Guide to Visiting Ojo Caliente Hot Springs

Do you know where the oldest hot springs in the United States are located??  Hint: they’re in the same state where “Breaking Bad” was filmed, i.e. New Mexico.  And they’re only an hour drive from both Santa Fe & Taos.  Answer: Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs.  They’re also the ONLY hot springs in the world that have four different types of mineral waters: arsenic, iron, lithia, & soda springs (we’ll discuss the benefits of each below).  If you’re looking for a relaxing girl’s getaway, or even a romantic retreat: this “Guide to Visiting Ojo Caliente Mineral Hot Springs” will help you better enjoy your trip…

Guide to Visiting Ojo Caliente Hot Springs, Girl Who Travels the World

Ojo Caliente is the perfect spot for a girl’s getaway…

Map of Ojo Caliente Hot Springs

Ojo Caliente

Taos

Santa Fe

About Ojo Caliente

My friend Lee-Ann, who lives in Taos, suggested we visit Ojo Caliente for a full day of relaxation & catching up ~ which I thought was a fantastic idea.  From the moment we pulled into their large, dirt parking lot, & walked up to their adobe-colored lobby, the scent of wood-fired juniper & pinon let us know that this place was doing relaxation right.  The whole vibe is…..super chill.  Ojo Caliente is essentially out in the “middle of nowhere,” as the saying goes.  Your phone probably won’t get great service (which is a blessing), but it won’t matter: because it will encourage you to slow down, & take in the mellow New Mexico vibes.

Guide to Visiting Ojo Caliente Hot Springs, Girl Who Travels the World

The scent of burning juniper greeted us as we entered the Ojo Caliente compound…

Did you know that the word “SPA” is an acronym for the Latin phrase: Salus Per Aquas ~ which means, “Health through Water.”

Quick Facts About Ojo Caliente

  • Ojo Caliente Entry Price: $30 per person, Monday – Thursday; $45 per person Friday – Sunday, plus holidays.  Sunset Rate (After 6PM): $25 per person, Monday – Thursday, $38 per person, Friday – Sunday.  The entry fee gives you a locker + towel, & access to all pools.
  • Ojo Caliente has 13 different pools, which are open from 9:30AM to 10PM every day.  For hotel guests only, the pools are open at 7:30AM.  The pools got busier as the day went on ~ so arrive early for more peace & quiet. 
  • Children under 13 are NOT permitted in the mineral springs at Ojo Caliente ~ but they are allowed in the hotel & in the restaurant.  This is largely because the entire mineral springs is a “Whisper Zone,” & they encourage a healing & tranquil atmosphere.
  • Hotel guests receive free access to the mineral pools & early access at 7:30AM.
  • Over 100,000 gallons of geothermal mineral waters flow to the surface daily, originating from a subterranean volcanic aquifer.  The mineral pools are heated anywhere from 80 to 105 degrees.
  • If you book a spa appointment, you’ll receive a robe & locker in a separate locker room; otherwise, you’ll be in a larger locker room with everyone else, & can rent a robe & locker for $15/day.
  • The four different mineral springs are: Arsenic, Iron, Lithia, & the Soda Springs.  Arsenic is useful for relief of arthritis, stomach ulcers, & many skin conditions; while iron is beneficial for stimulation of the blood & immune systems.  Lithia has long been used to relieve depression (& the funny thing was, we noticed that everyone in this pool was either smiling or laughing! Coincedence…or not??).  Soda Springs was my favorite pool, because it’s enclosed in a beautiful rock grotto.  The soda springs are said to relieve digestive issues. 
  • DON’T SKIP the gift shop at Ojo Caliente!!  This is one of those magical gift shops where you’ll want to buy everything….& I picked up some healing balms + these amazing, juniper & pine-scented candles & “scent bricks,” that give you the same magical scent that permeates all of Ojo Caliente’s grounds.  Literally one of the best purchases I’ve made all year!

Photos of Ojo Caliente

Guide to Visiting Ojo Caliente Hot Springs, Girl Who Travels the World

The beautiful, wide veranda at Ojo Caliente’s Artesian Restaurant.

Guide to Visiting Ojo Caliente Hot Springs, Girl Who Travels the World

This map is handy for getting acquainted with Ojo Caliente’s layout. And note: there are over 13 miles of hiking trails that start right next to the spa entrance…

Guide to Visiting Ojo Caliente Hot Springs, Girl Who Travels the World

We shared fish tacos at the Artesian Restaurant & every single bite (especially the salsas & coleslaw) was DIVINE!!

Guide to Visiting Ojo Caliente Hot Springs, Girl Who Travels the World

The “Lithia” pool is shown to the left, with mountains in the distance. I didn’t take too many photos of the pools themselves, as cell phones are not permitted & I wanted to respect people’s privacy..

Guide to Visiting Ojo Caliente Hot Springs, Girl Who Travels the World

The “Yoga Yurt” at Ojo Caliente is located down by the river, in a peaceful spot.

Guide to Visiting Ojo Caliente Hot Springs, Girl Who Travels the World

Arrive first thing in the morning for the least amount of people…

Guide to Visiting Ojo Caliente Hot Springs, Girl Who Travels the World

You can also rent private pools at Ojo called “Kivas,” for some private relaxation time.

Where to Stay by Ojo Caliente

Certainly, the easiest place to stay if you’re visiting the mineral springs is to stay right at Ojo Caliente, in one of their beautiful, Santa Fe-style rooms.  It’s a little pricey, but soooo worth it.  You can also stay in nearby Santa Fe at their sister property: Sunrise Springs, which is consistently rated one of the top spa resorts in the country.

Guide to Visiting Ojo Caliente Hot Springs

Thanks for reading about the relaxing haven that is Ojo Caliente!  I can definitely see why this is one of New Mexico’ most popular destinations, & it’s well-worth spending an entire day ~ if not a few days, enjoying these healing waters.  Final note: my left hip, which had been bothering me for weeks prior to my New Mexico trip, felt entirely better after a day in the springs!  Certainly, worth the trip. 

xoxo Noelia

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