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Top 10 Hot Springs in Latin America

September 14, 2016 by Michael Eiseman divider image
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Latin America is chocked full of renowned hotels and spas offering up on-demand relaxation and rejuvenation for weary travelers, but some of our most favorite spots to claim some much needed R&R while on vacation in Central or South America are Mother Nature’s spas— hot springs.

Although there are hot springs on every continent, some of the best in the world are found in South and Central America. Chile, in particular, is quite famous for its wealth of naturally-occurring hot springs, but many destinations in the Americas boast these alluringly therapeutic natural hot tubs.

Sure, lounging in your backyard Jacuzzi is great, but wouldn’t it be even better to take a hot dip and unwind in some of the world’s most beautiful places?

Here is our list of the Top 10 Latin American hot springs:

Parque de Agua Termas Cacheuta | Argentina

Located close to Mendoza and easily accessible from the Argentine city is Parque de Agua Termas Cacheuta, and getting there is half the fun. These hot springs are surrounded by the scenic vistas of the Mendoza River and its neighboring mountains. The thermal waters, in fact, flow from the mountains themselves. This charming hot springs has a sunken garden feeling and is widely considered by locals to be a can’t-miss activity after a morning of wine tastings in the region.

Laguna Verde | Bolivia

Situated in the Potosi Department of Bolivia, Laguna Verde is a picturesque salt lake with varying hues of emerald green and turquoise depending on the day you visit. Although most visitors travel to this region to see the breathtaking altiplano or the lake’s dancing flamingoes, the geothermal-heated hot springs nestled in the shadows of an inactive volcano are definitely worth a visit after a day of trekking through the windy, harsh climate. It’s not unusual to be the only people at these hot springs, so stretch out, get comfortable and wile away the hours.

Rio Quente | Brazil

Perhaps the most famous of all the hot springs on our Top 10 hot springs list, Rio Quente in Brazil’s Goia state does double duty as the country’s largest water park. Amazingly, the hot springs here consistently are replenished as more than 1.5 million gallons flow through them each hour. The site also is home to the only hot-water river rapids in the Americas, making it a must-see for thousands of visitors each year. Even if you don’t love crowds, a stop at the Rio Quente thermals should definitely make your Brazil tour list for their unique properties.

Termas Geometricas | Chile

These hard-to-find hot springs are hidden away at the bottom of a large canyon in Chile’s Villarrica National Park. Shrouded in misty clouds, the Termas Geometricas hot springs have an almost zen garden quality with painted wooden pathways linking 17 geo-thermal-heated pools of varying temperatures. Although the Japanese-inspired architecture is somewhat new, the locals have been frequenting the pools since ancient times and often still refer to them by their former name— Cajon Negro. Whatever you decide to call them, you’ll feel completely refreshed after a dip in these hot springs.

Santa Rosa de Cabal Thermal Springs | Colombia

Rolling hills, waterfalls and hot springs? Who wouldn’t want to take a soak in one of the most beautiful thermal pools in all the world? Located at the base of three neighboring waterfalls (the tallest towering at more than 500 feet high), Colombia’s Santa Rosa de Cabal Thermal Springs are some of the most spectacularly picture-perfect on our list. They were first opened in the early 1940s and boast both hot and cold spring-fed pools smack dab in the middle of the country’s famed coffee triangle. You’ll feel like you stepped back in time as you take in the mountain air, scenic vistas and healing waters.

Tabacon Arenal Hot Springs | Costa Rica

Another world-famous hot springs, the Tabacon thermals at Arenal in Costa Rica are nestled amidst the rainforest and were one of the original hot springs resorts in the world. There are five natural springs here of varying temperatures (some are even cold water), which feed flowing rivers and enticing pools perfect for enjoying some down time. Costa Rica is well-known for its abundance of protected land, making this an ideal spot to do some nature-watching in an eco-friendly locale. The on-site spa books all sorts of treatments, including an underwater massage. Could it get any better?

Papallacta | Ecuador

Perched high in the Ecuadorian Andes at an elevation of almost 11,000 feet above sea level lie the Papallacta hot springs. This is the highest city in the whole country of Ecuador and one of the region’s most intriguing destinations. The numerous hot springs in this locale are created by a huge concentration of volcanoes (the most of anywhere on Earth), so the subterranean geo-thermal activity heats quite a large series of forested pools of varied depth and temperature. Locals say the mineral-rich pools are great for just about any illness that ails you.

Fuentes Georgina Hot Springs | Guatemala

Named for the wife of a former dictator who used to vacation here, Fuentes Georgina hot springs are said to be the most beautiful in Guatemala— and they’re close enough to Quetzaltenango for a day trip if you’re feeling so inspired (although we recommend staying a bit closer). These hot springs were badly damaged back in 2010 but have been rebuilt and are even better now. You’ll feel like you’ve stumbled into the Blue Lagoon with the springs’ steep walls and lush tropical landscape. Despite the sub tropical climate, its location high in the mountains keeps air temps reasonable for enjoying the hot springs even at the height of the day. Don’t forget to hit the nearby trails for a bit of wildlife adventuring.

Caldera Hot Springs | Panama

If having a hot spring pool all to yourself sounds appealing, head to the super remote Caldera Hot Springs in Panama for some a soak in quiet solitude (but you may have to share with the monkeys). Located on a private farm in scenic Boquete, the Caldera boasts four pools surrounded by large, smooth stones and nearby petroglyphs. A cool river also runs close by, providing the perfect refreshment after some time lounging in the geo-thermal-heated natural pools. You won’t find any resort style accompaniments here, but you certainly won’t miss them either!

Aguas Calientes | Peru

Often compared to a U.S. gold rush town filled with hard-sell souvenir hawkers, Peru’s Aguas Calientes is known primarily as the closest place for an overnight stay en route to Machu Picchu. But, hidden within this deep valley surrounded by cloud forest and scenic rivers, also are some pretty amazing hot springs. Like Guatemala’s Fuentes Georgina, Aguas Calientes was damaged several years ago but since has been rebuilt. After strolling through the hustle and bustle of this busy tourist stop, these hot springs are the very best place to grab some much-needed downtime.
Hot springs are an amazing add-on to any Central or South America travel itinerary.

If you’re ready to rest, relax and unwind at one of our Top 10 Hot Springs of Latin America, contact us today to begin planning your dream journey.


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