Hot Springs and Hot Tubs: Getting into Hot Water in Baja Norte!
By Tom Gatch
Unlike many regions within the Republic of Mexico, Baja California was originally formed by intense seismic activity and massive volcanic eruptions that have also helped to create the rugged, rocky coastline for which the peninsula has become famous.
One beguiling aspect of this type of terrain is an abundance of hydrothermal aquifers that hold seemingly infinite quantities of scalding hot, mineralized water that often comes bubbling up to the surface in some of the most unexpected places. And while these areas can certainly be found throughout Baja California, they seem to be more common and easily accessible in Baja California, the northern part of the peninsula. From hot springs to hot tubs, here is more information about northern Baja and its thermal treasures.
Sometimes this phenomenon occurs immediately adjacent to the coast, as in the case of the Puertecitos hot springs located on the Sea of Cortez about 50 miles south of San Felipe. Here, bathers can relax in purely primitive surroundings as they slowly work their way around inside the rocky pools to find just the right temperature. And then there is the Canyon Guadalupe, which is just 40 miles southwest of Mexicali. Here, you can find hot springs and hot tubs — even your own private ones — to your heart’s content!
The benefits related to soaking in hot mineral water have been known and embraced for centuries, and for those who prefer to enjoy this luxurious experience in a more controlled and civilized setting, northern Baja is definitely the place to visit.
One of the most conveniently located hot springs, Rancho San Carlos, lies only a few miles south of downtown Ensenada. Situated near the popular Baja Country Club and golf course, it offers a great venue for family fun in and around the mineral baths. Rancho San Carlos features eight different natural pools, as well as cabins for overnight lodging and other outdoor recreational activities that include a rock climbing wall and several bicycle paths.
For those who would seek out an even more bucolic venue, Rancho Agua Caliente, which is about an hour’s drive south of Ensenada, offers a unique geothermal resource along with a delightfully potable artesian spring of exceptional quality. As a matter of fact, in a laboratory analysis of this pristine water that was performed by the prestigious international brewing firm, Interbrew of Belgium, it was determined to be comparable in quality and taste to some of the leading natural bottled waters around the world, including Evian and Perrier.
The main hot spring feeds enough hot water to constantly fill two large swimming pools with a continuous flow of both hot and cold mineral water. There are also eight exclusive Roman style baths where guests can experience the opulence of having a private mineral spa that they can enjoy in the privacy of their own room. The property has been listed in numerous travel publications including the AAA guides and maps as being one of Baja’s most prominent hot-spring resorts. And in past decades, Hollywood movie stars such as Anthony Quinn and other famous artists of that era were frequent guests.
Although many visitors to Baja California may very well end a busy day of sightseeing, shopping and dining by relaxing with couple of stiff margaritas, it is still nice to know that there is yet another option for getting yourself into hot water.
‘Hooked on Baja’ author & columnist, Tom Gatch, is one of Baja’s foremost writers with a focus upon outdoor and recreational topics in Baja and southern California.
Want to find out more about traveling hot springs and hot tubs in Baja Norte? Where to stay, what to do? Read more on Baja.com!
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