Dispatch: Guatemala’s Hot-Waterfall


It’s not often that adventure and geothermal oddities mix, but we had one such nerdy treat in the wild former plantation lands along Guatemala’s largest lake, Lago de Izabal. A two mile hike up from the lakeshore, a small waterfall cascades over a unique rock formation into a totally sweet swimming hole. Did I mention that the water is near boiling before it cascades over the waterfall into the cool pool below? It’s the adventurous soaker’s literal wet dream, the hot springs waterfall, complete with opportunities for hot springs spelunking…

As if this great little pool and the steamy falls weren’t delightful enough, peer behind the veil of the falls and you’ll find just enough room for a natural sauna. Steam from the shoulders up while staying cool. We could have stayed all day if we hadn’t gotten prune-y.

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The site may inspire me to add something to my packing list next time – a water proof flashlight. Just behind the small sauna space is a passage beneath protruding stalactites into the inner caves. To get there, you’ll have to do a bit of swimming. There’s just enough clearance to wade into the inner caves, with about six inches between the ceiling and the surface of the water, just enough room to keep your nose above water. Unless of course you’ve got that waterproof torch and a good pair of goggles to take the low road beneath the surface.  Maybe next time. I don’t recommend watching the “Descent” before you try this one!