We were invited by some new friends to spend the day at the Middle Earth Thermal Springs north of Liberia and we jumped at the opportunity. They raved about it and we really couldn’t believe that it could be as wonderful as they claimed. We were wrong and the day we spent there was total relaxation.
Located about an hour northeast of Playas del Coco near the town of Quebrada Grande the fascinating springs are located on a 700 acre property owned by a couple originally from Maine, USA. They have lovingly and painstakingly created a magical oasis in the midst of the dry forest common to this area.
After driving about 10 minutes across parched fields you catch sight of this inviting little brook. You immediately notice the striking blue colour of the water but just wait a second and you quickly notice the sulfur compound deposits on the rocks, the smell of sulfur in the air and the wonderful splashing of the stream. It really can overwhelm your senses after the dry heat and light washed-out colours that we had been driving through since we left the coast an hour ago.
There were no hobbits, dwarves or even humans other than the one friendly worker who was doing some light maintenance around the parking and changing room area. In fact there was not another visitor to the springs the entire day. We had paradise all to ourselves. You can tell immediately that the owners have paid careful attention to maintaining the property in as natural a state as possible. Stairs are made from old fence posts, the paths are lined with rocks from the property and the signage is minimal and unobtrusive.
Sulfur is a key mineral in our bodies and makes up approximately 0.25 percent of our total body weight. It is concentrated in keratin which is a key component of the outer layer of skin as well as hair and nails. It has long been used in many remedies and is known as the “beauty mineral” as it helps the skin stay elastic and youthful. We spent more than two hours total in the pools, so we’ll let you know if it has any lasting effect! There is no doubt however that it was immensely relaxing in the pools, with the light breeze wafting the smells and sounds of the forest through the trees.
After two hours of sublime indulgence we heard a car horn which although out of place was our cue that Joyce had arrived with our lunches. Along with her dog she kept us company while we ate a wonderful meal of chicken wraps, avocados and fresh cheese which we washed down with her freshly prepared watermelon juice. For dessert she brought along some fresh chocolate caramel cookies which quickly disappeared.
After lunch we explored the property a bit enjoying the shade of the trees and trying (in vain) to get a good picture of a long-tailed manikin which was a lifetime bird for us. There were three males who were stunning with their light blue wing feathers and bright red cap.
Each of the pools is fed from an “eye” which bubbles quietly out of the ground. Here is one such eye which is seen in its natural form. You can clearly see the sulfur compound buildup on the rocks of the stream.
We had time for another hour of enjoyment so we headed back to try another pool. This one was a little cooler than the others which felt very refreshing in the early afternoon heat. It is amazing how quickly your muscles relax and your mind slows down to allow the atmosphere of the surroundings to calm your entire body. We struggled to pull ourselves away and head back for a cool shower.
If you are ever in this part of Guanacaste and are seeking a totally relaxing day away from the heat and bustle of the coastal towns, Middle Earth is definitely worth a visit. At this time they operate by reservation only but it is easy to contact them through their website. The drive through the pastures and dry forests are beautiful in their own right, but when you arrive at this little oasis you will be captivated.