Pozos Termales, Hot Springs in El Valle, Panama

I’ve always been the kind of woman who enjoys a trip to the spa.  One of the many things that makes El Valle so great is the hot springs in the area.  Okay, perhaps to call them “hot” is a stretch, but they are definitely warm and I don’t have hot water where I’m living so I’m not going to complain.

You can easily walk to the hot springs from where ever you are staying in El Valle and I highly recommend you do.  Located at the end of a road called “Calle de Millionaires” (street of the millionaires)  beautiful, huge homes with immaculately landscaped grounds of the Panama City rich and famous, sit behind gigantic wrought iron gates.  If you visit during the week you’ll probably see the gardener or another member of the house staff working, and if you smile nicely and ask kindly most of them will invite you onto the property for a tour of the gardens.

Upon arriving at the Springs you will be asked to pay a $2.50 entrance fee.  A guide/worker at the springs will tell you exactly what to do (in Spanish) and then you are on your own.  I went on a Monday and was the only one there so Brian, my guide, was more then attentive.  Before I left he offered me a tour of the grounds (which aren’t very large) but I’m a sucker for personal attention so I enjoyed it.  For those of you that don’t speak Spanish here is a step by step guide of what to do once you get to the springs.

1. Pay the fee, if there is no one sitting at the front of the gate just walk in and across the bridge and you will see someone.

2. Take a hard left and you’ll see an area with mirrors and buckets.  In these buckets are two types of mud.  The white mud goes on your face, neck and decolletage.  The dark mud is more for “spot treatment” on other parts of your body.  Keep the mud above your waist.  There is a small sink you can wash your hands in after applying.

3. Across from the mud area is a pool specifically for your legs (piernas).  Take a soak in that for 10 -20 minutes while your mud dries.  If you’re like me and have a hard time sitting still, wander around the park.  There is a small playground, picnic tables and a pair of coconut shaped choral shells.

4. Next to the leg bath is a “shower”.  Rinse all the mud off yourself and your entire body.  Now you’re ready for the body pool.

5. Take a nice long soak in the warm body pool.  It’s not deep.  I’m barely five feet and standing flat footed it came up to my neck.  Get comfy, take the time to enjoy it.  It really will make you feel better.  I stayed in for a bout thirty minutes and felt great when I came out.

There is a restroom and changing rooms at the springs so feel free to change upon arrival or before leaving.  Before you leave ask to see the papryus.  It’s in the back and is beautiful to see how it grows up the base of the mountain.

The hot springs (Pozas Termales) is a “must do” while in el Valle.  It’s affordable, effective and there are always locals around so it has to be effective!

Happy Bathing!