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Healing Body, Mind and Soul in the Sacred Thermal Water, Born of the Earth, at Copán

Modern-day explorer, Bel Woodhouse has discovered an ancient Mayan treasure hidden in the jungles of Honduras. Luna Jaguar Hot Springs Eco-Spa, operated by the descendants of the Maya Civilization of Copán, celebrates the sacred thermal waters, ancient Mayan ways of mystical transformation and the cycle of eternal renewal...

For an exquisite moment during my vast Central American travels, I swear these divine thermal hot springs, deep in the jungles of Honduras, healed my soul. Luna Jaguar Spa is a beacon of ancient healing and eco-friendly tourism, located 22 km (14 mi) N of the Mayan ruins of Copán and named to honour the 10th ruler of this ancient city. Blending almost seamlessly into the jungle this outdoor open-air spa rejuvenates every cell of your being and leaves you in complete peace and harmony with nature. 

The nature lover/explorer in me adored the five-minute adventure, filled with mystical tradition, to get to the hot springs, taking it all in with wonder-filled eyes. The first step, crossing a suspended bridge over a rushing river, into the symbolic spirit world.  Then, passing through huge stone pillars before braving Mayan warrior sentinels standing guard outside the entrance to the underworld. Yes, that's half the fun, freeing your mind of fear and passing through the darkness of the underworld to reach the renewing rituals of the hot springs, ultimately to be born anew. 

Adding a touch of realism and drama to the underworld, you can just make out the skulls silently watching from the root covered walls. For added effect, the temperature drops inside as water trickles down cooling the semi-dark tunnel. 

You carefully navigate through the skull laden walls, fearful, if you slip, your outstretched hand may end up sticking a finger in an ancient's eye. 

Emerging to skip over stepping stones in a pond, you have passed the final challenge and your lungs fill with pure oxygen-rich fresh air. The jungle smells like time - that wonderful grounding smell of the earth breaking things down - as you wind your way along perfectly maintained pathways, over small footbridges and through vine-covered walkways.  

Then, rounding a corner the most beautiful sight meets your eyes. As if filled with mother nature's breath, a slight mist hangs in the air around tiered thermal pools. The higher you go, the hotter they are and the more steam is evident, until closest to the source, thermal waters spill from the earth where huge billowing clouds erupt.

These tiers, acting as nature's temperature control, cool the water tumbling to the pool below in a series of small graceful waterfalls. 

Slide into any of the pools, depending on your heat preference, and let the healing thermal waters do their work. Or, make your way to the very top and into the temple treatment room for a massage. Stradling the thermal stream closest to the source, great steam clouds constantly encase you like a natural sauna. These vapours cleanse and rejuvenate while relaxing your body, taking treatments to the next level.

Afterwards, mother nature's pampering continues with a long soak in the lukewarm purification pool at the very bottom of the hot springs. Here, a large carved volcanic rock trough holds healing thermal mud enriched with minerals from deep within the earth. Extracting the toxins from your body, some people use it as a face mask, others coat their entire bodies to get the maximum benefit from the amazing mud.   

Laying back letting my eyes soak in the various shades of green of the jungle canopy while watching birds and wildlife move through it, I was in awe of the natural beauty. It's easy to see why the Maya believed this place to hold special meaning and healing powers. 

Their descendants are the ones who care for and perfectly maintain this jungle eco-spa paradise. Kept as natural as possible, harmony with nature enhances the deep relaxation, rejuvenation and renewal of every cell in your body.

Having visited hot springs in New Zealand, Indonesia, Bali, Guatemala and Costa Rica I can tell you these sacred waters do hold special healing. By the time I left, I felt an entire body rejuvenation, truly pampered and healed in a way I'd never thought possible. To this day, I am thankful to Jaguar Luna Spa for healing every part of me - mind, body and soul. 

Thinking of going? Visit the Re-Creation Directory to find out more about the Luna Jaguar Hot Springs Eco-Spa Experience, including COVID-19 reservation protocols.

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