As part of my blogging attempts to report on my recent visit to Copan with my son, I now want to relay our experience with one of Nature’s Wonders that is just 45 minutes away from Copan, Jaguar Spa – Natural Springs.
I had learned about the natural springs from a friend who visited there last year and returned to the island with rave reviews. So, naturally, when my son and I planned our vacation in Copan, I had to include a trip to the hot springs.
We arranged (through our hotel) for a driver to take us to the springs. The 45-minute drive was interesting as well as “rugged”. We passed through some beautiful countryside and some small hamlets with a spattering of homes and, once in a while, a small school with children spilling out into the play area.
We left early in the morning as we wanted to dedicate our afternoon to the ruins. We arrived well before 10 a.m. and were guided back into the springs by a friendly young man. We had arranged for a massage after a relaxing soak in the springs, which is an extra on the visit.
The hot springs are located on a well-kept, nicely manicured area, with a parking lot that gently slopes off down towards the river. There’s a ticket booth, an outdoor cold shower, a place to change into your swimming clothes, and typical lush flowers and plant-life all around. Luna Jaguar has been built to resemble, or at least pay homage to the Mayan ruins in the surrounding area. There is a lot of dark-gray rock set off by deep green leaves. The resort is pretty large; it took an attendant at least ten minutes to show us all the pools, the massage area, the foot bath, the mud bath, and the vapor area.
Much attention had been paid to carving out areas leading to the springs. We crossed over a rope bridge, carefully walked on stepping stones across a pool of water, entered a tunnel-like access which had been carved out of the mountainside and came across some interesting carvings of human skulls along with the ever present tree roots growing inside the tunnel.
We passed a small cascading waterfall, an interesting Mayan head carving along with a carving that constantly receives the sulphur-like hot water flowing over it 24/7.
There are several “steps” to relaxing in the hot springs: There is a natural mud bath area which one goes to after soaking in the hot spring and then the cold spring. The mud provided there acts as an exfoliant to scrub away dead skin cells and cleanse the body.
Next is a circular area for a natural foot massage. This area consists of smooth stones lining the bottom of the circular walkway divided into two areas; one walkway receives hot water and the other cold. One is told to walk around the area 6 times before proceeding onto the sitting area where you then soak in the hot springs before moving on to the cooling off pool.
There is also an area for a steam facial which consists of leaning over a rail and putting your face into the ascending column of steam. Really cleansing!
The final step in this relaxing program is a massage, if one cares to partake and how could we pass that up?
Above the springs is a shaded, covered area to change out of our swimsuits, don a soft robe and then lie down on a massage table and have a relaxing massage while listening to the sounds of nature. It couldn’t get much better than this!
We spent a couple of hours at the springs and I would recommend that if one plans on including this side trip in their journey, then, please, set aside the whole day so you can fully relax the relaxing waters, return to your hotel for a late nap and then have a great dinner. Since we were pressed for time we had to leave well before we wanted so that we could take in the ruins.
Along the drive back I was able to take a photo of an average Honduran house in the mountains. These are adobe-like houses finished with an outside coat of mud. On the way back we came across a huge tarp laid out alongside the road and on it red beans (or black beans) are laid out to dry. At the right time of year you will see coffee beans laid out in the same manner to dry in the hot Honduran sun. Small children are seen at various areas alongside of the road and I managed to get a quick photo of a group of charming, but wary, children.
The people at the Spa were friendly and accommodating. We had a wonderful experience and if I’m given the opportunity to return to Copan you can bet that I’ll return to Jaguar Spa Springs.