san pedro
Central America, Review, Travel

Getting into Hot Water in San Pedro, Guatemala

Los Thermales, San Pedro, Guatemala

After an early morning chicken bus around curvy mountain roads, a minibus/colectivo down washed out dirt roads, a ride in the back of a pick up truck going down switchbacks into the lake, and a tuktuk through two small cities, we arrived in San Pedro. We couldn’t have asked for more of a Latin American adventure.

This was definitely a change from the genuinely Guatemalan city of Xela. We were used to all signs in Spanish, all locals, all Guatemala all the time. This was a tropical paradise with most signs in English and expats and hippies all over the place. I’m sure if you were just traveling through Guatemala, this would be a normal backpacking stop.

To be honest, we really didn’t like San Pedro. And as much as people like this little town, we just couldn’t get into the vibe. It was culture shock to us. We did love the hotel that was suggested by the Globetrotter Girls here. It was hard to feel at home when I felt like we were in an alien place.

However, we did take part in one of the things San Pedro was known for – it’s thermal pools. Think of it as a hot tub with a lake view. At $5 a person, you have free reign of the pools for the entire day AND it is BYOB! How can you go wrong with that?!?!

Lake Atitian view from Thermal tub
Be sure to give them 30 minutes to an hour heads up before you plan on enjoying the pool so they can prepare it for you. They do have pools for quite a few people so if you have a few friends that are into serene relaxation, check it out.

We timidly walked up to our heated pool (we really didn’t know what to expect) and the owner pulled back the tarp in one fell swoop. Steam danced on top of the water, delightfully playful and weaving – beckoning us to come in.

Thermal pool in San Pedro, Guatemala

One toe in…

WOOO that is hot.

After all the stress of leaving our host family and our new Guatemalan life behind, our problems slowly melted away listening to birds, wind through the banana trees, and enjoying a gorgeous view of Lake Atitlan.


I really love my life.

Find the Buddah Bar (one of the most popular tourist/expat bars) and go down the alleyway to the left of it (there are colorful coffee beans painted on the floor). If you follow it past the coffee shop when the path starts turning into dirt, you should start seeing signs pointing the right direction.

Los Thermales, San Pedo, Guatemala=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
We were NOT paid for the review of the company. We genuinely suggest this place because it was one of our favorite moments from our visit to San Pedro!

21 thoughts on “Getting into Hot Water in San Pedro, Guatemala”

  1. I really want to go and discover South America and you guys and made me think about putting Guatemala on the list too. Maybe start and work my way down. I’m learning Spanish in preparation. Great advice guys.

    1. @George: We were originally only going to do South America until we realized how much of Central we wanted to see as well. Be careful – it can be super easy to get stuck in Guatemala!

  2. The thermal pools you went to look so much better than the ones we chose when we were in San Pedro! We’ll keep that in mind for next time 😉 San Pedro is very touristy, but we were just ready for some good food & movie nights when we got there, after eating only rice, eggs & beans for 4 days in Todos Santos (I hope you get to go there!).

    1. @Dani: Did you guys go to the ones on the right side of Buddah Bar? We had looked at them but I was weirded out that it looked like you were relaxing in a coffin in the ground. We did have our first bowl of pho in MONTHS in SP so we were super stoked about that aspect.

  3. I’ve been to hot springs in Chile, and they’re lovely and relaxing, but I’m kind of bad at relaxing. After half an hour I’m bored. I think that this could all be changed if they were BYOB, however, so apparently I just need to be looking for the alcoholic hot springs!

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