Detour Worth Making: “Agua Caliente,” The World’s Only Hot Waterfall

Believe it or not, Guatemala is home to the world’s only hot waterfall. Known as “Agua Caliente,” the steaming waters from a thermal spring bubbling into the Rio Dulce pour over the falls into a cool pond below. Surrounded by foliage and ancient pocked rocks, Agua Caliente looks like a scene from a coming-of-age movie.

As if the anomaly of standing in cool waters as hot waters pour over you weren’t enough, visitors can creep behind the falls and find just enough room for a natural sauna, letting you steam from the shoulders up while staying cool down below. Como se dice, “Ahhhhh…”?

Located on the extreme northwest tip of Lake Izabal — Guatemala’s largest lake — Agua Caliente is relatively easy to reach, by car, bus, or boat. Moreover, it may be among the most picturesque destinations in the world, as this photo by Justin.Slammer proves.