18 Epic Hot Springs Around the World
In your future, we see you pausing and smiling—because you just remembered how incredible the earth is. There's nothing like a stunning natural wonder to make us appreciate the wide world we live in, so we've rounded up a collection of natural hot springs so majestic you won't believe your eyes. On average, these healing waters stay around 104 degrees year-round. Getting a deep-tissue massage by one of these waterfalls is better than that from any city spa, and we guarantee your skin will feel more refreshed, energized, and youthful than it has since you were a baby. Summer is over, but that doesn't mean you need to close your travel list. In fact, most of these natural hot springs are open for visitors year-round. So start dreaming! It's time to add some things to your bucket list.
Champagne Pool appears to have a mouth of fire. Its circumference is lined by a thick rust-colored rim, which serves as a perfect contrast for the steaming turquoise water it encircles. Located in New Zealand, this terrestrial hot spring was given the name Champagne Pool because of its dramatic efflux of carbon dioxide, like a glass of bubbling champagne.
via Travel Noire
When you visit Iceland's Blue Lagoon, it feels like you’ve left Earth and arrived on another planet whose sole purpose is to make you feel like a goddess. The mix of fresh water and seawater in the Blue Lagoon is packed with silica, which helps exfoliate and strengthen your skin and heal inflammation. Microorganisms found in the water stimulate collagen production and help reduce signs of UV damage. And the waterfalls provide therapeutic massages.
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Visiting the salt flats and hot springs of Bolivia is the ultimate one-two punch of majestic natural beauty. Photographers flock to Uyuni Salt Lake, the largest salt flat in the world, to photograph the surreal landscape. Nothing interrupts the horizon except a few cacti. Nearby Laguna Colorado is home to a colony of flamingos. If you’ve ever wondered where flamingos get their pink color, this is it. They feed on the plankton-rich waters, which cause their feathers to turn pink. The hot springs are located in the Atacama Desert, which is known as one of the driest places on earth.
Located 5200 feet above sea level, the Banff Upper Hot Springs were originally considered a sacred healing site by the area’s natives. Over a century later, the healing powers of this alpine hot water sanctuary are stronger than ever. The water is rich in key minerals such as calcium, sulfate, magnesium, sodium, and bicarbonate, which make it the ultimate destination to heal damaged skin and soothe tired muscles.
Visitors love Dunton Hot Springs. The hot springs have been in use since Joe Roscio arrived with his family in 1880s. His sons charged miners a nickel to use the hot springs back then. Today, Dunton Hot Springs has been revamped into an exclusive resort ranked “The #7 Luxury Hotel in the U.S.” by The New York Times.
Idaho is not without a bounty of incredible hot springs. One standout is Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs. It is most popular in the late summer and is closed from October through mid-May. The water stays around 110 degrees, so it’s the ultimate way to sweat out all of your toxins.
Courtesy of Glenwood Hot Springs
The Ute Native Americans were the first to use these spring waters. They called them Yampah, which translates to "big medicine," and the waters have never ceased to hold up to their healing name. Today, the Glenwood Hot Springs pool offers clean, modern-day shower facilities and a full-service lodge.
via Popular Science
The Grand Prismatic Spring is Yellowstone’s largest hot spring and the third largest in the world. Pigmented bacteria give the spring its perfect rainbow coloration, and the center of the pool is natural blue because it is too hot for any organisms to grow. When visiting this feat of natural beauty, it’s imperative to stop by nearby Excelsior, a 50-foot geyser.
Via Searoad Ferries
Located just 90 minutes from Melbourne, the Peninsula Hot Springs are the first natural hot springs day spa in Victoria. The hot, mineral-rich waters flow into pools offering private and public bathing experiences for all. The bathhouse also offers reflexology massage, a hammam (Turkish steam bath), a sauna, cold plunge pools, and a hilltop pool with a 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape.
The Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs are one of Colorado’s many hot springs offerings. The water is some of the most mineral-rich in the world, and the temperature hovers around 104 degrees, even when snow falls on the surrounding forest.
via Nirapad News
Pamukkale translates to “cotton castle” in Turkish, and this majestic natural bath structure looks nothing less than such. The carbonate minerals deposited by flowing water form terraces of carbonate minerals that create the dreamlike white terraces we see today. This natural wonder needs to be on your travel bucket list.
Iceland really is the mother of phenomenal natural hot springs. Seljavallalaug is located in the south of Iceland. Here, natural water flows through the surrounding mountains into a pool nestled in the narrow valley. When you lie on your back in this warm water and look at the green mountains and blue sky that surround you, it’s impossible not to be overwhelmed by nature’s beauty.
Today, mineral springs are common throughout Mexico. But the tradition of enjoying nature’s natural springs, balnearios, can be traced back to the 16th-century Aztecs. The La Gruta hot springs in San Miguel de Allende are among the best in Mexico. Soak in these thermal pools and enjoy the soothing and restorative benefits of the mineral-rich water.
Iceland is ripe with hot springs. While Blue Lagoon is an absolute must-visit, the Myvatn Nature Baths are a close second and much less well known. The water is a little cooler here but still utter perfection. Grab a beer from the wait staff and enjoy the vast scenery of blue before your eyes.
According to The New York Times, Mammoth has “an après ski scene that is cooler than the High Sierras on a starlit night.” One of the most exquisite elements of this mountain scene is the Mammoth Hot Spring. Depending on what time of day and year you visit, the colors will vary on a spectrum of bright purple to orange, white, black, and everything in between. This is truly one of the most epic views out there.
Explorer's Guide Yosemite and the Southern Sierra Nevada by David T. Page ($16)
The water from these spectacular hot springs travels from Jordan’s Wadi Zarqa Ma'in Valley. It passes through underground lava fissures, which heats the water to anywhere between 104 and 145 degrees. Stand beneath a waterfall for a deep-tissue massage from Mother Earth, and let her skin-healing minerals work their magic.
Víti is a volcanic hot spring located in Askja, Iceland. While it’s not safe to swim in, we’ve been told the water and mud bottom get so hot you can burn yourself, it is one of the most thrilling sights in Iceland. Standing on the ledge of this crater is an incredibly memorable experience that visitors rave about.
Have you visited an out-of-this-world hot spring? Share with us in the comments!