born Jaime Mikowski was a trained and board-certified architect that had a knack for creative thinking. In the late 1980s, Jaime fell in love with a very special land at the base of the majestic Arenal Volcano, where several unique streams of hot mineral water ran through a marsh. He convinced the local owners to sell him a share of the land and spent the next few months persuading friends to invest with him on a wellness spa concept centered on the idea of a natural encounter.
In January 1991, the original Tabacon pools complex and the restaurant complex closed for a complete make-over, which took more than two years. Mr. Mikowski’s project aimed to reforest the existing pastures that surrounded the pools and restaurant. The river was given form so as to transform the marshlands and have them resemble what it could have been like before cows ever grazed these lands. Over 200 species of plants began to thrive. The pristine thermal waters now flowed into waterfalls and hidden bathing spots. The restaurant and kitchen were expanded, changing facilities were added, a small spa was built, and, on April 1993, Tabacon opened as a day destination. At the time, La Fortuna was a sleepy agricultural town with 3 very small Bed & Breakfasts, and two restaurants in town. In late 1997, Tabacon was inaugurated, with 42 comfortable guest rooms. This marked the official beginning of Arenal as an international destination. Today the resort embraces 900 acres of lush tropical reserve, home to Costa Rica’s largest network of naturally flowing hot springs with a world-class hospitality experience. Nowadays, the Arenal Volcano / La Fortuna is the most visited region of Costa Rica.
Over the years, Tabacon has been recognized by some of the most reputable industry groups and respected publications focused on luxury hospitality and experiential travel. The resort constantly receives accolades based on guest-originated recognition. This is a direct reflection of our commitment to deliver world-class service. Here are highlights of the more recent awards and accolades Tabacon has received:
Take the Inter-American Highway North to San Ramon. Exit at San Ramon and drive through town. Continue past Los Angeles, Balsa, Bajo Los Rodríguez, Santa Clara, Javillos, El Tanque. Once in La Fortuna, stay on the main street to Arenal Volcano National Park. Continue for 8 miles (13 kms) to Tabacon
Drive east to Liberia. Turn right (south) towards Cañas / San José on the Inter-American Highway Turn left in at the Cañas exit and follow the signs to Tilarán. In Tilarán turn left in the main intersection towards Arenal Lake. Continue around the Lake past Arenal Dam. Drive for approximately 15 minutes to Tabacon.