4.8382° N, 75.5496° W
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO GET TO, EXPLORE AND ENJOY THE STUNNING TERMALES SANTA ROSA DE CABAL (HOT SPRINGS) IN CENTRAL COLOMBIA.
As if you thought Colombia wasn't amazing enough already, we introduce to you the Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal - possibly one of the most well-located hot springs in the world.
Situated in the central part of the country, the Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal (termales = thermals or hot springs in Spanish) consists of four stone pools, each with its own unique waterfall or water feature. But what makes this hot spring truly special is the stunning waterfall that cascades down the forested mountain face behind the springs. It is absolutely beautiful and it definitely makes these termales worth seeking out.
Below is everything you need to know about the Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal.
TERMALES SANTA ROSA DE CABAL TRAVEL GUIDE
\\ What Are the Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal
The Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal are one of the many hot springs that dot the central Colombian region. You can find other termales/hot springs near the towns of Ibague (specifically in Toche and Juntas) as well as by Manizales, one of the three cities that make up the Coffee Triangle.
Similarly, very close to the Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal are the Termales San Vicente. These hot springs were also highly recommended to us by our Colombian friends and if we were to explore this area again, we would likely seek these termales out as well. Learn more about the San Vicente Termales here.
The Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal are located in a tight mountain valley about 30 minutes from the nearest town (Santa Rosa de Cabal or SRC). Besides the hot spring pools themselves (and the mystical and massive waterfall) there are also various restaurants and bars, a couple of cabanas to sit under and even a few hotels/lodges in the hot springs complex.
The hot pools are pretty well-sized and include various places to sit along the edge. Also, interestingly, the water temperature in all four pools is practically the same - which was something we definitely were not expecting (we are used to various levels of hot depending on the pool). We recommend putting aside a couple of hours at the termales in order to check out all four pools, as well as the waterfall.
It costs 36000 COP per person to enter the hot springs (~ $8.80 USD // ~ €7.79 Euro). This fee includes entry to all four pools, as well as access to the waterfall area (where we suggest you go to cool off between soaks). There are also lockers available, but you do need at least one 1000 COP coin to use them. The restaurants around the pools seemed to be a fair amount more expensive than other restaurants in town (no surprise there), so if you are looking to buy some drinks or snacks expect to spend a good amount more than usual (for example, a beer cost 7000 COP while a margarita cost 22000 COP).
GOOD TO KNOW: if you are looking to purchase drinks while at the hot springs, know that - as far as we could ascertain - you are not allowed to actually drink in the springs themselves. Luckily, there are plenty of tables and seats available all along the outside of the pools.
Learn even more about the Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal at their personal website.
We don't know if this was a COVID thing or not, but when we looked into checking out the hot springs we had to choose between three different sessions. Each session is between 4 and 5 hours long - which should be plenty of time to get in a good, relaxing soak. Below are the three soaking sessions.
6:30 AM - 10:30 AM
11:30 AM - 5:00 PM
6:00 PM - 11:30 PM
We chose to go during session 3 because we were hoping to see the sunset from the pools. While we ended up missing sunset, we still did enjoy going at night so we could still see the complex, including the waterfall, all lit up. But, in our opinion, we would suggest probably going for the earliest soak (6:30 AM to 10:30 AM) if you are looking to actually relax, for at night it seemed to be way more of a party. Think loud music and the pools just loaded up with lots of people. While this experience was kind of fun in its own way, we definitely would change our soaking time if we ever went again.
EXPLORE MORE | TUBING CRYSTAL CLEAR WATER IN SAN CIPRIANO, COLOMBIA
\\ How to Get to Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal
The closest town to the hot springs is Santa Rosa de Cabal (SRC), which is located about 40 minutes from the major city of Pereira. In turn, Pereira is around 5 hours south of Medellin, 6.5 hours west of Bogota and 3.5 hours north of Cali. Pereira is one of the three major cities in the Colombian Coffee Axis/Triangle (the other three are Armenia and Manizales).
Due to Pereira being a large and important city (especially for the transport of coffee) it is easy to reach either via road - car or bus - or by air (it has an international airport). The Pereira bus station, which is located on the southern end of town, offers routes to all of the major cities within Colombia.