Nestled in the heart of Central America, Guatemala is a country that boasts many natural wonders, from towering volcanoes and pristine lakes to dense rainforests and enchanting hot springs.
Beyond its breathtaking scenery, Guatemala has a vibrant culture and is a place where ancient Mayan traditions intersect with colonial history, resulting in a unique blend of art, music, and cuisine.
Of the many popular natural attractions in Guatemala that draw tourists and travelers from across the globe, in this post, we will focus on the volcanoes and natural hot springs.
You may not be aware of the fact there are 37 volcanoes in Guatemala and six of them are active.
The natural hot springs in Guatemala are a remarkable result of the country’s volcanic activity. Volcanoes play a crucial role in heating nearby waterways and rivers to create the soothing hot springs that attract travelers from all over the world.
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Man-Made and Natural Hot Springs
The hot springs in Guatemala include both natural and man-made options. Both natural and man-made hot springs offer unique and enjoyable experiences.
When visiting hot springs in Guatemala, you can choose between natural hot springs, which provide a more rustic and nature-centric experience, and man-made hot springs, which offer a controlled and often more luxurious environment for relaxation and therapeutic purposes.
Natural hot springs are formed by geothermal activity deep within the Earth’s crust. They occur when underground water is heated by magma, creating hot water that rises to the surface, often through fissures or cracks in the Earth’s crust.
These hot springs can be found in areas with volcanic or tectonic activity.
Man-made hot springs, as the name suggests, are created by humans. They typically involve collecting naturally occurring hot water and creating pools or baths for people to enjoy.
Man-made hot springs may use geothermal water sources or heated water from other sources, such as heated pools.
An example of the popular man-made hot springs include:
- Fuentes Georginas Hot Springs: While it started as a NATURAL hot spring, due to its popularity it was altered by the owners until it became a man-made pool. But don’t worry, it still has that natural feeling to it.
5 of the Best Natural Hot Springs in Guatemala
Whether you seek tranquility, adventure, or simply a soothing soak, Guatemala’s hot springs promise an unforgettable experience.
I highly recommend trying the Pacaya Volcano Hot Springs day trip and tour and experience the thermal pools and steam baths for yourself.
Hot springs also are a source of incredible health benefits. The mineral-infused waters can work wonders for your well-being by improving blood circulation, soothing pain relief, stress relief, and your skin ailments and respiratory illnesses too.
More than just relaxation; the hot springs experience in Guatemala is more about replenishing both body and soul.
While you might stumble upon hot springs unexpectedly, some of the most popular and easily accessible ones can be found in the country’s top tourist destinations.
Here are some of the best natural hot springs to visit in Guatemala:
1. Fuentes Georginas
Located near the town of Zunil in the western highlands, Fuentes Georginas is one of the most popular hot spring destinations in Guatemala.
Fuentes Georginas is a large compound with bungalows, a restaurant, and three pools filled with naturally heated hot springs.
They are located near Quetzaltenango in Guatemala and many shuttles are being offered from the city to the pools.
They are hidden at the foothills of the stunning Zunil and Santo Tomas Volcanoes.
So be sure to ask about the hiking tours that you can take around their trails.
These hot springs are surrounded by lush cloud forests and have several pools of varying temperatures.
The setting is stunning, and it’s a great place to relax and unwind.
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2. El Estor, Izabal
If you are exploring Guatemala by road and happen to pass through Rio Dulce on your way to Peten take a little detour.
In it, you will find a place called Finca Paraiso right next to the road, you will recognize it because there is a small open-air eatery.
Enter the property and ask them to let you go into the waterfall.
For a small fee, you will be able to park there and walk a few hundred meters towards a gorgeous natural hot waterfall. And a small lagoon where you can swim (see the image above).
There are no volcanoes nearby, but there is an underground lava caldera under the nearby mountains.
3. Atitlan Lake
If you have ever been curious about the best things to do in Guatemala, you already know about this gorgeous lake surrounded by volcanoes located in the Central Highlands of the country.
Open your eyes when you walk around the many Mayan villages that surround Atitlan. You will be able to find signs pointing you to “Aguas Termales” the Spanish word for hot springs.
Some also offer Temascales, which are a kind of sauna but in the traditional Mayan style.
The lake used to be a huge volcano that collapsed, plus one of the active volcanoes in Guatemala is right next to it.
Atitlán volcano is a nearby active volcano, but don’t worry, it isn’t spitting lava. You can hike up Volcan Atitlán, near its crater, where you can still see and enjoy hot fumaroles.
4. Surroundings of Pacaya Volcano
This is one of the most active volcanoes in Guatemala, and this one is spitting lava. It is one of those volcanoes with extremely thick lava, so you can walk up to the lava rivers and roast marshmallows in Pacaya Volcano.
After the hike is over, you can stop by the nearby Amatitlan town. In it, you will find Santa Teresita Spa and Hotel.
They have tons of pools with hot springs and all sorts of spa treatments where you take advantage of its properties.
My favorite treatment is called Thermal Circuit. You go into three pools with different warmth levels to help you detox.
Your skin will feel amazing, and you will be so relaxed that you are going to need a nap in one of their many sunbathing chairs.
5. Los Aposentos
These hot springs are located near the colonial city of Antigua, in the department of Sacatepéquez. They are known for their natural beauty and therapeutic properties.
The hot springs at Los Aposentos are formed by the geothermal activity in the region, where underground water is heated by the nearby volcanic activity.
Visitors can enjoy these natural hot springs in a picturesque and serene environment with thermal pools surrounded by coffee plantations and scenic views of the surrounding mountains.
Natural Hot Springs in Guatemala – Travelers Tips
When visiting these natural hot springs in Guatemala, remember to check their operating hours, entry fees, and any other requirements they may have.
Also consider that some hot springs are more developed and commercialized, while others offer a more natural and rustic experience, so you can choose the one that suits your preferences.
Depending on the hot spring’s location and amenities, pack essentials such as a swimsuit, a towel, sunscreen, a change of clothes, and any personal toiletries you may need.
Be mindful of the natural surroundings. Don’t litter, and follow any rules or guidelines provided by the hot spring operators to help protect the environment.
But most important of all, enjoy the experience! Soak in all that the natural hot springs in Guatemala have to offer.
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I have been traveling and living in Guatemala for over 25 years
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If you want to travel without the hassle and confusion – check out a complete guide for traveling to Guatemala.
For more travel ideas to add to your bucket list, check out a complete guide to all the best places to visit in Guatemala.
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Last Updated on December 23, 2023