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Hot Springs by Bus

Updated March 23, 2020

Visit Hot Springs across Latin America by bus.

From deserts to virgin forests, from seaside to the Andean heights, Latin America is bathed by the curative waters of hot springs. Not only steaming pools of water can soothe away the wear and tear of traveling, but also natural mud baths.

It is not surprising the Americas are crowded with hot springs. Central and South America’s various mountain ranges that form the hemisphere's soaring spine are full of volcanoes that erupt to life now and again. In the earth's crust kilometers below them, the Cocos, Nazca, and Antarctic plates slowly drift beneath the continent. That friction creates those volcanoes and the wonderfully delicious hot springs and mud baths we seek out.

Many Names, Many Forms Hot

Springs have a variety of names, depending on the country you’re in: aguas termales, aguas calientes, termales, termas, manantial termal, aguas sulfurosas, balneario termal or balneario de aguas termales. A balneario can be of thermal or cool water, and also might refer to a water park or a beach. A pozo is usually a natural pool, and a piscina is a man-made pool. Barro is the term used for mud.

Hot springs are open-air or covered installations. Some are first-class resorts complete with spa, whereas others are more rustic, like natural rock pools or even flowing thermal rivers! A growing trend is agua parques (waterparks), mega amusement parks with a hot springs sector. If offered, on-site lodging may range from camping, cabañas, bungalows, to five-star hotels. Many sites have restaurants but pack a picnic lunch if in doubt.

Health Benefits of Hot Springs

Hot springs’ warmth and high mineral content bring multitudes of benefits for travelers who spend days hiking through countrysides and scaling mountains or ruins. The water also brings relief after a long bus ride.

Their curative properties help improve blood circulation to sore muscles and ease the pain. The minerals aid in curing skin ailments, and overall, taking a long soak reduces stress and promotes sleep.

If you are pregnant, have heart problems or another medical condition, consult with a doctor before hitting hot springs.

Tips for Hot Springs Visits

• Many hot springs are closed for cleaning on Mondays.
• Weekends and holidays are especially busy times when locals come to relax. If you are looking for a more peaceful experience, go during the week.
• When day-tripping to a hot spring, take only the bare essentials with you, as many places may not have lockers where you can stow your backpack. You should include a towel, water to keep you hydrated, and warm clothing to keep your heated body from being shocked by cool mountain air.
• Check to see if you will be required to use a real bathing suit. Men are often allowed to use just shorts and BVD / tank top and/or bathing cap. Some installations that have these requirements have bathing suits for rent and caps for sale.
• Ask locals about their favorite hot springs. Sometimes you’ll get the insider’s tips on places off the beaten track (and out of the guidebooks!).

And on to Our Hot Springs Adventure!

We do not list cool-water cenotes and balnearios, though these can be refreshing in the more tropical climates. To reach the more natural springs, you may have to hike up to an hour.

And yes – you can get there by bus!

Guatemala

Fuentes Georginas - Guatemala

Fuentes Georginas

• Location – 8 kilometers (5 miles) from Zunil, 45 minutes from Quetzaltenango
• Type – hot springs
• Cost – Q30 ($4 US, nationals), Q60 ($8 US, foreigners)
• Facilities – 7 pools; bungalows, restaurant, hiking trails.

Kawilal

• Location – San Juan Amatitlán (40 kilometers / 24 miles from Antigua)
• Type – hot springs (24-41ºC / 75-106ºF)
• Cost – Q90-175 ($12-23 US)
• Facilities – 12 pools; steam rooms, massages spa; restaurant, hotel
• Website – www.kawilalhotel.com

Other hot springs in Amatitlán include Santa Teresita (www.santateresita.com.gt) and Baños Terales Maya.

El Brasilar

• Location – 4 kilometers / 2.5 miles from Camotán (36 kilometers / 22 miles from Chiquimula)
• Type – hot springs
• Cost – Q10 ($1.50 US)
• Facilities – 7 pools

• Website – www.facebook.com/TERMALES

Honduras

Luna Jaguar Hot Springs, Honduras

Luna Jaguar

• Location – Agua Caliente (22 kilometers / 13 miles from Copán)
• Type – hot springs (temperatures)
• Cost – L60-L300 ($3-15 US)
• Facilities – 2 pools; spa; camping
• Website – https://lunajaguarspa.com

Balneario Aguas Termales Presidente

• Location – 4 kilometers / 2.5 miles from Gracias
• Type – hot springs (33º-36ºC / 91º-97ºF)
• Cost – L50 ($2 US, foreigners)
• Facilities – 4 pools; restaurant
• Website – www.facebook.com/AguasTermalesPresidente

Termas Jilamito

• Location – Arizona (17 kilometers / 10 miles from Tela)
• Type – hot springs
• Cost – $7 US
• Facilities – 1 pool with waterfall; restaurant, spa; horseback riding, canopy, hiking trails, birdwatching; camping, cabañas
• Website – www.termasjilamito.com

El Salvador

Termales de Santa Teresa, El Salvador

Termales de Santa Teresa

• Location – 2 kilometers (1 mile) from Ahuachapán
• Type – hot springs, mud baths
• Cost – $10 US
• Facilities – 30 pools; spa, restaurants hotel; hiking trails, biking, rock climbing, coffee and geyser tours

Other hot springs near Ahuachapán are Termales de Alicante (www.facebook.com/termalesdealicante.ahuachapan.9) and Río de Agua Caliente (in Atiquizaya).

Termos del Río

• Location – 40 kilometers (24 miles) from San Salvador, near Santa Lucía (Departamento La Libertad)
• Type – hot springs (37-39ºC / 99-102ºF)
• Cost – $5 US
• Facilities – several pools; restaurants, a huge waterpark, swimming pools, sporting fields, canopy, horseback riding (# of pools, restaurant, camping, bungalows, etc.)
• Website – www.termosdelrio.com.sv

Ecoparque Acuático Entre Ríos

• Location – Caluco, Departamento Sonsonate (40 minutes from San Salvador)
• Type – hot springs
• Cost – $3.50 US
• Facilities – 2 pools; swimming pools, giant slides, restaurants, fishing aquarium
• Website – www.facebook.com/Ecoparque.Acuatico.Entre.Rios

Nicaragua

Termales de Cosigüina

• Location – La Piscina, Departamento de Chinandega, at the base of Volcán Cosigüina
• Type – hot springs
• Cost – $2 US
• Facilities – 1 pool; camping at El Viejo, inside the Reserva Natural Cosigüina which has a viewpoint over the Golfo de Fonseca; Ramsar Lodge Cosigüina in village

Termales de Tipitapa

• Location – Tipitapa (20 minutes from Managua)
• Type – hot springs (at source: 70ºC / 158ºF; cooled with spring water)
• Cost – 40 córdobas ($1.25 US)
• Facilities – 3 pools; sauna, massages

Other hot springs in Tipitapa are Trapiche (free) and Trapichito.

Termales de Boaca, Nicaragua

Termales de Boaco

• Location – Teustepe, Boaco
• Type – hot springs (35ºC / 95ºF)
• Cost – 50 córdobas ($1.50 US)
• Facilities – 4 pools; hotel, restaurant

Costa Rica

Tabacon Hot Springs, Costa Rica

Tabacón

• Location – Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
• Type – hot springs (temperatures (22º-41ºC / 72º-105ºF)
• Cost – $70-105 US (day pass includes lunch and/or dinner)
• Facilities – 20 pools, waterfalls; hotel, restaurant, spa (# of pools, restaurant, camping, bungalows, etc.)
• Website – www.tabacon.com

There are many other hot springs in Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal; most are high-end resorts.

Thermomanía

• Location – Guayabo, Provincia de Guanacaste, at Volcán Miravalles
• Type – hot springs
• Cost – ¢5,000 colones ($9 US)
• Facilities – 11 pools; spa, restaurant, museum, waterpark, canopy; cabañas, camping
• Website – www.facebook.com/pg/thermomaniamiravalles

Aguas Termales Gevi

• Location – San Isidro del General, San José
• Type – hot springs (37ºC / 98ºF)
• Cost – ¢4,800 colones ($8 US)
• Facilities – 3 pools; restaurant, hiking trails, waterfall, viewpoint, coffee and avocado farm tours, restaurant; camping
• Website – www.facebook.com/Aguas-Termales-Gevi-818226628195872

Los Patios

• Location – 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) from Cartago, Orosi
• Type – hot springs (43ºC / 109ºF)
• Cost – ¢3,000 colones ($5.50 US)
• Facilities – 5 pools; restaurant
• Website – www.facebook.com/lospatios2016

Río Celeste

• Location – Guatuso de Alajuela
• Type – hot springs
• Cost – free!
• Facilities – natural river hot springs (# of pools, restaurant, camping, bungalows, etc.)
• Lodging and restaurants in the village. The best part of this river is within Parque Nacional Volcán Tenorio (entry: $12 US; hiking trails, and lodging.

Panama

Las Aguas Termales de Caldera, Panama

Las Aguas Termales de Caldera

• Location – 2.5 kilometers from Boquete, Chiriquí
• Type – hot springs (41º-50ºC / 106º-122ºF)
• Cost – $1 US
• Facilities – 4 natural pools

Pozos Termales del Valle

• Location – Valle de Antón, Coclé (2 hours west of Panama City)
• Type – hot springs (34º-38ºC / 93º-100ºF), mud baths
• Cost – $4 US (public)
• Facilities – The village has hotels of all classes, camping, and other services.

The Valle de Antón region has several hot springs complexes, both public and private.

Pozos Termales de Calobre

• Location – Calobre, Veraguas
• Type – hot springs
• Cost – free
• Facilities – natural river springs; lodging and other services in town

Venezuela

NOTE: Venezuela has its official rate for exchange of Bolívares to US dollars, and the black market rate which is much higher. US dollars are in high demand.

Centro Termal Las Trincheras

• Location – Las Trincheras, Estado Carabobo (between Valencia and Puerto Cabello)
• Type – hot springs (30º-45ºC / 86º-113ºF), mud baths
• Cost – Bsf 5,000
• Facilities – 4 pools; restaurant, spa; hotel
• Website – https://trincheras.net

Las Aguas de Moisés

• Location – Ribero, Estado Sucre (between Cumaná and Carúpano)
• Type – hot springs (30º-40ºC / 86º-105ºF)
• Cost – Bsf 10,000
• Facilities – 11 pools, restaurant-bar, disco, zoo, kayaking; camping, bungalows, etc.)

Aguas Termales de La Musui

• Location – about 5 kilometers from Mucuchíes (48 kilometers / 30 miles from Mérida)
• Type – hot springs
• Cost – Bsf 3,500
• Facilities – 1 natural pool; camping, restaurant

Colombia

El Totumo mud volcano, near Cartagena, Colombia

Volcán de Lodo El Totumo

• Location – Galerazamba (40 kilometers / 24 miles from Cartagena)
• Type – mud baths (25º-28ºC / 77º-83ºF)
• Cost – 10.000 pesos ($3.50 US)
• Facilities – 1 pool; massage restaurant, camping, bungalows, etc.)
• Near Coveñas is another, more rustic volcán de lodo ($3).

Güicán

• Location – 5 kilometers / 3 miles from Güicán, Boyacá; near Parque Nacional El Cocuy
• Type – hot springs (temperatures)
• Cost – 12,000 pesos ($4 US)
• Facilities – 2 pools A more rustic pool, El Chorreón (free), is located some 5 meters (20 feet) from the entrance to the above.

Termales Paipa

• Location – 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from Paipa, Boyacá
• Type – hot springs (35º-45ºC / 95º-113ºF)
• Cost – 12,000-20,000 pesos ($4-6.25 US)
• Facilities – 3 pools; restaurant, spa; hotel

Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal

• Location – 10 kilometers / 6 miles from Santa Rosa de Cabal, Risaralda
• Type – hot springs (60ºC+ / 140ºF, cooled with spring water)
• Cost – 45,000 pesos ($14 US)
• Facilities – 3 pools, waterfall; spa, restaurant; hotel

Aguas Hirviendo

• Location – 3 kilometers / 1.8 miles from Coconuco, Cauca (30 kilometers / 18 miles from Popayán)
• Type – hot springs (to 40ºC / 104ºF)
• Cost – 10,000 pesos ($3.50 US)
• Facilities – 8 pools; restaurant; bungalows, camping

Nearby Aguas Tibias is a massive waterpark playground and has less-warm waters.

Ecuador

Papallacta hot springs, near Quito, Ecuador

Papallacta

• Location – 70 kilometers / 42 miles east of Quito (Km 65 via Baeza)
• Type – hot springs
• Cost – $9 US
• Facilities – 9 pools; spa, restaurant; hotel, cabañas

There are less expensive (and less warm) hot spring pools in town, as well as other hotels with thermal baths.

Baños de Agua Santa

• Location – 170 kilometers / 106 miles southeast of Quito (3.5 hours)
• Type – hot springs (average 42ºC / 104ºF)
• Cost – $2-6 US
• Facilities – 6 thermal complexes; the hottest is El Salado.
• Website – www.municipiobanos.gob.ec

The village of Baños de Agua Santa has a full range of lodging options, from backpacker hostels to luxury resorts, as well as full tourist services.

Aguas Blancas


• Location – inside Parque Nacional Machalilla (14 kilometers / 8.5 miles north of Puerto López)
• Type – hot springs, mud baths
• Cost – $5 US
• Facilities – 1 pool (laguna), restaurant, archaeological museum, horseback riding; casa comunitaria, cabañas
• Website – www.comunidadaguablanca.com

Baños de Cuenca

• Location – 8 kilometers / 5 miles from Cuenca
• Type – hot springs (36º-40ºC / 98º-104ºF), mud baths
• Cost – $6-30 US
• Facilities – 4 thermal complexes: Agapantos (most economical), Piedra de Agua (https://piedradeagua.com.ec) Hostería Durán (mid-range), and Novagua (high-end).

Peru

Hervideros

• Location – 8 kilometers / 5 miles from Zorritos
• Type – mud baths, hot springs (31ºC / 88ºF)
• Cost – free ($2 for the bucket of water to wash off)
• Facilities – 5 pools

Also near Zorritos is El Tubo hot spring.

Baños Termales San Mateo

• Location – 5 kilometers / 3 miles from Moyobamba
• Type – hot springs (36º-43ºC / 97º-104ºF)
• Cost – 3 soles ($1 US)
• Facilities – 5 pools; restaurant, camping, bungalows, etc.)

Mamahuarmi hot springs complex, Peru

Banos Termales de Monterrey

• Location – 7 kilometers / 4.5 miles from Huaraz
• Type – hot springs (36º-49ºC / 97º-120ºF)
• Cost – 5-8 soles ($1.50-2.50 US)
• Facilities – 3 pools plus private tubs; restaurant, camping, bungalows, etc.)

Complejo Turístico Ecológico Mamahuarmi

• Location – Churín, (5-6 hours from Lima)
• Type – hot springs (temperatures) / mud baths
• Cost – 3 soles ($1 US)
• Facilities – 4 pools plus waterfall and geyser

Also in Churín are La Meseta and Baños de La Juventud hot springs complexes; there are restaurants and lodging in town. Another village near Lima with hot springs (over 30 sites!) is Oyón.

Baños Termales de Yura

• Location – Yura (28 kilometers / 17 miles from Arequipa)
• Type – hot springs (28º-32ºC / 82º-90ºF)
• Cost – 5 soles ($1.50 US)
• Facilities – 4 complexes

There is a hotel and other services in Yura.

Bolivia

Aguas Termales de Urmiri

• Location – Urmiri (70 kilometers / 42 miles from La Paz)
• Type – hot springs (25ºC / 77ºF)
• Cost – 120 bolívianos ($17.50 US)
• Facilities – public and private pools; restaurant; hotel

Aguas Termales de Capachos

• Location – 10 kilometers / 6 miles east of Oruro
• Type – hot springs (65ºC / 149ºF at the source, mixed with cool water)
• Facilities – (# of pools, restaurant, camping, bungalows, etc.)

Aguas Termales, Potosi, Bolivia

Aguas Termales de Aguas Calientes

• Location – 35 kilometers / 21 miles from Roboré, Chiquitanía (410 kilometers 246 miles east of Santa Cruz de la Sierra)
• Type – hot springs
• Cost – free-5 bolívianos ($1 US)
• Facilities – 5 kilometers (3 miles) of the thermal-water river. There are hotels and campsites in the area.

Chile

Being the country with the most active volcanoes in the world, it is not surprising Chile has a plethora of hot springs (www.chileestuyo.cl/que-hacer/bienestar-y-relax). This is especially true in the Lakes District between Temuco and Puerto Montt where you could spend weeks moseying from one village to another, soaking and savoring these curative waters.

Termas de Jurasi

• Location – 10 kilometers / 6 miles west of Putre
• Type – hot springs (40º-50ºC / 104º-122ºF), mud baths
• Cost – 2.000 pesos chilenos ($3 US)
• Facilities – 5 pools, restaurant, camping, bungalows, etc.)
• Website – www.chileestuyo.cl/que_hacer/termas-de-jurasi

Los Pozones hot springs, Chile

Termas de Puritama

• Location – 35 kilometers / 21 miles from San Pedro de Atacama
• Type – hot springs (25º-30ºC / 77º-86ºF) / mud baths
• Cost – 5,000-11,000 pesos chilenos ($7.50-16.50US)
• Facilities – 8 pools, restaurant, massages (weekends)

Termas Valle de Colina

• Location – Los Valdés, Cajón del Maipo (about 96 kilometers / 58 miles from Santiago de Chile)
• Type – hot springs (25º-55ºC / 77º-131ºF), mud baths
• Cost – 8,000 pesos chilenos ($12 US)
• Facilities – 9 pools
• Website – www.termasvalledecolina.com

Los Pozones

• Location – 34 kilometers / 20.5 miles from Pucón
• Type – hot springs (20º-45ºC / 68º-113ºF)
• Cost – 7,000 pesos chilenos ($10.50US)
• Facilities – 6 pools; camping
• Website – www.facebook.com/pages/Termas-Los-Pozones/124395164306956

Termas del Ventisquero

• Location – on the shores of Fiordo Puyuhuapi, Región de Aysén, Carretera Austral (6 kilometers / 4 miles south of Puyuhuapi)
• Type – hot springs (35º-44ºC / 95º-111ºF)
• Cost – 18,000 pesos chilenos ($27 US)
• Facilities – 4 pools; restaurant

The more expensive Termas de Puyuhuapi is on an island in Bahía Dorita of the fiord. Lodging and other services can be found in Puyuhuapi village. (Note: The nearest ATM is in Coyhaique.)

Argentina

From Jujuy Province bordering Bolivia to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina boasts over 400 hot springs. Many of them, surprisingly, are in the lowlands of Entre Ríos Province.

Termas de Sáenz Peña

• Location – Roque Sáenz Peña, Provincia del Chaco
• Type – hot springs (37ºC / 99ºF)
• Cost – 220 pesos argentines (1 hour) ($6.25 US)
• Facilities – 20 private pools; spa, restaurant

Termas Concepción

• Location – 10 kilometers / 6 miles north of Concepción del Uruguay, Provincia de Entre Ríos
• Type – hot springs (37º-41ºC / 99º-106ºF)
• Cost – 400 pesos argentines ($9.50 US)
• Facilities – 5 pools; restaurant, spa; bungalows

Termas Marinas

• Location – San Clemente del Tuyú, Provincia de Buenos Aires (320 kilometers / 192 miles south of Buenos Aires, 220 kilometers / 132 miles north of Mar de Plata)
• Type – hot springs (30º-41ºC / 86º-106ºF)
• Cost – 595 pesos argentines ($14 US)
• Facilities – 5 pools; water park, spa, restaurant

Termas Cacheuta, Argentina

Termas Cacheuta

• Location – Cacheuta, Provincia de Mendoza (40 kilometers / 24 miles from Mendoza)
• Type – hot springs (25º-50ºC / 77º-122ºF)
• Cost – 70-2,200 pesos argentines ($16.50-52 US)
• Facilities – 3 pools; waterpark, spa, restaurant; lodging

Uruguay

Uruguay’s Vía de Termal runs along the Río Uruguay and its tributaries (www.viatermal.com).

Termas del Dayman

• Location – 10 kilometers / 6 miles from Salto
• Type – hot springs (41ºC / 106ºF)
• Cost – 80 pesos uruguayos ($2.50US)
• Facilities – 11 pools

Lodging, restaurants and other services are available in town.

Termas del Arapey

• Location – 80 kilometers / 48 miles north of Salto
• Type – hot springs (38ºC / 100ºF)
• Cost – from 150 pesos uruguayos ($4.50 US)
• Facilities – Various resorts; also Termas Municipales Arapey (150 pesos uruguayos)

In Arapey, you’ll find all levels of lodging, from camping to luxury hotels.

Termas Guayivu, Uruguay

Termas de Guaviyu

• Location – 60 kilometers / 36 miles from Paysandú
• Type – hot springs (38ºC / 100ºF)
• Cost – Termas Municipales (85 pesos uruguayos / $2.50 US), plus various resorts
• Facilities – 8 pools

Lodging and camping, restaurants and other services are available in town.

Paraguay

Reserva Natural Maharishi II

• Location – 23 kilometers / 14 miles from Minga Guazú
• Type – hot springs (33º-34ºC / 91º-93ºF)
• Facilities – 2 pools

Pozo Hondo hot springs, Paraguay

Pozo Hondo

• Location – 8 kilometers / 5 miles from Melgarejo, Departamento de Guairá
• Type – hot springs (temperatures) / mud baths
• Facilities – 1 natural pool

Rustic camping; lodging, restaurants and other services are available in town.

Lorraine Caputo is a travel writer, poet, and translator. She has authored 10 guidebooks for South America. Her literary works appear in over 150 journals in Canada, the US, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa; 18 anthologies and 12 chapbooks – including the collections of travel poetry, Caribbean Nights (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014) and Notes from Patagonia (dancing girl press, 2017). For several decades, she has been traveling through Latin America, listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth. Follow her travels at www.facebook.com/lorrainecaputo.wanderer.

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