The silica concentration of 26 Guatemalan geothermal waters were analyzed colorimetrically (spectrophotometrically) and by atomic absorption. Results by the atomic absorption method were less affected by polymerization and precipitation of silica from supersaturated solutions. Shaking the samples prior to analysis improves the accuracy of the atomic absorption results. The advantages of colorimetric analysis over atomic absorption are better sensitivity and precision. However, for accurate colorimetric results, geothermal samples must be sufficiently diluted in the field, which ensures that no further polymerization occurs and that amorphous silica that may be present will redissolve. If the samples are not diluted in the field they should be diluted in the laboratory and left standing for at least a month to allow the silica to redissolve. If analyzed immediately the diluted samples should be made alkaline and heated overnight in a 90?? oven. ?? 1983.