Hot springs have attracted visitors for thousands of years for healing and relaxation. The soothing, restorative waters rejuvenate and restore our weary, overtaxed bodies. Because hot water dissolves minerals, they hold tremendous therapeutic value. Minerals such as calcium, zinc, lithium, and even radium are present in small enough doses to render their powers effective for relieving muscle and nerve related ailments. Bathing in a hot spring is invigorating, refreshing, and the ultimate in relaxation even if a person has no health-related issues.
Hot springs can cure what ails you, but not all are the same. Some hot springs are suitable for bathing while others can blister the skin, or in extreme cases, boil meat clean off the bones. As a word of caution, just because a particular spring is at a comfortable temperature to doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe. Amoeba and other bacteria thrive in hot untreated water so, if not maintained and properly treated, it may be dangerous to humans.
But not to worry – there are many wonderful, safe, and beneficial hot springs located around the world. It should be fairly easy to find one near you. If you have never enjoyed the euphoric experience of soaking in naturally heated mineral enhanced waters you are doing yourself a huge disservice, but it’s never too late to correct this huge oversight. Here’s where some of the world’s best hot springs can be found.
Banjar Hot Springs – Bali
With a consistent temperature of 98.6 degrees, Banjar Hot Springs is pure bliss. It’s a wonder to behold with water pouring from the mouths of eight mythical dragon-like creatures into a giant pool of mineral-saturated water.
The water gives off a yellowish/red tint but this is only due to its high sulfur content. The waters are known to help with skin conditions and rheumatic ailments, but even those not bothered by such unfortunate problems claim the real magic is in the waters total relaxation ability.
The springs are surrounded by lush tropical gardens and the restaurant provides a superior panoramic view of the premises. T-shirts, key chains, and assorted overpriced souvenirs are for sale in the gift shop.
Takaragawa Onsen Hot Springs – Japan
Rated one of the very best hot springs in the world, if there is any way to swing it you should fly to Japan. Even if you couldn’t care less about the springs miraculously healing abilities, you should at least experience the surreal fairytale-like setting.
Situated in the mountains on the banks of a stream, rising steam against a backdrop of snow drifts and evergreens presents a picture worthy of an artists canvass. Or, perhaps you would rather enjoy the changing colors of Fall. Or the newness of Spring blooms. If a person cannot 100% relax when immersed in the soothing waters of Takaragawa Onsen Hot Springs, they should consider medication.
The waters are known to help with nervous disorders, skin irritation, bad circulation, sore muscles and joints, and just about anything else that might be ailing someone. Lodging is available and the rooms are spectacular. The onsite restaurant serves cuisine to die for which includes wild mountain mushrooms and freshwater fish among other delectables. Most of the food is sourced locally.
Cascate del Mulino – Italy
Located in Tuscany, Cacate del Mulino only adds to the beauty of the region with its naturally carved stone wells. The steamy 98.6-degree water overflows and cascades down levels of rocks creating small waterfalls as it collects in pools suitable for bathing.
Rich is sulfur, the waters mineral properties are good for just about anything. The Terme di Saturnia spa complex, which is world-famous, is also located in Tuscany, but Cascate del Mulino is much more secluded and cannot be outdone in beauty. It’s drop-dead gorgeous.
Deception Island Hot Springs – Antartica
Imagine soaking in hot mineral enriched water while everything around you is frozen solid. The many hot springs on Deception Island were formed when an active volcano collapsed into itself. As a result, tiny ponds to larger lakes were formed, all heated by the fire still raging down below.
The trick is in finding a pool of water where the temperature is just right since they can range from ice cold upwards of 158 degrees. Your search can be easily remedied by following the crowd, not that there’s a huge one at any one given time. Still, Deception Island Hot Springs is fascinating beyond comparison.
Dunton Hot Springs – Colorado
Located in southwestern Colorado near Telluride, Dunton Hot Springs consists of five separate pools, all geothermically heated. The same place where a century ago miners would soothe their aching muscles in natural pools still serves visitors today, but in a more modern setting.
The water runs red in Dunton because of its very high iron and magnesium content which attracts arthritic sufferers from far and wide. The mountain setting with streams and fields of wildflowers is as serene and peaceful as it gets.
For the ultimate in getting in touch with one’s inner-self, enjoy the warm relaxing waters at Dunton while glamping at one of the several nearby camps.
Banff Upper Hot Springs – Canada
Banff Upper Hot Springs is located at the base of the Canadia Rockies in the town of Banff. The water maintains year-round temperatures between 98 and 104 degrees for the ultimate in comfort.
Minerals include bicarbonate which is known to open peripheral blood vessels which helps with poor circulation. The springs were discovered in 1844 and have seen a steady of visitors since.
Big Bend Hot Springs – Texas
Located in Big Bend National Park, the 105-degree temperature of springs water is fresh and soothing after a long day of hiking. The water is full of dissolved mineral salts, the same salt people buy to dissolve in their bathtubs.
With the water bubbling up from the ground at 105-degrees, it’s probably best to visit this one in the summer months as the water can feel incredibly hot in the relentless heat of the Texas sun.
Blue Lagoon – Iceland
This gigantic hot spring is heated by a lava field outside of a fishing village. The water is heavily infused with silica and sulfur and is known to treat any type of skin ailment known to humankind. The minerals are so strong they have been known to make hair brittle.
For a real treat try a facial mud pack and arm yourself with a cocktail before entering the water. You won’t want to get back out.
Hot springs are an entirely different experience from soaking in a chlorinated hot tub. The refresh, relax and heal. Next time you go on vacation look for an area with some hot springs nearby and give it a try. What do you have to lose other than some aches and pains?