Finca paraiso

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Our time traveling has sent us to many unexpected places, but until today, never have we traveled far out of our way to complete a single hike. However, we have learned that Guatemala’s intricate landscape has so many treasures hidden within it. Traveling for a day to see a single spectacle is a task quite typical here. It was in this mindset that we made our way east from Antigua, out toward the caribbean coast. Our destination: Rio Dulce. A town made up mainly of sailors and farmers. But our reason for this escapade was to see a waterfall– one fed by a hot spring.

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There are few sites that I can so easily describe as breathtaking, but as we made our way up the rickety trail I found myself lacking any other explanation. The cold, clear river runs to the side of the trail, subtle white water rapids rumble and smooth rock formations embrace the flow. Each turn of the trail is picturesque, but none are more enticing than than the initial view of this waterfall. Steam rising from the top, a cold basin below, and thick layers of travertine climb the rock walls. The view, the experience–it is all so unreal that it feels like a fairytale.

We swam into the cold water and made our way over to the heavy falling water at the other end. Sure enough, the water flowing in from above was hot– as hot as a jacuzzi. We each dipped a hand into the flow and started laughing. The hot water, the cold water, the fact that this natural wonder was so unique and untethered by tourism…and of course, the beauty. Little caves peaked out from behind the waterfall, and more rock formations around the corner offered hiding places for weary travelers to relax under the steaming water. We were captivated.

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