We were told to change into our swimsuits, bring our robe and towel, and wash off our dusty bodies. We had just finished hiking Pacaya Volcano, and the only thing on my mind was slipping under the covers for a nice long nap.
However, as soon as our guide led us through the corridor into the pool area, I knew. We, my friends, were in for a little treat. Out of all the things to do in Guatemala, I didn’t think for a second we’d be enjoying a lovely afternoon at the spa.
Santa Teresita, the evolucíon of relaxation.
That’s the tagline for the spa, and pretty much sums up the entire experience. You’ll see what I mean below.
We approached the bath area, and were instantly dazzled by the array of glistening pools and relaxing sounds of the dripping waterfalls. I knew that’s exactly where I wanted to be. My body (and my mind!) needed some time to decompress, and soaking in the pools seemed like the most perfect way to do so.
My muscles were sore, my brain was overloaded with information about Guatemala (never a bad thing), and I was utterly exhausted. Sleeping in different beds every night definitely takes a toll on me.
A comfortable, warm bath? Please, and thank you.
The Thermal Circuit
Yes, we would be using the pools (thankfully!), but in a prearranged order.
The circuit was explained to us, clearly stating that we were to fully immerse our bodies in the different pools, going from hot to cold. And these pools, I might add, ranged from a chilly 75.2 degrees F (24° C) to a whopping 105.8 degrees F (41° C).
To put that in perspective, comfortable bath water is around 100° F, 2 degrees warmer than normal body temperature. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, right? I’m sure many girls wear shorts and crop tops (like I do) when it’s 75° out, and everyone loves a super hot shower in the winter.
No biggie. I got this.
And then I felt the water.
Oh, I was wrong. In every aspect in every way possible. Even dipping a toe into the hottest bath was merely impossible (#wimpstatus). At every pool, I eased my body in inch by inch, fighting with myself to stay in the waters. When it was time to switch temperatures, I prepared myself for another uncomfortable experience, but was surprised that my body had actually adjusted to the “frigid” waters rather quickly. I was even more surprised when I was able to dip more than my toes into the hottest bath. The body surprises you like that, it’s crazy.
I contemplated skipping the circuit altogether, drying off, and relaxing on the nearby chaise lounges. I almost did that a few times. But thankfully, I hung in there.
Dipping into the pools were hard. But getting out was even harder.
Trust me, getting into the thermal baths were almost as difficult as hiking the volcano. I’m serious! But after your body ultimately gets used to the temperature, you fall into a deep state of relaxation and want nothing else but to stay in longer than suggested.
Thankfully, this process comes with added health benefits, including improving blood circulation, relaxing muscles in the body, and thus, eliminating stress.
And then I wanted to take pictures. Because I’m me.
With a self timer, I might add. Which meant running in and out of the water numerous times to see if the shot was perfected. Thankfully my friend Annette was in charge, and I thank her for setting it all up.
I’m smiling below, but my body was screaming at me, as I had
stupidly ran into the scorching hot water a little too quick. Note my red face.
We were graciously offered cold smoothies, and you can bet those tasted like perfection after burning and freezing our bodies. (It wasn’t thaaaat bad, I like to exaggerate quite a bit).
When it was all said and done, and I had utterly “tried my best” forcing my body to adjust to the changing temperatures, I gladly hung out in the comfortable bath water for the rest of the afternoon. Smoothie toastin’ and all. Because that’s exactly what you do in Guatemala after a hike up an active volcano. Or it should be.
- Visit during the week. The place will be practically all yours.
- Kids are not allowed in the circuit, so it makes for a peaceful way to spend a few hours. Be sure to plan accordingly if you are traveling with children.
- The spa is located at the Kawilal Hotel, only minutes away from Antigua, Guatemala.
- Find pricing on their website.
Ahhh, the evolution of relaxation.
Easily the most relaxing afternoon I’ve had in a while. And most definitely needed after hiking to the top of Pacaya all morning.