Last Updated on February 22, 2023 by Nellie Huang
Interested in visiting la Gruta spa? Here’s my guide to help you plan a trip to the hot springs in San Miguel de Allende.
With a rich history and distinct European flair, San Miguel de Allende is world renown for its treasure trove of historical sites and architecture. But did you know that the city is also surrounded by a multitude of wineries and hot springs?
Thanks to its location in the central highlands, the area surrounding San Miguel Allende is dotted with natural hot springs that are constantly bubbling with curative waters. Soaking in these hot springs is one of the best things to do in San Miguel de Allende, especially in the cold winter months.
Of all the hot springs in San Miguel, La Gruta Spa is perhaps the most attractive and famous. 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. In this blog post, I’ll be sharing everything I’ve learned from my recent visit to La Gruta Spa.
Table of Contents
- A Guide to La Gruta Spa
- Why Visit La Gruta Hot Springs?
- Best Time to Visit La Gruta Spa
- Mexico Travel Requirements
- How to Get to La Gruta, San Miguel de Allende
- How much Time do You Need at La Gruta?
- Cost of La Gruta Spa
- Things to Know Before Going to La Gruta Spa
- Things to Do at La Gruta Spa
- The Spa at La Gruta
- Restaurant in La Gruta
- Facilities at La Gruta
- Where to Stay in San Miguel de Allende
- Things to Do Near La Gruta Spa
- What to Pack for La Gruta Spa
- More Tips for Visiting La Gruta Spa
- Is it Worth Visiting La Gruta Spa
A Guide to La Gruta Spa
Why Visit La Gruta Hot Springs?
The weather in San Miguel de Allende and the Central Highlands is very dry due to the altitude. I could feel the dry air immediately when we got to the highlands; my skin got flaky and my head was pounding under the sun. I got tired after just a few hours of walking, and I had to double my water intake and pile on the moisturizer. A visit to La Gruta Spa was exactly what I needed.
Best Time to Visit La Gruta Spa
The central highlands is blessed with spring-like climate all year round. In general, San Miguel’s climate doesn’t vary too much throughout the year, with average high temperatures hovering between 73°F (23°C) and 88°F (31°C) no matter the season.
The dry season lasts for a few months (January to April and November to December), during which a trip to the hot springs San Miguel de Allende can be really rejuvenating. We visited San Miguel de Allende in March and the weather was glorious, neither too hot nor cold. In between dips in the hot springs, it was warm enough to lie out in the sun and feel comfortable.
Mexico Travel Requirements
- Mexico has no travel restrictions, and there’s no need for proof of vaccine or PCR tests on the plane. Anyone is welcomed to travel to Mexico.
- However, I always recommend travelers to buy travel insurance, whether you’re traveling for a year or a week. These days, it is particularly important to have travel insurance that covers COVID-19. Read my travel insurance guide.
- Safety Wing is the most popular travel insurance company for COVID19-coverage. I use their Nomad Insurance plan, which covers COVID-19 as any other illness as long as it was not contracted before your coverage start date.
How to Get to La Gruta, San Miguel de Allende
La Gruta Spa is an easy 20-minute drive from San Miguel. I recommend hiring a car to visit La Gruta Spa as it’s convenient and you can combine it with a visit to the Sanctuary de Atotonilco, just 10 minutes away. We rented a car from Guanajuato and drove it throughout our 10-day Guanajuato road trip.
An economy rental car in Mexico averages just $200 for a whole week, which is less than $25 a day. The current price for gas is 16.50 pesos per liter (about $2.50 per gallon). We always use DiscoverCars.com as they’ve consistently given us the best prices and customer service.
Uber is not fully available in San Miguel de Allende, but you can easily hail a taxi as they’re readily available around the main square of the historical center. Learn some Spanish phrases as most taxi drivers don’t speak English.
A single trip from San Miguel de Allende to la Gruta Spa should cost around 150 to 200 Pesos (US$7.40 to 10). Always agree with the price first and ask the driver to pick you up in the afternoon — most would be more than happy to agree. Otherwise it’s pretty hard to get a taxi back to the city.
Go to the main bus terminal along Calle Insurgentes and catch any bus going in the direction of Dolores Hidalgo. Ask the driver if he will let you off at La Gruta. To head back after a day at La Gruta, catch the same regular city bus back into town. Make sure you flag them down as you would flag a taxi!
How much Time do You Need at La Gruta?
In general, La Gruta is the kind of place you go to spend the day. It’s a big area with lots of green garden and lounging space, plus surprisingly good and affordable Mexican food. It has a wholesome charm – it is not slick like a US spa but not as rowdy as a Mexican fair.
Besides soaking in the thermal pools, you need time to lounge in the garden, enjoy lunch, and maybe a massage or two. I recommend getting here right early, around 8am, as it can get crowded especially on a weekend. Expect to stay for at around 3 to 5 hours. We were here from 12 to 5pm (closing time) and wished we came earlier!
Cost of La Gruta Spa
The Gruta San Miguel de Allende is open every day except Mondays and Tuesdays from 7am to 5pm. The admission fee is 250 MXN (approximately $12 USD) per person. This allows for entry and usage of all the thermal pools. Entrance for kids under 3 is free. Food and treatments come with extra charge.
Things to Know Before Going to La Gruta Spa
- Don’t expect high standards of a spa in the US or Canada, but La Gruta Spa is relatively clean and well maintained.
- The pools here contain natural hot spring water, but the pools are man-made and built with concrete and stones.
- This is more of a family-friendly place where Mexicans go to unwind and kick back in the hot springs. There will be some music and people.
- You will see tree debris and leaves floating in the hot spring pools, and even dead insects. That’s ok!
- Credit cards are accepted, except American Express.
- There’s plenty of parking at la Gruta Spa, and parking is free.
- Some of the waiting staff speak English, so don’t worry if you don’t know Spanish.
Things to Do at La Gruta Spa
In total, there are four thermal pools located at La Gruta San Miguel de Allende. They differ in temperature and ambiance. The pools are laid out in a sprawling green space, with lush vegetation and tropical flowers surrounding you.
The Stone Tunnel
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.
There’s sometimes a wait to enter the tunnel as people tend to hog the tunnel with their selfie-taking sessions; please be considerate and move on once you’ve finished taking your photos.
The Main Cavern
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.
The Deep Pool
Once you’re done with the cave, you can either return the same way you came from, through the tunnel, or take the exit on the right. The small exit leads to another pool perched above the main cavern. This is a deeper pool, but it was closed during our visit.
The Mid-Sized Pool
Next to the deep pool lies a smaller hot spring pool with a slightly lower temperature. This is the closest pool to the restaurant area so it tends to get the most crowded. I liked the temperature of this pool the most!
The Kids’ Pool
Over on the other side of the restaurant, you’ll find the largest, but least crowded pool. This is a kids’ pool with shallow waters and a large cascading water spout (perfect for a hydraulic massage). The water in this pool was too cold for me though.
The Spa at La Gruta
Besides the thermal pools, La Gruta Spa offers a series of therapeutic massages (priced around US$40) including deep tissue massage and hot stone massage. We definitely regret not trying any of their treatments!
La Gruta also holds traditional temazcal ceremonies. A temazcal is a type of dome-shaped sweat lodge which date back to pre-Colombian period. During a temazcal ceremony, hot volcanic rocks are placed in the center, and water is poured over the rocks to produce steam. Herbs, typically sage or copal, are added to aid the cleansing process.
Restaurant in La Gruta
The restaurant on-site offers quite a comprehensive menu, that’s surprisingly affordable. They serve simple and traditional Mexican dishes like quesadilla, mole poblado, enchiladas, and arrachera. Prices range from 50 to 250 MXN (US$2.50 to 12.50. Portions are big and food quality is not too bad, but service can be slow.
Facilities at La Gruta
There are plenty of toilets and bathrooms dotted around the spa. You’ll also find lockers right by the entrance, next to the changing rooms. All of the sanitary facilities are pretty clean and well maintained.
Where to Stay in San Miguel de Allende
La Gruta Spa itself does not have accommodation, but there are plenty of accommodation options in San Miguel de Allende to suit all budgets. We recommend staying in the historic center (within a few blocks from el Jardin) so you can easily walk everywhere. Check our complete guide on where to stay in San Miguel de Allende.
Luxury: Hacienda El Santuario San Miguel de Allende
One of the best hotels in San Miguel de Allende, this former convent is a tastefully designed hotel with rooms that feature vaulted ceilings, terracotta tiles, original brick work, and unique folk art. Even if you’re not staying here, visiting the bar is one of the best things to do in San Miguel de Allende. Check rates here.
Luxury: Casa 1810 Hotel Boutique
Located close to the main square, Casa 1810 is another stylish boutique hotel that has preserved the character of San Miguel de Allende immaculately. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, free parking, and family rooms. We really enjoyed staying here! Check rates here.
Mid Range: Cantera 1910 Hotel Boutique
Cantera 1910 is a new boutique hotel in the very center of San Miguel, with freshly restored rooms and a boho chic decor. The on-site restaurant is located in a beautiful terrace, dishing up contemporary dishes and cocktails. Check rates here.
Budget: Casa Liza
This historical hotel is located near Paseo del Chorro and it’s a steep walk from the main square. The colonial mansion has plenty of history and character, and prices are excellent! Check rates here.
Things to Do Near La Gruta Spa
As La Gruta lies in the outskirts of San Miguel de Allende, you can easily hop over to nearby attractions after a dip at the hot spring. I also recommend combining a visit to San Miguel de Allende with Guanajuato (a 1.5-hour drive away) and Grutas de Tolantongo hot springs (a 3.5-hour drive away). Check out my Guanajuato travel guide. We explored all of them in one road trip and absolutely loved exploring this part of Mexico!
Admire the Sanctuario de Atotonilco
Just 10 minutes from La Gruta Spa is the town of Atotonilco. The Sanctuary de Atotonilco was built on top of natural springs, and so the church has always been revered as a place of healing. Lauded as the Sistine Chapel of Mexico, this famous religious sanctuaries forms part of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage listing.
Go Wine Tasting at La Santísima Trinidad Winery
Just a 14-minute drive from La Gruta Spa is La Santísima Trinidad, one of the most famous vineyards in the area. The sprawling area is centered on its lake, with a gourmet restaurant perched at one end, and beautiful lavender fields on the other. Spend the afternoon tasting excellent wine and gourmet platters of cheese and nibbles, enjoy a full meal, or even stay overnight here.
Discover Art at Fábrica Aurora
San Miguel de Allende is well known for its artistic side and it’s been a haven for artists from around the world. Fabrica Aurora is one of the best spots to get a feel for its artistic flair. An 11-minute drive from la Gruta Spa, this art complex is located within a refurbished textile mill. There’s a medley of shops, galleries, and cafes worth checking out. To see the artists at work, visit on a Thursday during their Open Studio day.
What to Pack for La Gruta Spa
Remember to bring your own towels, La Gruta San Miguel de Allende does not provide these to visitors.
Be sure to pack all your essentials for a day at the pools such as bathing suit, sunscreen, sunglasses, and dry clothes to change into.
For those who burn easily, I recommend bringing sun-proof rashguards that can protect their skin. Wearing waterproof sandals will also be useful. Don’t forget your GoPro for waterproof photos/videos!
More Tips for Visiting La Gruta Spa
- Get there early if you want to enjoy the place to yourself. It can get crowded especially on weekends and Mexican holidays.
- Try to get a sun lounger when you arrive as they get taken up quickly. Alternatively, there’s plenty of greenery to lie out and relax under the sun.
- Use a locker to store all your valuables; remember to bring coins!
- It’s not allowed to bring in your own food and drinks.
- Smoking is prohibited in the entire area.
- It’s not allowed to bring water guns or giant floats into the thermal pools.
Is it Worth Visiting La Gruta Spa
Without a doubt, visiting La Gruta Spa is one of my favorite things to do in San Miguel de Allende. After a few days of exploring the city’s museums and churches, it was gloriously relaxing to unwind in the hot springs here.
I hope you’ve found this guide to La Gruta San Miguel de Allende useful. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions.
For those who are planning to travel more of Mexico, check out other articles I’ve written on Mexico:
- 10-Day Guanajuato Itinerary
- 30 Things to Do in Guanajuato City
- 30 Things to Do in San Miguel de Allende
- Where to Stay in San Miguel de Allende
- Visiting Grutas Tolantongo Hot Springs
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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Thank you for the information on La Gruta Spa. We are traveling to San Miguel in July. We have been unable to contact the Spa to schedule a massage. Email is undeliverable and phone has also been unsuccessful. Any suggestions? Thank you.
hi William, I’ve spoken to them on the phone before, so keep trying them on the phone. Calling them is the best way to reach them. That said, you should be able to walk in and get a massage. It was rather crowded when I visited, but the spa area looked empty. I don’t think many people go to the spa.
Thanks so much!!!!
Our first visit to San Miguel soon. This info was super super helpful.