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 Responses to “Getting into Hot Water in San Pedro, Guatemala”

  1. George August 15, 2011 at 12:28 am #

    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.

    • Erica August 15, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

      @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. Audrey August 15, 2011 at 6:57 am #

    Ahhh, looks like a great place to unwind! 😀

    • Erica August 15, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

      @Audrey: Oh it was. I wish it was a little cooler when we went and we could have been in there for HOURS.

  3. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures August 15, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    OMG I want a soak right now, looks sooo relaxing!

    • Erica August 18, 2011 at 11:49 am #

      @Andi: I couldn’t have asked for more. The people there were also so nice that it added to the whole experience.

  4. Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista August 15, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    It does look relaxing! I was finding myself relax as I was reading about the warm water. Sounds like a great thing to enjoy!

    • Erica August 18, 2011 at 11:54 am #

      @Debbie: I normally am not a spa person but it couldn’t have come at a better time. Get yourself to a hot tub ASAP!

  5. Dani | Globetrottergirls August 15, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    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!).

    • Erica August 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

      @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.

  6. Kyle August 16, 2011 at 1:22 am #

    Whether or not you liked the town I think that those thermal pools look like they made the trip there worth it at least!

    • Erica August 18, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

      @Kyle: Oh totally. It was nice to enjoy a few comforts from home. It was just a bit jarring with the change.

  7. Christy @ Technosyncratic August 16, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    I love hot springs. Like, I would marry hot springs if I was into that sort of thing, and these look particularly wonderful.

    • Erica August 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

      @Christy: I was just stoked that we had the hot water and then the view – GORGEOUS.

  8. Emily in Chile August 16, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

    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!

    • Erica August 18, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

      @Emily: To be honest we only made it like 45 mins to an hour. Putting 2 ADD people in a hot tub together leads to boredom. 😛

  9. Pamela August 19, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    Thermal Pool and BYOB? What more can you ask for?!?! 😀

    • Erica August 19, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

      @Pam: RIGHT?! It was awesome.

  10. Jessica August 25, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    Looks SO relaxing! I am totally jealous.

    • Erica August 25, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

      @Jess: Yes, it was freaking fantastic!

  11. Sarah Wu August 27, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    That must be some highlight of the trip, look at you two all relaxed and stuff : )

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