Last Updated on September 18, 2023 by Nellie Huang
Looking to soak in therapeutic waters? Here’s our curated list of the best hot springs in Mexico.
Welcome to the realm of Mexico’s hot springs, where the Earth’s ancient energy emerges as soothing warmth, and time itself seems to slow within the embrace of mineral-rich waters. Whether you’re seeking to unwind and dissolve the knots of everyday stress or you’re simply intrigued by the work of Mother Nature, thermal pools have therapeutic waters that have the power to heal your soul and provide the respite you’re looking for.
From the petrified waterfalls of Hierve el Agua to the picture-perfect mountainside pools of Grutas Tolantongo, these thermal pools are not just sources of relaxation; they are stunning natural attractions that are well worth a visit. Join us as we delve into the best hot springs in Mexico, and get a glimpse of paradise on Earth.
Table of Contents
- Hot Springs in Mexico
- 1. Las Grutas Tolantongo, Hidalgo
- 2. la Gruta Spa, Guanajuato
- 3. Hierve el Agua, Oaxaca
- 4. Termas de San Joaquin, Coahuila
- 5. Aguas Termales Nuevo Ixtlan , Nayarit
- 6. Guadalupe Canyon, Baja California
- 7. Aguas Termales de Chignahuapan, Puebla
- 8. Las Huertas, Morelos
- 9. Ixtapan de la Sal, State of Mexico
- 10. Los Azufres, Michoacán
- What to Pack for Mexico Hot Springs
- Tips for Visiting Hot Spriings in Mexico
Hot Springs in Mexico
1. Las Grutas Tolantongo, Hidalgo
Easily the most photogenic of all Mexico hot springs, las Grutas Tolantongo is a series of hot springs perched on the mountaintop of Hidalgo in Central Mexico. With warm water tumbling over calcified travertine pools and cascading down waterfalls, Grutas Tolantongo is home to some of the most beautiful hot springs in Mexico. Read my detailed guide to Grutas Tolantongo.
It’s a 4-hour drive from Mexico City and a 4.5-hour drive from Guanajuato. Many locals only come for the day as the hotels here are overpriced and don’t accept online bookings (you need to show up and hope for the best). Getting to this remote part of the country isn’t straightforward, as you’ll need to navigate steep mountain roads and hair-raising corkscrew bends to get here. So if you’re not confident driving here, your best bet is to book a day tour.
Tolantongo may look laidback and calm in my photos — but make no mistake, it gets crowded on weekends with multi-generational Mexican families. We highly recommend staying the night in one of the hotels here, so you can rise early and visit the thermal pools just as they open (at 7.30am). You’ll get to feel the magic of the place without anybody around you. The crowd starts streaming in from 9am onwards.
2. la Gruta Spa, Guanajuato
Thanks to its location in the central highlands, San Miguel Allende is surrounded by natural hot springs that are constantly bubbling with curative waters. Of all the hot springs in San Miguel, La Gruta Spa is perhaps my favorite. But la Gruta Spa isn’t any ordinary spa — it’s a series of hot springs pools and caverns that are designed with special aesthetics.
The star of the show at La Gruta San Miguel de Allende is the Gruta, a man-made cavern said to be the source of the hot spring water. To get there, you’ll first need to weave your way through a narrow stone tunnel filled with clear blue hot spring waters.
The tunnel leads to a domed-shaped grotto, where you can stand under the natural hot spring shower as water flows from a sprout in the roof. As this is the source of the spring, it can be quite hot and steamy here. The water is also at 1.2m deep, as such children under the age of 3 are not allowed to enter. Those with heart conditions are also not allowed to enter the cave. Here’s how to visit la Gruta Spa.
3. Hierve el Agua, Oaxaca
One of the most unique geological formations I’ve ever seen, Hierve el Agua is a series of natural mineral springs and petrified waterfalls perched on a clifftop overlooking the Oaxaca Valley. At just 70km east of Oaxaca City, it’s definitely one of the best places to vist in Oaxaca.
The name “Hierve el Agua” translates to “the water boils,” and refers to the natural springs that bubble up from the ground and create pools of mineral water. The water temperature is actually pretty low; technically it’s not a hot spring. But the petrified falls and mineral pools are an absolutely stunning natural formation that’s equal parts unique and beautiful.
But Hierve el Agua is more than just a beautiful destination — it’s also a place of cultural and historical significance for the people of Oaxaca. The Zapotec people, an indigenous group that has inhabited the region for thousands of years, believe that the mineral-rich waters of Hierve el Agua have healing properties and have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. Read my guide to these Oaxaca waterfalls.
4. Termas de San Joaquin, Coahuila
More than a thousand springs have been discovered in the state of Coahuila in northern Mexico. The most famous of them all is perhaps the San Joaquín Hot Springs, located in Ramos Arizpe, just 45 minutes from Saltillo (the capital of Coahuila).
Termas de San Joaquin has five domed pools that vary in temperature, from a balmy 31ºC to scorching 43ºC. You can soak in pools of sulphurous waters under attractive brick vaults reminiscent of Roman baths. The ethereal setting reminds of the hammams in Turkey. Backdropped by the beautiful mountains of Coahuila, the bath makes for an excellent weekend retreat (you can stay at its beautiful hotel).
It’s not mandatory to stay at the hotel to enjoy the bath; you can visit the baths for 250MXN per person (kids under 12 enter for free). There are changing areas, food and drink as well. If you want to pamper yourself, the hotel also offers the massages and beauty treatments as well.
5. Aguas Termales Nuevo Ixtlan , Nayarit
Located along the sun-kissed shores of Nayarit, Aguas Termales Nuevo Ixtlan is a small but inviting oasis, offering a unique twist on the typical beachside getaway. Unlike the endless stretches of sandy beaches that Puerto Vallarta is renowned for, this spot transports visitors into a world of natural thermal wonders and soothing waters.
Set against a backdrop of lush tropical foliage and serene landscapes, Aguas Termales Nuevo Ixtlan features 20 hot spring pools of varying sizes, some can just accommodate a few people and others a bit larger to accommodate more guests. And although there are many hot spring pools available, each pool is designated for a single group of people. Once you are assigned to a pool, you must stay there.
The water temperature here hovers around 35°C (95°F). The water is odorless and tasteless, yet with a milky appearance due to the high mineral content. The hot spring pools are tucked deep in the lush forest, and you’re literally surrounded by thick trees in every direction.
6. Guadalupe Canyon, Baja California
Nestled in the rugged mountains of northern Baja California, the family-owned Guadalupe Canyon Oasis Hot Springs must be the most unique of all the Mexico hot springs. Thousands of years of river action have formed a deeply-cut canyon strewn with picturesque granitic boulders, creating the perfect backdrop for your weekend get-away.
The hot springs are located within the Sierra de Cucapah, a mere 60 km away from the Mexicali-Tijuana highway. Interwoven among the deep water pools and tubs lies a palm tree grove which brings nourishment and sustenance to the surrounding area.
Affectionately referred to as the “Oasis in the Desert,” the moment you step into this sanctuary, its moniker springs to life. An astonishing array of hot springs weave through the landscape, forming a mosaic of pools beckoning you to immerse yourself in their warm embrace. Each pool becomes a sanctuary of relaxation, where the cares of the world drift away on the currents of the soothing waters.
7. Aguas Termales de Chignahuapan, Puebla
Situated in the charming town of Chignahuapan in the state of Puebla, Aguas Termales de Chignahuapan is known for its natural hot springs and therapeutic waters. Honestly the hot spring pools look like any other modern pools (not as natural or attractive as other hot springs in this list), but the pools are really hot and the myriad of slides and indoor spa make it perfect for a family retreat.
Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Puebla, the hot spring park has a series of thermal baths and pools that cater to different preferences. The town’s elevation of approximately 2,400 meters (7,874 feet) above sea level contributes to the cooler climate, making the warm thermal waters even more inviting. The pools are often surrounded by well-maintained gardens and lush greenery, enhancing the overall tranquility of the environment.
Beyond the hot springs, the town of Chignahuapan itself is a charming destination worth exploring. Visit its vibrant markets, admire colonial architecture, and stop by the famous Basilica of the Immaculate Conception — there’s plenty to do here. Chignahuapan is also renowned for its artisanal production of Christmas ornaments, which are widely sought after during one of the most important Mexican holidays.
8. Las Huertas, Morelos
Nestled within the captivating landscapes of Morelos (just south of Mexico City), the rustic but naturally stunning Las Huertas is considered a secret in this list of hot springs in Mexico. What truly distinguishes Aguas Termales de Santa Teresa is its remarkable setting —the thermal sanctuary has a series of tiered pools resembling a waterfall.
The mineral-infused waters of Las Huertas have long been revered for their potential therapeutic virtues. Whether seeking to unwind after a strenuous adventure or to dissolve the knots of everyday stress, the thermal pools offer a unique blend of warmth and serenity. It’s not merely a soak; it’s an immersion into the embrace of a living geological wonder.
Set in the heart of Morelos, with its favorable climate and accessible location from Mexico City, Las Huertas serves as an oasis of tranquility for seekers of serenity. The proximity to urban life juxtaposed with the ethereal ambiance of the cave pools makes it an ideal destination for a rejuvenating day escape or a weekend retreat.
9. Ixtapan de la Sal, State of Mexico
The pueblo magico, Ixtapan de la Sal, is well known for having the most hot springs in Mexico. The most popular hot spring in town is the balneario municipal, where small hydromassage pools and a thermal mud bath await.
At the heart of this haven lies the expansive central pool, its waters invitingly warm, mirroring the embrace of the mud pool. Nearby, a smaller circular pool awaits, its waters more translucent, a gentle stream of warmth flowing through its depths. The mud pools are a shade of brownish green, so even though they don’t look too inviting, they’re actually really warm and therapeutic.
This is one of the most popular hot springs near Mexico City, so naturally it’s always crowded with Chilangos (locals from Mexico City) and makes for an excellent day trip from Mexico city. Try to avoid coming on weekends so you can have the whole place to yourself!
10. Los Azufres, Michoacán
Los Azufres is a series of natural hot springs located in the mountainous region of the eastern sector of the state of Michoacán, near the city of Morelia. The name “Los Azufres” translates to “The Sulfurs” in English, highlighting the high sulfur content of the springs.
Beyond the hot springs, Los Azufres is surrounded by mountains and volcanic formations, crisscrossed by hiking trails and horseriding paths. There are several resorts and spa facilities in the Los Azufres area that offer accommodation with their own private thermal pools and spa treatments. You can stay in really cool A-roof mountain cabins and even a glass-roofed lodge and club house.
Los Azufres is relatively accessible by road, and it’s a popular weekend getaway for both locals and tourists. The drive from Morelia takes about 1.5 to 2 hours. Sadly due to the popularity of Los Azufres, there has been some concern about the impact of tourism on the local ecosystem.
What to Pack for Mexico Hot Springs
Some of these hot springs in Mexico have slippery surfaces so you’ll NEED water shoes. If you don’t have water shoes, sandals or KEEN shoes will suffice. I wore my Teva sandals inside many of these thermal pools and to go hiking around the area.
You’ll also need a waterproof phone holder if you’re planning to take photos. I bought one for 150 MXN (US$7.5) in one of the shops, but it’s not the best quality.
Packing List for Hot Springs in Mexico
- Bathing suit
- Microfiber quick-dry towel
- Water shoes
- Waterproof sun hat
- Breathable, quick dry t-shirts
- Hiking pants
- Light jacket
- Hiking shoes
- Waterproof dry bag
- Waterproof phone holder
- Reef safe sunscreen
- DEET bug spray
- GoPro & charger
- Power bank
- Book or Kindle
Tips for Visiting Hot Spriings in Mexico
Thank you for reading this far! I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of the best hot springs in Mexico. There’s an impressive amount of hot springs in Mexico, and many of them are within easy reach from hubs like Mexico City and Oaxaca. Some of the hot springs that didn’t make it to the list but are worth visiting include San Juan Cosalá in Lago Chapala near Guadalajara and Rekowata Thermal Pools near Creel, Chihuahua.
Which of these hot springs in Mexico have you been? Let me know if you have any questions in the comments field below. I’ll be more than happy to answer them!
For those who are planning to travel more of Mexico, check out some of these articles:
- Grutas Tolantongo Hot Springs Guide
- Hierve el Agua: Oaxaca Waterfalls
- How to Visit la Gruta San Miguel de Allende
- 30 Things to Do in San Miguel de Allende
- 30 Fun Things to Do in Guanajuato
- 5 Days in Mexico City Itinerary
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links i.e. if you book a stay through one of my links, I get a small commission at NO EXTRA COST to you. Thank you for your support!
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