There's nothing like a stunning natural wonder to make you appreciate the wide world we live in, and right now, we're dreaming about the best hot springs around the world. Getting a deep-tissue massage by one of these waterfalls is better than doing so in the confines of a city spa, and, needless to say, the views are far more breathtaking than those from the average jacuzzi. Generally, these healing waters stay at around 104 degrees year-round, so the good news is that these divine destinations aren't just meant for summertime. In fact, most of these natural hot springs are open for visitors year-round, and they're even more sublime in the cooler months. So start planning—it's time to add some hot springs to your bucket list.
Pamukkale translates to “cotton castle," and this majestic natural bath structure looks nothing less than that. The carbonate minerals deposited by flowing water form terraces that create the dreamlike white terraces.
Champagne Pool, New Zealand
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. This terrestrial hot spring was given the name Champagne Pool because of its dramatic efflux of carbon dioxide, like a glass of bubbling champagne.
The Blue Lagoon, Iceland
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 freshwater 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.
Uyuni Salt Lake, Bolivia
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. Rumor has it that this landscape is the source of inspiration behind most of Salvador Dalí's work. The lake is located in the Andean Plateau, and you can thank a rich symphony of climates and geo-activity for these stunning saturated lakes and salt flats and hot springs. The nearby Laguna Colorado is home to a colony of flamingos; there they feed on the plankton-rich waters (this is why flamingos are pink!).
Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado
Visitors love Dunton Hot Springs. The hot springs have been in use since the owner and miner Joe Roscio arrived with his family in the 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.
Lussier Hot Springs, Canada
Located in Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park in British Colombia, Canada, at 3,635 above sea level, the Lussier Hot Springs is a majestic place to visit and see year-round. The hottest hot spring can reach up to 109 degrees, and the cool river can be used as a plunge pool for a natural hydrotherapy session.
Sawtooth National Forest, Idaho
Idaho is not without a bounty of incredible hot springs. One standout is Frenchman’s Bend Hot Springs, but it's most popular in the late summer and is closed from October through mid-May.
If you want to enjoy relax and sweat out all your toxins in a quaint resort setting during one of the off-months, check out one of the small hotels in Sawtooth National Forest, which is just outside of Stanely, Idaho.
Cougar Hot Springs, Oregon
Tucked away under a canopy of trees and overlooking a waterfall, the Cougar Hot Springs in Willamette National Forest in Oregon is the perfect destination for anyone who enjoys getting off the grid for outdoor adventure. There are nearby hiking trails and campsites, and you can also go nude in the soaking pools.
The Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park
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 organism to grow. When visiting this feat of natural beauty, you must stop by nearby Excelsior, a 50-foot geyser.
These aquamarine hot springs are striking from a bird's-eye view, but they offer more than just beauty. The thermal waters offer a ton of health benefits, so while you're not sipping the wine of the region and feasting on spaghetti, you can come bask here. They're located in the tiny town of Saturnia, Tuscany (where the population is only 280).
Travertine Hot Springs, California
The Travertine Hot Springs in Northern California are right on the cusp of Nevada border and just one of many of California's hot springs offerings. It's super secluded, so come here if you want to do your geothermal soaking somewhere more private and quiet. The water usually isn't too hot, either.
Iceland really is the mother of phenomenal natural hot springs. Brúarfoss 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.
La Gruta Hot Springs, Mexico
Mineral springs are common throughout Mexico and 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.
Reykjadalur is a must-visit—the water is perfection. A short drive away from the capital city of Reykjavík, it's slightly less well known than the Blue Lagoon and a very close second. Pack a beer, sit back, relax, and enjoy the vast scenery of green.
Mammoth Hot Springs, California
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.