Here are WoWasis, we just love natural hot springs. We’ve blogged on great ones in California, Japan, and Taiwan. So now we’ll add Honduras to the list, because there’s a terrific one here, about as pretty, from a design and natural beauty perspective, as you’ll find anywhere. And you can visit it for about $22, directly from the town of Copan Ruinas. We’ve never found a better hot springs value anywhere, and after a hot morning of roaming through the Mayan pre-Columbian site of Copan, the Luna Jaguar Hot Springs is just the right place.
It takes about an hour to get there, up a rutty mountain dirt road ($22 include transportation from your hotel and a spa ticket). Along the way, you’ll pass coffee plantations and wonderful examples of rural life, including people, animals, and landscapes.
When you arrive, you change to your bathing suit (nobody’s nude here), grab a towel, and head over the pretty cable and wood bridge that spans a stream. Once you cross, you’re in another world. Mayan statuary is everywhere, the greenery is breathtaking, the pools are beautiful, designed from indigenous rock. If you wish, you can start with a mud bath or a sauna, the latter of which is an intelligently rigged floor-vented pavilion, built right over a scalding natural hot stream. Walk a little bit higher and you’ll come to our favorite place, the adjacent hot and cold pools. Dip in the hot pool and you’ll be under the gaze of Copan Mayan ruler ’18 Rabbit,’ whose stela from the archaeological zone has been wonderfully rendered. After a few minutes, would want to slip over the barrier to the cold pool. If the hot pool is too much for you, several cooler but still warm pools cascade below, waiting for you.
If you want, you can get a massage and you can eat here, too. All in all, this is one of the best hot springs we’ve ever experienced, and certainly was the least expensive. Thousands of people visit Copan every year for the Mayan ruins and sculptures and many of them make it up the hill to the Luna Jaguar spa. You should too, and it will be an experience you’ll always remember.
Luna Jaguar has a website, but we recommend just booking it through the ViaVia restaurant and bar, two blocks off the public square in the town of Copan Ruinas (everyone knows where it is, just ask).
If you decide to drive the road (we don’t recommend it, 4-wheel drive only) here are the prices:
Prices at the Luna Jaguar Hot Springs are 200 Lempiras ($10) from 9 am to 1 pm; 240 Lempiras ($!2) from 1 pm to 5 pm; 300 Lempiras ($15) from 5 pm – 9 pm. Meals are 150 Lempiras ($7.50)