While the neighboring province of British Columbia gets all the hot springs hype, Alberta, has some of the best in Canada. From rustic, mountain getaways, to historic, luxurious lodgings, there’s a hot springs resort for everybody. Home to five stunning national parks in the Canadian Rockies, including Banff, Jasper, Elk Island, Waterton, and Wood Buffalo, …
If your perfect day involves splashing around in warm, comforting mineral waters, a trip to the Otumuheke Stream of Spa Thermal Park, New Zealand, is in order. This spot has everything you need for a good time: historical significance, lush landscapes, and waters with varying temperatures to suit your needs. Oh, and it’s all free. …
Waikite Valley Hot Pools in Rotorua, New Zealand is the ideal spot to relax for a couple’s getaway or a family-friendly vacation. The complex offers a slew of bathing options, from splashy pools to more private and secluded ventures. Surrounded by a lush landscape, the Waikite Valley Thermal Pools are a must-add to every NZ …
Welcome to Top Hot Springs!
Top Hot Springs is probably the best guide for finding natural springs of all temperatures that people want to soak in. Most mineral waters listed are warm to hot in temperature, typically in the mid-80s to low 100s degrees Fahrenheit (28-40° Celsius), though there are some cooler (and hotter) as well. We list “warm” springs down to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20° C). They exist everywhere from developed resorts in the city to primitive pools out in the country.
What’s better than soaking in all-natural hot springs after a long day adventuring?! Few things. Resorts, spas, primitive pools, whatever you’re looking for, you can find the best natural hot springs in countries all around the world.
Hot Springs by American State
Not all U.S. states have hot springs, in fact, the majority don’t. However, some do have amazing natural hot springs. These thermal mineral waters are more prevalent out west, but you’ll find a few east of the Mississippi River too. Hot springs form when water deep underground is heated by the earth’s geothermal activity. It then rises up to the surface at a range of heated-up temperatures.
Visit Uncover Colorado for a list of hot springs in Colorado, featuring both public and private resorts, as well as free primitive pools.
Hot Springs by Country
The wonderful thing about hot springs is that you can find them in countries all over the world. From the United States to Australia to Iceland and beyond, you’ll find geothermal pools filled with natural mineral hot springs water. Note: American states are listed further below.
Staying the night by the hot springs
Guide to the World’s Natural Hot Springs
Deep down within the Earth lies geothermal energy that heats up natural mineral water, which sends hot water bubbling to the surface. Sometimes these hot springs pools are open and safe for public use, many times they are not.
These geothermal hot springs are not always open to soaking or safe, quite the contrary. Some are deadly. Take Yellowstone National Park in the USA for example. Geothermal hot springs bubble up in sectioned-off areas of the park because of their deadly nature. However, there are safe natural hot springs all around the world, both at luxury resorts and primitive pools.
Types of Hot Springs: Resorts vs Primitive
Visiting natural hot springs appeals to a wide array of travelers, both as an adventurous activity, and to relax and rejuvenate the body. People from all across the globe reap the benefits of these therapeutic baths every day.
Whether you’re an experienced soaker or a first-timer, we’re here to help you on your adventure. To reiterate, know that not all hot springs are safe to soak in. Only go in designated and well-reviewed pools. There are two main types of hot springs to choose from, depending on your location.
Resorts – Most are fairly simple resorts that showcase their hot springs and sometimes will offer spa facilities and massages. The minerals in these waters provide health benefits and therapeutic relaxation that’s worth traveling the world for. Resorts range in size, temperature, cost, facilities, etc. That’s part of what’s so charming about them, each one is different.
Primitive – On the other end of the spectrum lies primitive pools. These free mineral hot springs range in their development, which is usually “user-developed”. You can find these on the sides of roads, deep within the national forests, or in an old volcano, as is the case in Iceland.
Factors to consider when visiting hot springs
Not all hot springs are created equal. Whether you want to stay in lodging or camp on-site, or prefer a free option, there are things to keep in mind with each choice.
Facilities – If the hot springs flow through an area that has not been developed, there are usually no facilities. In such a case, you may even have to take drinking water with you. These primitive hot springs pools are often managed by the public and are free to use.
Resort hot springs are on the other end of the spectrum, ranging from rustic to luxury, with common features being spas, lodging, and perhaps even someplace to eat. To access these springs, you have to pay.
Seclusion – Some hot springs are way too occupied and may not be your best bet simply because of the crowd. Generally, you can enjoy the most relaxing soaking sessions at night, but for this, you’ll probably have to book a suitable accommodation option as well.
Easy Access – Your chosen hot springs must be accessible. If any of the roads are closed, which may be the case during the cold winter months, they may not be such a good choice. Check the hours too, hot springs frequently have an entire day off scheduled for cleaning, sometimes once per week, others less. Some hot springs along rivers close in the spring due to high river levels.
Water Temperatures – The pool temperatures must be hot enough to be enjoyable and kill germs. The water shouldn’t scald your skin. The range is typically 95-1112°F (with anything higher than 104°F starting to get pretty hot. 112°F is a lobster pot. If you soak in a tub or riverside pool, you may even be able to regulate temperatures at a comfortable level.
Cleanliness – Springs that are open for all for free can become less hygienic than a resort that gets periodically cleaned. Soaking in dirty pools is definitely not fun, nor safe. So prefer sites that are clean and well-maintained. Although some resorts could do a better job cleaning, so read reviews or ask ahead.
Usually, hot springs pools are refilled constantly with new hot springs water and manage to cycle all the existing water out reasonably fast and regularly. Could be the case with the primitive ones, but some resorts make it happen.
What are health benefits?
Generally, the mineral content of hot springs is high because heated water dissolves more salts and travels through rocks and the earth’s crust. So, you can expect this water to contain a wide array of nutrients like calcium, silica, and magnesium.
These minerals serve as the perfect vitamin for your skin. Plus, the temperatures soothe aching muscles, boost blood circulation, detoxify the body and relieve stress. Here are some of the primary benefits of soaking in hot springs, in no particular order:
Musculoskeletal Problems – Hot springs have been known to ease symptoms of muscular conditions like muscle ache, fatigue, swollen joints, ligament damage, and arthritis.
Eczema – Eczema is a condition characterized by the presence of dry and flaky skin. This condition is observed in nearly 15% of Americans and Canadians.
Circulation – Treating the condition can be challenging, but soaking in natural hot springs has proven to be quite beneficial. It reduces the redness and itching to a notable extent in patients who suffer from this disease. Some mineral springs are rich in calcium and sodium bicarbonate, improving blood circulation in the body, and leading to lower blood pressure levels.
Nasal Congestion – Heat that is emitted from water combines with sulfur and produces a rotten smell that can be observed at some of the hot springs in Oregon and elsewhere. However, this odor is effective in treating nasal congestion, regardless of what the cause may be.
Detoxification – Soaking in Oregon’s thermal springs allows your body to sweat more, which eliminates toxins from the blood.
Lower Calories – Hot spring soaks can burn around 140 calories in an hour. While this may not directly lead to weight loss, it can prevent your weight from rising.
Relaxation – High-stress levels expose you to so many health risks like hypertension and depression due to higher cortisol levels. Soaking your body in naturally heated water helps you rejuvenate and relax, lowering your stress levels, and thus, preventing the associated risks.
Do hot springs really have magical powers? Although not scientifically proven to be “magic”, hot springs…
What countries and states have hot springs?
Countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America all feature hot springs. These are just a portion of the destinations around the world with hot springs. More are being added to make it more complete. If we’re missing any US states that have hot springs to visit, please let us know.
Thanks for visiting our geothermally-heated website! Have a terrific time discovering the world’s natural hot springs. If you’re into beaches, camping, food, ski resorts, and/or general nomading, then please peruse our sister site, La Vida Nomad. Enjoy your journey.