The importance of looking around: natural thermal hot tubs with the locals
This pretty much sums up my experience in the La Fortuna/Arenal area of Costa Rica. We were lucky enough to find it on day one and right on time too... as we were heading back down the hill to our resort after a very hot bike ride.
Tabacon is a 5 star (whatever that means) thermal spa resort thing. The idea being that you will either stay there or take a shuttle from wherever you are staying, go in their water, have a few $10+ drinks, eat some food and overall drop about $120 per person. You will also ride over there in a shuttle that probably says "eco tourism" somewhere on it but burns diesel fuel, where is the bike path?
Anyways, that first ride we took we were amazed at the amount of climbing. Kim and I went up and up and up instead of going "down" to the lake. It was very hot. By the time we made the 18 or 20 mile loop we had planned.
I was ready to do some off the bike exploring. On the way out I'd noticed some people walking down below a bridge and suggested maybe we check it out...
About 100 meters down the slope we walked through shallow water under the road to this
The guy to my left up there holding his head assured us it was the "same river, same river"... in fact, it was only about 200 meters up that river to Tabacon. This became the must stop on every ride before descending the final 800-1000' over the last 4 miles.