Top five hot spring dips

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Top five hot spring dips

After a long, action-packed day of adventuring and exploring, there is nothing quite so relaxing as sinking with a contented sigh into the warm, bubbling waters of a hot spring. Heated by geothermal activity beneath the Earth’s crust and rich in minerals, many of these natural spas bubble up in the most beautiful places in the world, from the freezing wilds of Iceland to the steaming jungles of Costa Rica. Here are five of our favourite destinations for a hot spring dip…

Japan

Snow Monkey, Jigokudani Hot Springs, Yudanaka, JapanBathing outside is a time-honoured tradition in the town of Yudanaka; set in the beautiful mountainous countryside of the Yamanouchi region, people have come to unwind in its hot springs for hundreds of years. In fact, they are so much a part of daily life here there is even a thermal bath right inside the train station! Though the springs are famous in their own right, it is the local bathers that are the biggest draw for travellers these days; Snow Monkeys (Japanese macaques) bear the brunt of a freezing winter by spending the days in the natural hot springs before returning to the safety of the forest.

Taking you there: 
Ancient & Modern Japan

Iceland

Blue Lagoon, IcelandLocated on the mid-Atlantic Ridge, Iceland frequently reminds of us the sheer power of Mother Nature. Born of violent volcanic activity to which the dramatic landscape testifies, Iceland boasts 800 hot springs and 30 active volcanoes. The island is so awash with geothermal activity that you’ll see billowing clouds rising from the ground almost everywhere you go. Most famous is Reykjavik’s Blue Lagoon, where Icelanders and travellers alike go to soak and luxuriate in the steaming, mineral-rich waters.

Taking you there: 
Iceland Holidays

The Azores

Caldeira Velha thermal baths, Azores, PortugalThe Azores – an archipelago of nine lush, volcanic islands cast away in the middle of the Atlantic, endowed with dramatic natural beauty and steeped in rich history. The Azores’ sapphire waters are swimming with marine and bird life; after a day scouring the waves for whales and dolphins, or a walk along windy cliff tops in search of seabirds, the Caldeira Velha thermal baths are the perfect tonic. The warm waterfall cascades through the flourishing vegetation and brick-red rocks, inviting you to submerge yourself in the rejuvenating plunge pools. The rich iron content gives the water an ochre hue and lends it remarkable restorative powers, which will leave you feeling as good as new.

Taking you there: 
Azores: Whale & Dolphin Watching

Costa Rica

Tabacon Thermal Baths at Arenal, Costa Rica The iconic Arenal Volcano stands sentinel over a thriving land, home to an abundance of geothermal activity and teeming with natural hot and cold springs. After a humid, sticky hike around Arenal National Park, keeping an eye out for the fascinating local wildlife, there’s no better way to relax than with a dip in these soothing springs surrounded by swathes of undulating rainforest. After a hike down to La Fortuna falls you can also enjoy a refreshing dip in the cool, fresh water pools under the cascades, where the tranquil ambience is only punctuated by the occasional shrieks of the zip liners flying overhead.

Taking you there: 
Discover Costa Rica

Bolivia

Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve, BoliviaAround 4,500 metres above sea level sits the vast expanse of the altiplano, the largest plateau in South America, and home to Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve. Surrounded by infinite horizons and gentle alpacas, the hot springs here offer the pinnacle of relaxation. After a morning hike to see the incredible geysers, you’ll sink into the warm water, look up at the clear blue skies and feel the tranquillity of this remote, beautiful landscape.

Taking you there: 
South American Adventure

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