Monday, October 29, 2007

Santa Teresita Termal Baths

This weekend my friends Amy, Kari and I went to "Santa Teresita Balnearios Termales" which translates to a thermal bath spa! You can visit the webpage for more pictures and information. This was exciting on multiple accounts, including the excitement of my first time driving our car for any extended period of time...


We left early in the morning on Sunday, which was good because traffic is at low tide Sundays, particularly early on before church lets out. The spa was about 45 minutes outside of the city right on Lake Amatitlan, and next to Volcan Pacaya, as seen in this picture from the spa. According to a random website,

"Lake Amatitlan is located 17 miles south of Guatemala City. Along the northwestern shore is Amatitlan from where a road with a panoramic view stretches out to the southeast along the lake and close to the sides of Volcano Pacaya. The human history of the lake is one of the most ancient in the world. Archaeological remains that date back to 2000 B.C. have been found around the lake, and jade, bone, and clay artifacts have been retrieved from its depth. High population density, over-exploitation of natural resources, and the shortage of water have caused the degradation of Lake Amatitlan and its watershed."

Kari also added that the lake is incredibly polluted, and as recent as 5 years ago people were advised even not to put their feet in the water! Yikes! But I digress. Because the spa is close to both a lake and a volcano (yep, the same one we climbed, Volcán Pacaya!), the water is naturally heated and sulfuric, hence the beautiful spa.

When we arrived, we each bought "Uno de todo" which in choppy Spanish is One of Everything, please! This included use of all of the pools and facilities, an hour massage (best massage of my life! A combination of shiatsu, relaxation, and deep muscle massage! Terrific.), a 30 minute "Reflexologia" (foot massage) and a clay facial. It was SUCH a clean and nice facility, with professional workers...I left my watch in the massage room and they actually KEPT it for me (as in, it did not "disappear" into a worker's purse).


As the website indicates, there are 16 thermal pools and 32 hot steam baths. We didn't do the hot steam baths because the weather outside was so inviting, we didn't want to stay indoors any longer than we had to! We also did not get in any of the hot/warm pools because we were already so warm from lying out and reading it didn't sound fun. It is wonderful to live in a country where the weather holds at a stead 75 degrees! Now that the rainy season is winding down, each day stays relatively clear and perfect.

Of course, lunch there was fantastic as well. We each ordered a "Smoothie Mora" (Blackberry!) and received dark purple smoothies that weighed as much as a Chipotle burrito. We were pretty sure they were made with blackberries and frozen yogurt. No one complained. While we worked on balancing tastiness and cold headaches, we ordered ceviche, which is sort of like a shrimp salsa: fresh tomatoes, onions, shrimp, and cilantro, topped with sliced avocado and doused in freshly squeezed lime juice. It was a perfect end to a perfect morning!

I cannot stress enough what a beautiful country we live in. Every single morning I get excited when I step out onto our balcony because it feels so wonderful. I keep waiting for it to get cold, and it just stays springtime. One day I will get around to posting pictures of the multitude of flowers that our campus has on it. It certainly doesn't feel like November is closing in.

5 comments:

Emily said...

Oh, to be the pool guy at Santa Teresita! And I had no idea it would be so temperate there all year round!I have the feeling that sometime around February my awe and wonderment will turn to jealousy and coveting...

kjl said...

Okay seriously, Chad and I HAVE to start planning our vacation to visit you now! That sounds amazing!

Kelly said...

I WANT TO GO NEXT TIME!

mandi said...

That is my perfect day (plus a little shopping:)! I definitely want to go there.

mandi said...
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