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The Best Baja California Sur Hot Springs Excursion
We love a good day at the spa. Few things in life can compare to a body wrap, a salt scrub and some serene moments in the sauna. There are some absolutely amazing spas in Los Cabos as well. But every now and then, when you want to get away from it all, you really want to get away from it all. Man-made hot tubs and modern massage therapy just don’t cut it. You need to experience the natural pampering and soothing sensations that only Mother Nature can provide. And what better place to do that than a natural Los Cabos hot spring?
What are Hot Springs?
Credits: allmexico365 The Baja California Sur region, where Los Cabos is located, is sprinkled with hot springs situated in beautiful scenic landscapes. Thousands of years ago, seismic activity and volcanic eruptions formed Baja California. The result is the rocky, rugged coastline that everyone loves. It made unparalleled underwater environments and some of the most unique beachscapes in the world. Fortunately, there’s a little bit of that volcanic activity still going on. Divine geysers and springs of hot water bubble up from the earth to fill pools and ponds, making natural hot tubs that you can visit and relax in.
Locals and indigineous communities have known about these thermal pools for generations. In the past, citizens of Baja California Sur have harnessed these waters and built their homes around them. In 1940, Governor Augustin Olachea piped water from a thermal spring right into his home, creating his own private spa The major portion of natural, undeveloped land in the Baja California Sur area is called the Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere. This region is technically a reserve and is protected by the Mexican Government. The reserve is open to visitors, but some areas are protected from potentially harmful human activities. Because of that, many of the hot springs in the area are inaccessible. But not to worry, there are some breathtaking springs that you can visit while respecting and supporting the Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere.
The best Hot Springs experiences in Baja California Sur
El Chorro Hot Spring
credits: hereuntilthere The first stop on your Baja California Sur hot spring excursion is located in the small town of Santiago. This rural village has remained unchanged and has a lot of history. There are actually several hot springs in the area, and this one is the easiest to find. At El Chorro Hot Springs, you’ll be asked to pay a small entrance fee by a member of the Biosphere preservation team. The guard will help you park, and you can pay extra to camp overnight. Be sure to bring water, and pack food if you’re camping. The El Chorro Hot spring is a calm place located at the base of the Agua Caliente Canyon. The water comes down the canyon into a scenic pool. The water near the dam is warm, but the best spots are closer to the canyon wall.
Step into this thermal spring and you’ll feel a wave of healing energy pass through you. The water is soft and enhanced by minerals, which feels much different than your average chlorinated hot tub. Weekends tend to be busier, so go during the week. Getting There: Head north from Los Cabos on Highway #1 and drive past the Los Cabos International Airport. Follow the signs to Santiago. Once there, take a stop at the Santiago Zoo if you like, and then continue down the dirt road to the left until you reach the small village of Agua Caliente. Signs will point you to the El Chorro Hot Spring. This trip takes about one hour and twenty minutes.
Santa Rita Hot Spring
credits: martymagic The Santa Rita Hot Spring is close to the El Chorro Hot Spring, but you’ll want to get back in your car and drive back into town. You’ll take a different route, but ultimately end up at another stunning hot spring where you can soak your cares away while taking in the beauty of the Mexican mountains. There are little fish who will nibble away at your dry skin if you sit still enough. This hot spring is smaller than El Chorro, but also less visited. If you’re going on a weekday, you might be the only ones there to enjoy the tranquility. There’s a small entrance fee, once again to contribute to the conservation of the area. After you park, you’ll need to climb over some medium sized rocks before setting your eyes on the beauty of the Santa Rita Hot Spring. Getting there: Drive back to Agua Caliente and look for a sign on your left for San Jorge. It’s about 15 minutes away. You’ll drive up a hill until a left hand turn, which will take you to the hot spring.
San Jorge Hot Spring
The next hot spring near the town of Santiago is the San Jorge Hot Spring. This hot spring is the more elusive, but people who manage to find it are in for a treat. It features three small pools for you to recharge and relax in. The plant life around here is lush, so you’ll be in a tropical paradise while letting the mineral water purify your mind and body. Getting There: In the town of Santiago, take a right at the zoo instead. You’ll drive until you reach a small one-lane dirt road. At this point you’ll want to get out and walk, and this is where your hike begins. The path here is unmarked and some people can’t find the way. Your best bet is to hire a local guide to help you get there. Travel Tip: Ask your guide to take you to some other beautiful sights in the area. They’ll show you off-the-path hidden gems. The water isn’t warm, but if you want to cool down try the Cascada Sol Del Mayo Waterfall.
Natural Hot Springs of El Sargento
credits: quercusbaja The last hot spring on our list is probably its most unique experience. It might even be one of the strangest in the world! To find it, you’ll be traveling to a totally different area of Baja California Sur. Head north to the La Ventana/El Sargento shores. But don’t worry, it’s totally worth it to see this strange phenomenon that only occurs in a few places on earth. When you get to Hot Springs, the actual name of this beach, you’ll see what seems to be a regular beach. Look a little closer, and you’ll notice holes and displaced rocks spotting the shore. The hot springs here are actually hidden underneath the sands! Bring some small sand shovels and start digging. About 7 inches down you’ll start to feel hot water coming up from the ground. Do like the locals do and make yourself your own private hot tub. You can hop back and forth from the cool ocean waters and your personal hot spring. The best time to go is around noon on a weekday, when both crowds and tides are low. This is a two hour drive from Los Cabos, but it’s well worth it. La Ventana is actually a haven for water sports and adventure lovers, so you’ll definitely want to get up to some other activities while you’re there. It’s a perfect day trip. Getting There: Drive up Highway #1 for about an hour and a half, through San Bartolo and San Antonio. When you start seeing signs for La Ventana/El Sargento, look for a paved road on the right. Take this road and follow the signs to the beach town. This trip takes two and a half hours.
If you’re looking for other unique outdoor experiences, we’ve got an exciting itinerary of nature-based activities to help you plan your next trip. And if the hot springs have inspired you to explore the rest of the waters in Baja California Sur, learn more about the surrounding Sea of Cortez. When you’re ready to escape and experience some of the best natural spas the earth has to offer, make your way to Los Cabos. All these hot springs will be just a short drive away. When you stay with Elegant Mexico, you’ll have a luxury villa that you can come back to after your days of adventure. Enjoy exclusive resort treatment in complete privacy with yourself and your company. Book an exclusive Los Cabos vacation home for your next vacation in paradise.
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