If there were a ranking of the world's stinkiest hot springs, this one would definitely be at the top of the list.
I sank my body into the eerily bubbling green swamp.
Geothermal power plants
Among Mexico's geothermal resources, which are the fifth largest in the world, Los Azufres, located 150 miles west of the capital Mexico City, is an area of particularly high geothermal energy.
Plants that emitted steam with a rumbling sound were scattered throughout the forest.
Where there are geothermal resources, there are naturally hot springs.
Los Azufres Spa Natural is the most popular spa accommodation in the region.
As seen on the sign at the entrance, a model enjoying mud packs in a luxurious atmosphere was featured, and the desire to market along those lines was understood.
Upon entering the site after paying a fee of only 60 Mexican pesos, a strong sulfur smell wafted through the air.
A mass of rocks was spewing white smoke and volcanic gases, which seemed to be the main source of the odor.
Going further in, there were two green swamps, one large and one small, with the center part of the swamps blocked off.
Later, I would soak in these swamps.
There were campsites and cabins in the trees at the far end.
The cabins remained clean and new.
There was a small restaurant attached; and you could spend all day on the property if you wanted to.
There was a series of etiquette for soaking, and I was given a lecture by a staff at the beginning.
First, I changed into swimsuits in separate men's and women's changing rooms and stored the luggage in the car.
Next, I went into the larger swamp called Baño de lodo termal (mud bath) for 10 minutes.
The water was tepid, about 86 degrees F.
By the way, when I circled the two swamps, I found that although there were places where stream water was flowing in, it was not clearly flowing out of them.
I surmised from this that hot steam was gushing out of the bottom of the swamps and heating the water.
The swamp water, concentrated by the dissolution of hot spring elements, had a strange thickening.
Most of the mud baths were roped off and swimming was prohibited.
Intense bubbling was seen in the area.
There was a thick layer of mud at the bottom of the swamp.
You scoop it up yourself or use pre-stored mud and apply it to your body.
This is said to have skin beautifying effects, but it smells terrible.
Even with all the knowledge and experience I had, I could only recognize the smell as that of a ditch.
I felt it was mixed with the smell of decomposition.
Other customers were also stinking and smeared it all over their bodies.
Swamp from Temazcal
Next, I holed up in a Temazcal (steam bath) covered in mud for 15 minutes.
The primitive atmosphere of the hut was it.
It was filled with natural steam, which warmed me from the core.
Finally, I soaked in the smaller one called Baño de agua termal.
Temperatures ranged from 95 to 113 degrees F and varied widely from place to place.
Volcanic gases were erupting wildly from the bottom, and the surface of the water was rippling.
If you accidentally put your foot on the vent, it was so hot that you would jump up.
But still, was this stench really okay?
I took a careful shower on my way home, but the odor seeped into my body.
Los Azufres Spa Natural, Los Azufres, Michoacán, Mexico
Type: Walk-in, Lodging
Rule: Clothing required
Water temp: Up to 113 degrees F