Thermal Pools of Paipa Colombia

We are off to the thermal pools of Paipa. We’ve just had a great few days at Villa de Leyva exploring the Terracotta Casa and many other places around the colonial town. We’ve stayed a few days longer as we needed to sort out funds being skimmed from my Travel Money Card which left me very upset, naturally.

Thermal Pools of Paipa Colombia


thermal pools of Paipa

©Exploramum and Explorason – Enjoying the sulfur-green water

By the way – this town of ‘Paipa’ is pronounced “Piper”.

Our Accommodation Adjacent to the Thermal Pools of Paipa

thermal pools of Paipa

©Exploramum and Explorason – our lovely retro hotel in Paipa

Incredible! – we found this wonderful retro hotel online Hotel cabañas El Portón with great access to the thermal pools of Paipa. What was great is that we were the only guests in the whole huge place!

This hotel is traditionally Colombian in so many ways. Sure it is a little tired, but it was neat, clean and the owner spoke English – a definite plus for us.

Our room was nice and warm and had an ensuite with hot shower, bunk beds, a TV and a mini bar.

Hotel Gardens

Outside of our hotel room were lovely gardens – well maintained and with a great terrace. I love the old wagon in the garden too.

The lovely old veranda was great for a quiet read in the morning.


One of the things I loved about this place was the breakfast. Served by a Colombian older lady in a maid uniform in an antique dining room.

She took our order, and we had a bit of a hand with Google Translate with their Wi-fi. Then out it came on a silver tray so we, therefore, felt very special.


We only stay one night here was the noise with the trucks. Also, the noise with the discos and nightclubs and bars across the road until 2:00 a.m. was not flash either. But the location to the thermal pools is great.

The first afternoon we found a reasonably priced souvenir shop in town. We had walked in to find the Recycle Museum, but it had closed down.

So, we headed back to go to and have a relax in the thermal pools.

Thermal Pools of Paipa

That afternoon the hotel manager gave us a card to present at a nearby hotel with a thermal pool as now we find out there are many places that the pools are located. The card gave us a discount which was good, as we didn’t bring a lot of money because of the theft on our travel money card with limited withdrawals.

Swimming Caps

thermal pools of Paipa

©Exploramum and Explorason – Great time of relaxing as mother and son in the pool

We also had to buy these protective hair swimming caps – the whole pool looked like the top of an operating theatre!

Thermal Pool Area

thermal pools of Paipa

©Exploramum and Explorason – Beautiful pool atrium

This water looks foul. But it makes your skin feel so soft. You can’t sink either – well it is super sulfury and salty!

New Friends

The best thing was a ten-year-old girl who made friends with my son. She knew some English. She taught him some Spanish. It was hours of freedom – whilst I relaxed.

Lost ID Bracelet And Walk To Police Station

We discovered on return to our hotel that night that my son had lost his I.D. Bracelet.  Then there was very little sleep with the traffic and partying across the way.

We head down the road the next day to the police station and walked around Lake Sochagota. It is a really pretty area with near-perfect hills all around.

I am standing under the shade sails on the side. Local vendors are setting up for the day.

The Scariest Experience As a Parent

So, we went to the police to report the lost bracelet. They had four policemen basically give me a mild interrogation about my personal life, and that I completely understood – even if it was all in Spanish and it left me sick in the stomach.  I knew they were talking about me being alone as a single mother, and next they wanted to put Explorason in one room, and me in another to ask questions.

All we wanted to do was to report the lost bracelet, but it backfired and they wouldn’t let us go.  I had to use the bathroom as my stomach churned so much, I felt sick inside.  We had to get out of this station fast so they don’t take Explorason off me. When I had a second alone with Explorason I had to get him to pretend he was going to be sick and to go back to the hotel.

Followed By The Police

We locked ourselves in our hotel room feeling completely shaken. Next, we had to wait for the hotel manager to return so we could get our passports out of the safe. Packing frantically we throw things in our bags but in the mad rush, I left all the clothes I had drying in the bathroom behind!

We decided to head to a major city to replace the lost ID bracelet, and really to get away from the police.  Two police beeped us as we went back to the hotel.
We felt followed, and very ill at ease.

That, and the lack of sleep from the night before. We knew this night would be worse. It was the weekend – and the drinking and partying would be all night.

A Mad Dash

We waiting until there were no police cars outside and dashed to the mini-van station and could not wait to get in the van.  We hid low in the seats; Explorason lying on my lap faining illness.

The Minivan must have been stopped four times by police at checkpoints and searched but they seemed not to look at us, but we were shaken and quite petrified.

Back In Bogota

By the time we arrived back at Bogota both myself and Explorason was both a nervous mess.  Returning to our familiar hostel where our bags were stored, I could not wait to leave Colombia.  We booked a room at the very back top of the hostel where we could see the angel on the hill and that gave me peace.

Colombia had become a country we no longer enjoyed.  After the skimming of Travel Money Cards and now this, we booked the next plane out.


It took weeks for me to recover from the fear that the authorities might have taken my son from me.

Shame, as there are some towns we really did love in Colombia. I vowed I would never return with my child under age to Colombia again.

Questions and Comments:

  • Have you ever been to a mud pool or thermal pool?
  • Did you enjoy it or not?
  • Tell us why in the comments below.

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