A Unique Tour of Hervideros de San Jacinto
If you’re visiting Nicaragua and would like to experience something somewhat unique, give the Hervideros de San Jacinto a try. The attraction is situated on the southeast flank of the Telica Volcano and it bubbles and froths busily in the shadow of this 1 060 meter smoking giant.
So what exactly is the Hervideros de San Jacinto? Imagine a nest of boiling mud pits and steamy plumes created by thermal vents and you’ll pretty much be picturing this fascinating geological attraction. All the vents are fueled by the same underground geothermal activity that has created the towering volcanic giant that rests nearby. In fact, it is believed that the vents once belonged to a volcano named Santa Clara. A long, winding flight of stairs will take you down into this basement of mud and steam – nature’s day spa. The area is still relatively undeveloped and so there is a lot of attractive vegetation nearby.
Though the Hervideros de San Jacinto has the potential to be a major tourist attraction, it is still relatively untapped. Upon arriving you will find the entrance marked, not only by a massive arch, but by a group of women and children who are trying to sell mementos related to the hot springs. Young boys will usually offer to guide you around the pits for $20. Unlike in other places where this sort of thing might be discouraged, here it is a good idea since, not only will you be better able to avoid falling into a scalding hot mud bath with their guidance, but you will be supporting the local economy. There are plans to set up a new hotel in the area as well as initiate a few community-based tourism projects in the area, but so far these are still distant goals for the future.
Perhaps the most alluring aspect of the Hervideros de San Jacinto is the fact that the mud is said to have extremely good curative powers and it has been proven to effectively help cure several skin conditions. Health spas regularly seek out mineral-enriched volcanic mud such as this for use in expensive beauty treatments. However you may want to avoid dipping your hands into the pits to get yourself a little free mud – the pits are boiling hot! A visit to this natural health spa is a great idea for a day trip from Leon. You’ll find them near the village of San Jacinto, a mere 25 kilometers from Leon.