Guide to Uruguay’s Natural Thermal Springs
Though Uruguay isn’t a typical tourist destination, it’s one of the best places to go to experience natural hot springs. Most of these are in the Northwest portion of the country, right along the Uruguay River that forms the natural border with Argentina.
Here you’ll find hot springs in nature as well as resorts and spas that utilize the large groundwater reservoir of hot springs (called termas here, as in most Spanish-speaking countries) for their mineral baths.
Northwest Hot Springs
The first of these hot springs we’ll talk about is Arapey Thermal Resort & Spa, the northernmost thermal bathing venue in the nation. You can stay on the property overnight, utilize their horse trails and tennis courts, and soak in the naturally heated water.
There is also an on-site restaurant and bar, and the property makes efforts to be family-friendly. Most telling, several guests say they have made it a habit to revisit the resort since the staff is welcoming and the resort comfortable.
In the town of Departamento de Paysandú there’s a swimming complex made up of several different pools filled with water from the hot springs. The venue is called Termas de Guaviyú, and the pools range in temperature so that any bather can find one that suits them.
If you’d like to enjoy the baths for some time, you can rent a campsite and stay on the grounds. The campsites have access to barbeques, allowing guests to cook their own food.
Other Northwest Termas:
- Hotel Horacio Quiroga
- Aquatic Park Termas de Salto Grande
- Termas de Colón
- Termas de Almirón Inmotur
- Daymán Hot Springs
Southern Hot Springs
There is a single mineral bathing venue in the south of the country. It’s Alive Health Spa Resort in Punta Ballena, where the spa services are plentiful and the outdoor pool is filled with natural hot springs water.
This is a place to come to if you’re seeking deep relaxation and uninterrupted quiet. Children younger than 17 are not allowed on the premises. Other amenities include a restaurant and bar, a free breakfast buffet, and an 18-hole golf course.
The country has both busy, flourishing cities and sleepy small towns where the beach is the main draw. If you’re visiting for the purpose of mineral bathing, you probably want to head to the northwest. Just keep this in mind- Uruguay is a country that thrives at night. Most dinner places don’t get full until 9:30 pm and bars stay open until 4:00 or 5:00 am.
If you’re in a busy city and hitting the dance clubs, know that they stay open until 9:00ish in the morning, spitting out dancers just in time for breakfast. Traffic flows at all hours and many businesses tailor their operating hours around this nightlife-friendly culture.
Learn more about visiting Uruguay on our sister site, La Vida Nomad.