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Known for its art galleries, boutiques and acclaimed restaurants, Santa Fe is an excellent choice for a weekend away. It’s also a great place to relax and unwind, with numerous spas and hot springs where you can soak and enjoy the healing benefits of the mineral rich waters. From commercial hot springs in the downtown area to natural pools in the nature preserves, this list of the best hot springs in Santa Fe has you covered.
Ideally you’ll want to rent a car to explore Santa Fe’s hot springs, since most are located on the outskirts of town or are one hour drive from the city. Soaking in hot mineral springs is good for both the body and mind, increasing circulation, relaxing the muscles, calming the nerves and pulling toxins out of the body. It’s definitely an activity worth adding to your Santa Fe itinerary!
Best Hot Springs in Santa Fe
There are two great hot springs in Santa Fe – Ojo Santa Fe Resort and Ten Thousand Waves. Ten Thousand Waves is the best choice if you want an authentic Japanese onsen experience, while Ojo is the best choice if you want a luxurious resort-style spa with lots of on-site facilities.
Ojo Santa Fe Resort
Ojo Santa Fe is about a 15 mile drive (20 minutes) along the I-25 S from Santa Fe. This beautiful resort is nestled amidst 77 acres of lush gardens amidst New Mexico’s high desert and is open to both guests and non-guests.
I spent about half a day here on my 3 days in Santa Fe and absolutely loved it!
The resort boasts several hot tub-like pools with spring fed waters where you can soak and admire your surroundings, as well as a junior Olympic-size saltwater swimming pool. Pools are supplied with triple-filtered water from a natural aquifer, which is gently heated to varying therapeutic temperatures.
The communal thermal pools are surrounded by cottonwood trees, lounge chairs and Ojo hammocks, so you can lay down and soak up the sun after you’ve soaked.
After spending a few hours soaking in the pools, head over to Blue Heron restaurant, which serves farm-to-table cuisine made with ingredients from the Ojo Caliente Farm and Southwest region. We ordered The Butcher, The Baker & The Farmer sharing platter and it was incredible. So fresh!
Guest passes for the spa can be purchased upon arrival, with no reservations required. A day pass costs $45 per person / Monday – Thursday and $65 per person / Friday – Sunday. You’ll be given a towel and a locker to put your belongings in, and there are changing rooms where you can slip into your bathing suit.
Address: 242 Los Pinos Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87507
Ten Thousand Waves
Next on this list of best hot springs in Santa Fe is Ten Thousand Waves, which is inspired by traditional onsens in the mountain resorts of Japan. Arriving at the resort you’ll feel like you’ve been teleported straight to Japan!
Each hot tub suite is totally self-contained with a hot tub, sauna, and your own private changing room and showers. Features of each suite vary so it’s important to research the tub you’re booking.
Unlike Ojo Spa, reservations for the hot tubs at Ten Thousand Waves are required. Hot tub water is maintained at 104-106 degrees Fahrenheit, cold plunges are around 55 degrees and saunas average 180 degrees.
At the spa you can also book a range of treatments, such as Japanese organic facials, Japanese shiatsu massages and deep stone massages.
After you’ve soaked for a few hours, grab lunch at izanami, the resort’s upscale version of a Japanese izakaya. The restaurant serves traditional Japanese cuisine and an extensive sake menu featuring artisanal microbrew cold sakes.
Most of the restaurant’s chicken, pork and wagyu beef is organic or sustainably raised and all of the desserts, pickles and ice cream are made in-house. The majority of the seafood is flown in directly from Tokyo and tastes super fresh!
We ordered the chirashizushi rice bowl and the tacos, both of which were super yummy.
A variety of seating is available throughout the restaurant, including booths, table seating, sake/sushi bar and traditional tatami floor seating. Since I had my dog with me (the resort is pet-friendly) we dined in the cozy outdoor pavilion. They even brought my dog treats and water!
Address: 21 Ten Thousand Waves Way, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Best Hot Springs Near Santa Fe
Outside of Santa Fe, most of the hot springs are located near Jemez Springs and the Valles Caldera National Preserve. This area is abundant in hot springs – both commercial springs and natural ones.
McCauley Warm Springs
One of the best natural hot springs near Santa Fe, McCauley consists of a 3.8 mile hiking loop with several warm pools. The spring is located between Battleship Rock and Jemez Falls, and the east fork hiking trail #137 can be accessed via Battleship Rock picnic area.
The warm mineral water emerges from the ground at 99°F / 37°C,and cools to between 85-to-90° as it cascades downhill into the smaller pools.
San Antonio Hot Springs
Located in the Santa Fe National Forest about 12 miles north of Jemez Springs, San Antonio Hot Springs is a natural spring that’s accessible via a 0.7-mile out and back trail. The hot spring water emerges from several sources on a steep hillside, and flows into several rock lined soaking pools of varying temperatures.
To get to the spring you’ll need to drive Forest Service Road 376 (North) for 5 miles and then make the short but steep hike up the hill.
Spence Springs is located about five miles north of Jemez Ranger District Office and about one-quarter mile off NM State Highway 4. It has a small parking lot that accommodates around seven cars and can be reached via a short hike from the parking lot.
The spring itself consists of a small pool that accommodates just a dozen or so people and has beautiful views of the Jemez River and surrounding mountains. While the spring itself maintains a temperature of around 95 degrees Fahrenheit, the water in the pool isn’t actually that hot – just body temperature. For that reason, it’s probably best to visit during the summer months.
Visitors are requested to watch out for poison ivy along the trail and mustn’t bring glass containers. The spring is open year round and leashed dogs are allowed.
Address: NM-4 E, Jemez Springs, New Mexico 87025
Jemez Hot Springs
Jemez Hot Springs is a commercial spa that boasts four mineral water pools of varying temperatures from between 98-105 degrees Fahrenheit. The water at the springs originates from beneath the Valles Caldera National Preserve, which is about 17 miles away up in the mountains. It’s rich in magnesium, calcium, lithium, potassium, iron, silica and several other minerals, which are absorbed through the skin during soaking.
If you’re worried about the New Mexico heat there’s plenty of shade; Shade sails cover parts of the pools, and there are also two shady areas with seating close to the pools.
Pools are open from 10am to 6pm Wednesday to Monday, closed Tuesdays. Reservations are not required and you have the option of purchasing either a 1 hour pass ($25) or a 2 hour pass ($50). It’s best to bring your own towel here, since there’s a fee for towel and robe rentals.
Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa
Located about 50 miles north of Santa Fe (a 1 hour drive), Ojo Caliente is a good hot spring to visit if you plan on driving to Taos and the UNESCO Heritage site, Taos Pueblo.
Address: 50 Los Banos Drive, Ojo Caliente, NM 87549
A Final Word…
So that completes this list of the best hot springs in Santa Fe! Whether you choose to bathe in a natural hot spring or a man-made resort, Santa Fe has numerous options for soaking and enjoying the region’s mineral-rich waters. The city is one of the best places I’ve visited in the United States, with tons of things to see and do.
Book Your Trip
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