The perfect remedy for limbs aching from all that traveling, especially if you’ve just slogged up to the top of Sierra de Celaque , is a visit to the aguas termales.
The cheapies are about five kilometers east of Gracias , a couple of bumpy kilometers off the road to La Esperanza . The first set, Balneario LM, has three stone pools—one at 40°C (104°F), the other two at 37°C (99°F)—are built around the springs, surrounded by large trees and thick vegetation. One of the pools is long enough to take a few swimming strokes across, a very pleasurable experience in the warm water. A small restaurant at the pools serves up soft drinks, beers, and snacks and meals, and a barbecue pit is available for rent.
The second set of four pools, Presidente, is a bit lower down, and pleasant but not quite as warm. There is one shallow pool perfect for kids, and at the pool off to the right ask the locals to show you the sulfur stone that can be crushed on the spot into a facial mask. The lower pools have a snack bar selling chips, sodas, and beer, as well as changing rooms and restrooms. Bring your own towels. Both sets of pools are open 5 a.m.–11 p.m. or later daily, and cost US$1.50. Reputedly there will soon be massages available here.
To get there without a car, hire a mototaxi for US$3 (one way), hitch a ride up the La Esperanza  road to the turnoff, or start walking up the road and keep an eye out for a path heading off to the right—a shortcut to the pools, just past the second bridge outside of town. It takes about 90 minutes walking by the road and about an hour by the trail—or just 10 minutes if you have your own wheels.
Alternatively, head seven kilometers toward Santa Rosa de Copán  to reach Termas del Río (5 a.m.–11 p.m. daily, US$5.25), a complex that offers nature trails, horseback rides, children’s play equipment, massages, barbecue pits, and handicapped access, in addition to the pools.
In addition to the fantastic hiking on Sierra de Celaque, there are a number of trails in the foothills near Gracias . There is a trail map available at the Hotel Guancascos , indicating paths that lead to the thermal baths, or through the aldeas (villages) around Gracias.
Horseback riding can be arranged through Hotel Guancascos, US$42 for one person, US$53 for two, and US$21 per person for three or more, including transportation and a guide.