As I got to Sambo Creek from my tour to Cayos Cochinos, I could not miss the plume of steam rising from the Nombre de Dios National Park. It rose almost directly behind the Garifuna Community of Sambo Creek. Curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to find this mysterious place hidden in the tropical jungles of Atlantida. After asking a few questions, I had contacted a gentleman by the name of Zavala who picked me up at the Tourist Options center in Sambo and took me to the jungle hot springs. Zavala came for me in a safari like pick up truck that is painted to resemble a zebra. I hoped in the back of the truck and was off to my new adventure.
We went back to the CA13 highway and turned left, in the direction of Trujillo. Almost immediately, within one mile of highway I saw a small sign on the road that reads Sambo Creek Canopy. We took the dirt road detour and drove up to the mountain a short distance to a huge champa, or thatched roof hut. Total distance between both places? Less than 5 km! There, I got off, negotiated my fee and was ready to soak in the jungle hot springs! It turns out that you can choose between several options. You can enjoy the zip line and the hot springs, or only one of the above. As for the jungle hot springs, you can simply soak in the natural pools or you can get a mud bath and a massage.
Zip Line & Jungle Hot Springs
It was late, and I did not really have time for both, so I settled for the hot springs with the mud bath and massage. The Zip line has a total of 18 lines, the longest of which is over 1 km! Certainly, a must if you are into jungle zip lines! They drive you up the mountain to a spectacular lookout point, where you can see Sambo Creek as well as the Hog Cays in the blue Caribbean Sea. It was a clear day, and far in the horizon I could distinguish the outline of Roatan. From here a short hike takes you to the first platform where you begin the adventure of zipping through the jungle! They told me that after a few stops in platforms high up in the trees, you come back to the ground to see the exact point where the thermal water spring is.
I did take the time to see the spring itself. The water is way to hot to even touch it (Approximately 85 degrees Celsius). It flows down the mountain forming small waterfalls and cooling off as it rushes downhill. A cold-water creek follows a parallel route, and they are artificially merged to make the water temperature pleasant to the human body. As the water travels down the mountain slopes, it forms natural pools where you can enter to soothe your body and relax your soul. The sound of water falling, the wind flowing through the trees, and birds singing and chirping along provide the perfect setting to relax in these jungle hot springs. The higher you are, the hotter the water is.
It is evident that some construction has taken place to improve my experience in these lovely jungle hot springs. However, I must say that they have done so with respect to the natural harmony of the site! It was so nice to soak in the natural pools and lose the salt that my body still had from my snorkel experience at Cayos Cochinos. I could not believe that I was the only person here! A true lifetime experience and I did not have to share it with many other travelers. Another priceless experience in Atlantida!
While in the hot springs, one of the employees brought me fresh fruit on a floating platter. Imagine that, soaking in natural jungle hot springs and eating fresh tropical fruits at the same time! Then it was time for the mud bath. This mud reputedly has special cleansing powers that together with the hot water cleans your body. Who would have thought to rub mud on your body to cleanse it? After jumping back in the natural pools to clean the mud off myself I was ready for the massage.
They have some small open-air jungle huts where the process takes place. After soothing by body in the hot springs, I was quite relaxed. So, the feel of hands massaging my back almost made fall asleep! Listening to the water running and the jungle birds sing at the same time felt amazing. I wonder if heaven is something like this. At the end of this relaxing activity I was not up to the 25-minute ride back into town and decided to stay overnight at Sambo Creek. I was told the best hotel here is Villa Helens, and fortunately, they had a room available where I could stay!