The Hot Springs of Santa Rosa, Colombia
Spectacular Hot Springs Resort of Santa Rosa
Recently my husband and I visited "Aguas Termales Santa Rosa", a group of natural hot springs near the town of Santa Rosa, Colombia. I had heard of Aguas Termales Santa Rosa from family members and friends and was anxious to visit. The drive from Pereira (where we live) to the town of Santa Rosa took about an hour, up the mountain on a good road that wound around the lush green hillsides. Quaint colonial homes with wrap around porches, all painted in bright colors dotted the countryside. High up in the mountains eucalyptus trees were more and more common as well as pine trees, something not so common at lower elevations.
We drove through the narrow streets of Santa Rosa to reach the other side of the town where the journey continued. At this point the road became more narrow, full of pot holes and with many hairpin turns! The air became cooler and we rolled out windows down to enjoy the fresh air! Small restaurants and kiosks provided coffee, hot chocolate, agua panela (a drink made from brown sugar and lemon) along the road. Some stands sold ponchos, straw hats, leather bags, and other local crafts.
Once we arrive at the entrance of the hot springs, we parked and paid the entrance fee. We were directed to walk up a rock path, along the edge of a river. Soon I looked up and saw a spectacular sight-a beautiful waterfall on the side of the mountain up ahead. Flowers lined the walkway that led to the buildings up ahead.
The pools at Aguas Termales Santa Rosa
Once we reached the buildings and pools, we were guided to a changing room. The employees were all very helpful and courteous. The complex consists of four large pools, all with varying temperatures. One pool is reserved for children where they can enjoy the warm water, and some adults were in the kiddie pool as well. There was a large open air restaurant, a coffee shop, and a spa on the second floor of the main building. We decided to try to the warm pool first and work our way into the hotter pools.
I love waterfalls and this waterfall was spectacular! It came from the top of the mountain and landed near the hot springs. Contrary to what I expected, the waterfall water was extremely cold! We were encouraged to sit in the hot pool for 10-15 minutes and then plunge under the cold water. It seems that this holds some health benefit, but I just couldn't do it! The hot water felt wonderful and we stayed in the pools most of the time. I did manage to sit on a rock at the base of the waterfall and let the water splash over me.
Our day at Aguas Termales Santa Rosa was lovely and relaxing. I plan to make it part of our monthly routine and our aching knees and backs will thank us, I'm sure! Aguas Termales Santa Rosa will be at the top of the list of places to take our guests.