In Northwestern Uruguay
The hot springs located in the northwestern part of Uruguay, are a true gift of nature, it is one of the largest reservoirs of groundwater in the world.
Thanks to the aquifer Guaraní that occupies Argentinean, Paraguayan, Brazilian and Uruguayan territories, many private resorts, public campgrounds and water parks have been able to develop an impressive string of services around these curative waters.
Nature, peace, health, beauty but also fitness are some of the qualities featured by the venues in the hot springs of Uruguay which can be enjoyed at all seasons.
What is special about this water?
The benefits of hot springs have been known and used from early times as a source of health. The hot springs from Uruguay have a high content of mineral salts, calcium, iodine, iron and magnesium and at the same time are poor in sulfates and nitrates. The water tastes nice and it is odorless and it is highly recommended for medical treatment of various ailments.
The water temperature ranges between 38°C and 48°C and every resort offers pools with different temperatures. The most popular hot Spring resorts are Dayman, Arapey, Salto Grande, Guaviyú, San Nicanor and Almirón. All offering different prices yet all surrounded by beautiful outlying areas for exploring, and nearby laid back small towns to relax.
Hot Springs and nature.
Visitors are discovering an authentical Uruguayan experience that comes without sacrificing the comforts of the coastal regions of Uruguay. The great tranquility surrounding with high quality services is one of the main attractions. The healing properties of the water coming from the aquifers are enjoyed in the open air and closed hot springs surrounded in a serene natural environment perfect for relaxing.
New progress under way
The hot Springs were fully developed in the late 70s but in recent years Uruguay has been aiming at making a difference. The initial step was to define touristic regions, and the northwestern region is nowadays a well known destination for the hot springs. This has not happened in one day. Along this process Uruguay has been able to identify their market, offering a very clear idea of what to find in the hot springs of the northwestern region.
At the same time hotels, restaurants and services have been developing joint strategies to cater for regional and international visitors. The Ministry of Tourism and private operators are working together to expand and improve the supply of the thermal corridor and also to capture an audience of higher socioeconomic status. To make this happen, new therapy thermal spas, remodeled pools, more shops and new hotels are replacing the old infrastructure.
The spa in the hot springs of Almirón for instance, has the latest technology aimed at healing and soothing treatments for the body. This is the only salty water spring in the region and includes much more effective restorative properties than the fresh water. The lists of projects are extensive. There is a call for bids in Paysandu to build a four star hotel with 40 rooms in the area and several investors purchased 40 plots in Almirón and 20 more near the hot springs of Guaviyú where a project to build restaurants, lodges, bungalows and small shopping centers, among other tourist services is being developed.
The new projects will enhance the region. The aim is that the northwestern hot springs have luxurious spaces and better infrastructure with more varied alternatives. The efforts are already paying off. The population has increasingly diversified and many operators have already confirmed 800.000 visitors up-to-date and warned that 3 months in advance booking is necessary for February and March 2014. The estimate is that in less than two years the hot springs of Uruguay will become the most popular tourist destination, even in the summer season.
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By Mary Ann Thompson.