Founded in 1536 by Spanish conquistador Juan de Chávez, GRACIAS lies in the shadow of the nearby Parque Nacional Celaque. It’s a hot and dusty cobbled town, but well located for day-trips to surrounding natural attractions, including the park and some natural hot springs, about an hour’s walk south or around L60 each way in a moto-taxi – you can arrange for one to come and collect you for the return leg. These are small pools purpose-built for bathing in the 36–39° waters; an on-site comedor serves basic meals.

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