photo credit: lavalovebend.com
The mud bath has its roots in ancient tradition as a way to detoxify the body and heal various ailments, from general muscle aches and pains to arthritis and psoriasis. Even Cleopatra was said to treat herself with mud from the Dead Sea—and if it’s good enough for Cleopatra…well, you know!
Share in the healing powers by visiting one of the following far-flung destinations and slipping into a pretty little puddle of mud.
Golden Haven Hot Springs and Resort, Calistoga, CA
One of several Calistoga spots offering mud baths and spa treatments using the town’s naturally occurring mineral springs, Golden Haven’s specialty is the mud bath for couples. The experience begins with a soak in a bath of clay, peat, and hot springs mineral water, which relaxes muscles and joints, detoxifies, and softens the skin. Next guests rinse off in a hot springs shower, followed by a relaxing soak in a private Jacuzzi and a comforting blanket wrap to cool down. Your hardworking muscles will thank you!
The Mud Baths of Dalyan, Turkey
For a true Mediterranean adventure, tour the southwestern coast of Turkey and stop in to the quiet town of Dalyan for a purifying dip in its ancient natural mud baths. Rumor has it that celebrities like Sting, Jack Nicholson, David Bowie, and the original mud queen, Cleopatra, have all made pilgrimages to the hamlet. Try to ignore the strong odors of hydrogen, sulfur, and bromide as you let the smooth mud dry on your body. Then it’s time to rinse off for fresh, tight, and exfoliated skin.
The Sulphur Springs at Soufriere Volcano, St. Lucia
As if you needed more enticement to visit the romantic, lush island of St. Lucia: It is also home to a drive-in volcano with mineral-rich hot springs and mud baths. The surrounding rocks are stained green and the smell is pungent, but the (extremely hot) natural mud baths promise healthier, purified skin—if you can stand the steam!
Volcano Totumo, Cartagena, Colombia
Just a short drive from central Cartagena, on the Caribbean coast, is one of the most unique natural experiences in the world. On the edge of a big lagoon sits a small volcano (about five stories high) with a mud bath inside. For a $2 entrance fee (plus tip), bold health seekers climb up a ladder and are lowered into the volcano, where a masseuse massages the mud into their scalp and along their muscles.
Alternately cold and hot, smooth and grainy, the mud is thick, gray—and, as many adventurers swear, truly transformative!
Piedra de Agua, Cuenca, Ecuador
Heat things up at this contemporary hot-spring spa, which harnesses the area’s natural thermal powers. Choose from two types of bath, red mud and blue (or both), to revitalize your skin. The red mud bath is full of magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, calcium, potassium, zinc, and sodium and combats aging, dry skin, and hair loss, among other issues. The minerals in the mud allow it to behave like a peeling agent, sloughing away oils while the treatment stimulates circulation and healing. The spa offers Turkish steam baths, limestone massage caves, and an on-site restaurant, too.