On our way to visit the “Sistine Chapel of Mexico,” in the little town of Atotonilco, our taxi driver pointed out the hot springs in the area. He said that, of the various spa businesses built around the hot springs, Escondido Place was the nicest.
We didn’t think too much about it because #twoyearold. But fast-forward a few days, and I managed to find a local babysitter for Valentine’s Day. That and a U.S. News & World Report article convinced me Escondido Place was the spot for Eric and me to spend an afternoon away.
Arriving at Escondido Place
Our taxi to and from Escondido Place was about 450 pesos roundtrip, including tip ($24 USD). There is a bus that will get you there, though my understanding is you need to walk a bit of dusty road to get all the way there. I’m sure it’s much more economical (we enjoyed the bus rides we took in central San Miguel de Allende, which were 7 pesos per person).
Once you arrive, tickets can be purchased at the booth across from the entrance for 150 pesos each ($8 USD). As of this writing, Escondido Place opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 5:30 p.m.
Before entering, we stopped at by the office to ask about spa services. A couples massage was only 1400 pesos ($73 USD) and they were able to get us in any time. We decided to visit the hot springs first, and conclude our day with a massage.
Finding Your Way Around Escondido Place
The whole area was clean, though slightly unpolished. Construction was taking place near the rear of the property, so I’m looking forward to seeing the expansion on our next visit.
There weren’t any signs to the hot springs, so we weren’t sure where to go. We found our way by asking a few questions and just exploring. We got a free locker right inside the entrance (pro tip: bring your own lock), but found out there are lockers closer to the hot springs–by the changing rooms.
Speaking of getting to the hot springs, you’ll want to take a left as soon as you get down the entry ramp (right takes you to the restaurant/bar, bathrooms, and spa).
You’ll see two swimming pools first. They’re filled by underground springs, but aren’t hot. Up the hill to your left is a small tienda where you can buy snacks and water (which, trust me, you’ll want to drink a lot of). They do have towels for sale, but they’re exorbitantly expensive. Bring your own!
You still haven’t made it to the hot springs–the whole reason you’re here. So where are they? Pass the swimming pools and take any of the paths down the hill. You’ll see white domes across the pond, and those are the underground springs.
Into the Hot Springs
We felt comfortable leaving our shoes and cover-ups outside–everyone does. We kept our phones in our locker. You’ll want to unless you have a waterproof case because the pools are over 5-feet deep in places.
Curiously, the water levels change in the pools throughout the day. There are also various fountains and spouts that sometimes release high pressure water, and other times are completely dry.
There are three main areas to explore, and you can take them in the order you prefer. You’ll start right by the pond–you have to go through here in order to get to the other springs.
The first room has ankle-deep, warm water you can lounge in (perfect for younger kids), and sometimes a dispersed shower of cool water coming from the ceiling.
Head into the narrow hallway and you’ve officially made it to the hot springs! This water is quite warm–definitely hot bathtub temperature. And it gets hotter from here!
Follow the hallway to the next pool. When you’re ready, exit outside to the rear. At the “T” outside, you can go left or right depending on which water temperature you want.
To the left is my favorite hot spring. It’s housed under a large dome I think is lovely. There’s also a stone bench above the water, which is nice for lounging if the water is getting too hot.
When you go to the right, be prepared for cooler water! You’ll find the next section to your left as you follow the path. The beautiful architecture of these pools is well worth the short walk.
If you want to take a break from the water, this is a nice place to lay out by the pond, in the sun or the shade of a tree. There are so many places to lounge on the property. There are lounge chairs, as well as cabanas with silk curtains flying in the wind.
When you’re ready for sustenance, head to the restaurant/bar.
Last Stop: Couples Massage at the Spa
The spa is a bit hard to find, but there are a few signs. Follow the pathway beyond the bar. On our visit, there were streamers in the trees to show the way.
Our hour-long couples massage was really lovely. While this isn’t a place to get a targeted massage for pain relief, it’s perfect for relaxation. Our masseuses were well-trained, and I didn’t notice a discernible difference between their methods and what I often experience in the states. Eric and I both fell asleep multiple times, and I never fall asleep. I think that’s a mark of success!
Return Trip With Our Toddler the Following Day
We had such a great time that we actually came back the next day! I was able to find a second babysitter who met us at our Airbnb, rode with us in the taxi, and took care of Caspian for much of our return visit to Escondido Place. We also traded off for a while, so she could experience the hot pools.
We saw multiple children on both our visits, so the younger members of the family can definitely come and have a good time. I was concerned about how the hotter water could affect Caspian’s little system, so I didn’t want him to be in it for any amount of time. I took him through one of the pools, just so we could get the cool pools at the back. But “Mama Lu” took care of him when Eric and I wanted to have some time together in the hot springs.
This is such a cool place! Definitely one of our most memorable experiences in the interior of Mexico.
If you’ve been to any hot springs in Mexico, we’d love to know. Please leave a comment to share your experience.
Escondido Place is located at Carretera San Miguel de Allende – Dolores Hidalgo km 10, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato. You can also visit the official website.