“Have you been to the hot springs yet?”
“Have you checked out Finca Paraiso?”
“You must go to our hot springs! It is the best thing to do around here!”
We were bombarded with “demands” to head out to the hot springs waterfall by the locals, expats, and old salts we found ourselves drinking beer with in Rio Dulce, Guatemala. How could we say no?
This was going to be a solo affair for me. Shaun was feeling quite under the weather with food poisoning from street food and I had the company of Ben and Jill, a lovely couple we instantly bonded with the night prior during our adventures in Guatemalan bumper cars.
Here few things you need to know about Finca Paraiso:
- It costs 15Q (~$2) to catch a 45 minute colectivo bus out to Finca Paraiso.
- The colectivos are next to Banco Industrial on the street next to it.
- Colectivos are VERY full here. We reached a capacity of 28 people in a small minivan.
- Make sure to grab some drinks and food before heading out.
- It costs 10Q to get into the waterfall. Make sure to carry your entrance ticket with you.
- There are LOTS of begging children in this area. If you feel like being nice, buy pencils beforehand to give to them. Try not to propagate the begging cycle by giving them money.
- Francisco is the overseer at the waterfall/hot spring, if you pay him 10Q he will make sure to watch your bags for you while you swim. He is a super nice guy.
- Also ask him to show you where the mud from the source of the spring is. The GOOD stuff is hidden AND requires you to go near VERY hot water (easily 140F/60C).
- Rub said mud all over your body and wait for it to dry.
- Rinse off in the river.
- Keep in mind that the waterfall is HOT. (104F/40C)
- The water is deep enough to go cliff diving.
- There is a small cave behind the waterfall that you can hang out in. It requires you to dive under the fall (or go through the heat).
It costs 15Q to get back to Rio Dulce.
I highly suggest checking this place out. The only con is that it is extremely hot outside and there is a giant hot waterfall next to you. The water itself is kind of warm but there are cold pockets that you can find in the swimming hole while treading water.
The mud was also some super awesome magical mud because my skin has never looked or felt better in my life – even better than our time at the Blue Lagoon. I swear my skin was glowing and for a minute I thought we had found the famed fountain of youth.
And while I missed Shaun, I’m glad I got an opportunity to get some “alone” time with other people. Traveling as a couple has its perks but sometimes you need to get away for a while.
…because little did I know, later that day, I too would come down with food poisoning.
I’m just glad it held off while I had a little fun beforehand.