It is not possible to wake up at 4:30 am, hike a volcano and not follow up with an immediate visit to most popular natural spa in all of Guatemala. The plan to go immediately to Fuentes Georginas proceeding my volcano climb popped into my head during the knee-aching, slippery descent of Santa Maria. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the remainder of the day, rewarding my tired body and soul, and soaking in one of the four hot pools of Fuentes Georginas located in the mountains nearby.
It just happened to work out that my guide Lico had a cell phone ready and called back to the tour agency, Adrenalina Tours, to set up my ride from Xela to Funetes Georginas. I knew I should be back showering and resting. I was insanely exhausted after no sleep for three nights and a 5 am volcano descent. But I also know myself. I’m not one to sit around especially when I’m in another country. My adventurous, sometimes dormant spirit erupts like an active volcano and I feel a need to do and see as much as I possibly can in order to make the best of the small amount of time I’ve got.
As I mentioned earlier, Fuentes Georginas is the most popular natural spa in Guatemala. The reason is twofold. First, it is sensationally beautiful and unique. The 8 km drive uphill from Zunil, the loveliest of all traditional Guatemalan Highlands towns, is spectacular. To get to the springs, you first pass through the indigenous town of Zunil which is flanked by its centerpiece, a large white church and surrounded by the dramatic flanks of a volcano. If that view isn’t enough to grab your attention, then the views of the traditional indigenous farmland that dots the lush valley walls will blow you away. It is simply stunning! Second, the pools itself are quite a treat. Fuentes Georginas boasts four pools of varying temperatures which are fed by hot sulfur springs. In fact if you are completely crazy, you can enter the hottest pool and swim as close as you dare to the source of the hot water coming directly out of the volcano walls.
To me, soaking inside a hot springs was complete paradise! I could have stayed there all day and waste away. Yet as I continual say, all good things must come to an end. I had to go back for dinner! (Note: If you do want to stay over night and spend a few days there, you can rent a cute Bungalow that has its own grill and kitchen. There are also lovely hikes nearby, flowers and jungle-like atmosphere even though you are quite high and it can get cold. Next time, I say!).
Here are some pictures along the way….come with me, relax at the spa!
Leaving Xela around 1:30 after a quick, filling lunch and entering Zunil, one of the most traditional Guatemala highland towns which is flanked by a towering volcano, Santa Maria, which I climbed earlier in the day.
Gorgeous Zunil, founded in 1529 and her centerpiece White church.
Zunil’s Mayan farmers still practice traditional agriculture. I fell in love with the astounding beauty of the landscape.
After a breathtaking drive uphill, we finally arrived at Fuentes Georginas, a lush, tropical “mountain-scape” yet don’t let the tropical jungle-like environment mislead you! It is high up in the mountains and the cold breezes make you enjoy the hot springs even more!
I adored the flora! Above is a “poor man’s umbrella” which I also saw in Costa Rica. Below is a gorgeous flower. It was paradise!
View of the lush, tropical landscape and the jungle environment. Birds sang at the top of their lungs and the air was as fresh and fragrant as can be.
I loved this sign….really?!
First site of the hot pool. This one was too hot to even put my toes in. Towards the back is where the hot water comes out of the mountain and feeds into the pool. Can you see the mist?
Here is a simple cabana that is for rent for extended stays. I can only imagine how amazingly relaxed you would feel after two days here!
Heading back to Xela, reluctant but relaxed we stopped to snap some more photos along the way. I couldn’t resist….
This is by far my favorite picture of Guatemala! Ahhh……….it is so breathtakingly beautiful, it hurts.
You can almost see it growing! Mmmmmm….
Stay tuned…The red suitcase is packed. We leave in 30 minutes for the airport and are heading out east to lovely Virginia for Spring Break. More on Guatemala soon!