The best hot springs in Colombia, locally called “aguas termales”, are set amidst a background of some of the most biodiverse land in the world. Ten percent of the Amazon rests within this country’s boundaries, covering 35% of its total landmass.
Colombia is a wonderful place to grab your swimsuit, and some exotic fruit and lay back in one of these top-notch mineral pools in Colombia. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to watch some colorful birds and playful monkeys enjoying the surrounding treetops.
Here are among the top thermal springs in Colombia, in no particular order:
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Santa Rosa de Cabal Hot Springs
In the center of the coffee triangle of Colombia, Santa Rosa de Cabal Hot Springs is a sustainably-minded hotel with plenty of secluded nooks, crannies, and nature walks to make you feel like the only one in the jungle. One standout offering is the two-hour guided expeditions that take you into the jungle to discover how hot springs are formed.
Several pools are spread out around the property, some fed with magmatic springs–those that have been in contact with magma from volcanoes–and other telluric and alkaline. The San Miguel Termal Spa is there for treatments for the skin as well as massages either inside or under the sky.
Workspace is also available for corporate retreats allowing guests to work to the sounds of a waterfall and revive with some of the best coffee in the world
There are three parts to the hotel lodging:
- one by a thermal waterfall with large windows to take in the views,
- one by the geothermal river with modern rooms within earshot,
- and one by the mountain hot spring that’s more rustic and surrounded by tropical plants. All are tucked into the dense forest that surrounds them.
Hacienda El Salitre
At just under a three-hour drive from Bogota, Hacienda El Salitre has a history dating back to 1736, and the stunning colonial architecture alone is worth a trip. It’s said that Simón Bolívar even visited a few times.
Each room takes you back to another time, and two of them even have private thermal pools. The large central mineral pool and game area will keep you and your guests perpetually relaxed and entertained. If you need more help, head to the spa for a hydrotherapy pool with massage jets, a Turkish bath, massage, or other treatments.
It’s also a memorable place to hold events with wide-open views of the Colombian countryside. Guests can even use the old chapel for religious ceremonies. A thoughtful, imported wine list is an extra special touch at the coffee bar and restaurant.
Los Angeles Termal
At Los Angeles Termal, four artistically-laid rock pools with water 82-108℉ (28-42℃) sit amidst some dense jungle foliage. When the sun goes down, fairytale lighting twinkles like a scene from a movie.
Guests will find a nice selection of dishes from breakfast to dinner at the outdoor cafe, giving everyone the chance to dine beneath the canopy of palms. The opportunities don’t end there. Accommodations include mosaic-decorated outdoor showers and a colorful take on historical appeal. You’ll often find yourself waking up to the sound of exotic birds.
Termales Portada de la Villa
Termales Portada de la Villa sits at the foot of Paramo Iguaque National Park. Several outdoor pools sit in a peaceful, landscaped setting. While most are fed from the hot springs, a couple of them are kept cold for doing a few revitalizing circuits.
Standout features here include a stone dinosaur fountain spitting water into one of the pools and many onsite residents you can visit suc as pigs, peacocks, and waterfowl. There are enough things to do and see in the area to spend a few days including a winery, a waterpark for the kids, Casa Terracotta, and more.
Hotel Termales del Ruiz
Rustic-chic rooms with stone and wood details that are something you’d see highlighted in Architectural Digest are a big draw for Termales del Ruiz, located 19 miles (30km) from Manizales. 21 rooms at 11,483 feet (3500 meters) above sea level–over twice as high as Denver–offer wooden balconies with unimpeded mountain views. Some even have private pools.
The main eco-thermal sulphur pool, complete with water features, has a volcanic source. You can just see over the treetops to the valley beyond. As home to 167 the world’s most dazzling kinds of feathered friends, birdwatching is encouraged. Many guests mention being in awe of the number of hummingbirds.
Birds can also be spotted while hiking the carefully reforested areas with trails traversing some of the best nature has to offer. With a restaurant with highly reviewed national and international dishes, you could spend a lot of well-deserved relaxation time here.
Hotel Termales Tierra Viva
Termales Tierra Viva is a few miles closer to town and lets guests get up close and personal with local plant life in their beautiful tropical gardens. Three stone thermal pools with varying temperatures from 95 to 106℉ (35-41℃) with in-water seating for better relaxation. A cold plunge awaits the bold.
The water, heated through the activity of Ruiz Volcano in the Los Nevados National Park, isn’t the only way to turn up the temperature. Covered outdoor seating lets guests enjoy the day while protecting their skin from the hot equatorial sun.
For overnights, you can choose from 11 modernly minimalistic rooms with huge glass windows to better spy on the flora and fauna of the jungle beyond the walls. To make things extra special, the staff offers a rose petal scattering service for romantic trips away and will even include a cheese board and bottle of wine. Massages, body wraps, and meals are available on-site as well.
San Vicente Thermal Reserve
In the Colombian Andes in a cloud forest of more than 400 hectares, San Vicente feels blissfully isolated and offers a retreat into nature. Six thermal pools with water features, saunas, a thermal river, a lagoon, steam rooms, and a children’s pool make this a great stop for a wide range of tastes.
Accommodations on-site include a variety of hotel rooms. It’s well worth the somewhat difficult journey to get there; the natural reserve it sits on is stunning. There are many trails near the pools to trek further into the forest and one leads to a majestic stop at a waterfall. Guests can step into the spa for further relaxing treatments or spend some time socializing over local dishes in the restaurant.
Termales Los Volcanes
Los Volcanes Termales is just a half hour outside of Bogota but it feels like a trip to the Alps. The chalet-style lodge. Cozy rooms with clean lines fit for one to five people, perfect for a couple’s weekend or a getaway with friends. On-site camping is another option for those wanting to say outside.
Four thermal swimming pools range in temperature from 100℉ to 108℉ (38-42℃) and have various types of waterfalls cascading into the water. Stone-laid paths snake throughout the property allowing for romantic walks through the Colombian jungle when you dry off.
Instituto Termal de Paipa
There are six activities suggested for completing a circuit in two hours at Instituto Termal de Paipa (ITP). It’s not just hydrotherapy that is a standout but the range of things you can spend time on here. Other than the typical sauna, steam room, and spa, there are both outdoor and indoor thermal pools here with the latter sided by a wall of glass to take advantage of the views.
The mineral water comes from Pozo Azul and also feeds into the waterslides in the waterpark. Bring the whole family for a game of sand volleyball or a trip to the coffee shop and ice cream parlor. The recommended biomedical circuit takes you through various forms of hot and cold before ending by wrapping yourself in thermal algae.
Foodservice provides sustenance when you need to refuel. If you want to buy odds and ends, check out the gift shop at the Parque Termal Paipa.
Hacienda Termales la Quinta
Hacienda Termales la Quinta is a beautiful livestock ranch and dairy farm in the Colombian Andes. The cozy hacienda was designed in classic style and only houses six rooms for a maximum guest count of sixteen. Sit on the second-story porch that stretches across one side with a cup of coffee and enjoy the view across the Antioquia countryside.
Getting here is an adventure in itself, as memorable a trek as the final destination. Luggage must be mounted on mules at the meeting point leading up to the property, and a short trek follows a horseback ride. The horses will also be called up for duty as guests opt to ride from the dairy farm through the cloud forest to El Oasis waterfall.
Guided walks through the Bromelia Forest are also popular. For those more inclined to stay nearby, a lovely thermal pool makes a great place to relax, and you can even check out the “Las Nereidas” waterfall from the common space.
Hotel Termales El Batan
Another rural gem is El Batan Hotel Termales. While internet connectivity can be less-than-reliable, it’s a wonderful place to disconnect and focus on yourself.
Three rounded pools are surrounded by a grassy sundeck area with loungers to take in the day. You’ll be equally provided for if you’re ready to swim laps or sit back and rest. Temperature is maintained at 90-93℉ (32-34℃).
There’s plenty to do outside the baths. Try a yoga class or hop in the car for a visit to Laguna de Tota, the largest lake in the country and one that has a spectacular white sand beach. There’s even an outdoor massage pagoda for various treatments.
Guests love the Turkish bath (104℉/40℃) and tasty local dishes served in the restaurant and lounge. If you’re spending the night, consider booking a room with a fireplace, a terrace, or a thermal Jacuzzi. There are also rooms for families if you’re bringing the whole gang.
Las Termales de Rivera
Las Termales de Rivera is located just outside of Huila and is set up for days of fun with the whole family. The large, circular thermal pool has water that remains around 122℉ (50℃) after cooling down through the waterfalls. Two other pools, one with a waterslide and the other with a fountain that offers hydromassage.
When you’ve worked up an appetite, you can choose from multiple restaurants with a variety of local specialties and a long list of hamburger options. In between dips in the pools, bamboo paths through pristine nature are a chance to look for wildlife and cool off.
If one afternoon just isn’t enough time, grab one of four basic, air-conditioned rooms. They have balconies overlooking the various green areas and are equipped with hammocks.
This country is full of some of the best things nature has to offer. Take a few days on your next trip to the area to enjoy some of the best hot springs in Colombia.