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TLDR? Santa Rosa de Cabal is a great weekend escape if you want to enjoy some of Colombia’s best hot springs!
Santa Rosa de Cabal is a municipality and town of Colombia in the department of Risaralda. It is located in the west-central part of Colombia and probably isn’t on many tourist destination lists.
However, you may need to stay in this busy town if you want to reach the hot springs nearby to take a dip in the thermal baths.
Every town in Colombia is different, so in this article, I’ll give you a quick overview of what to expect in Santa Rosa de Cabal. Ready? Let’s get to it!
With a population of around 60,000 people, Santa Rosa de Cabal is a sizable town located in the department of Risaralda. The municipality covers an area of 486 square kilometers and is located at an altitude of 1,701 meters above sea level.
When you arrive in Santa Rosa de Cabal, you’ll find a busy town with a lot of activity. The streets are full of people, and there are many shops, restaurants, and cafes to explore.
With one-way streets, traffic congestion is common in the bustling town. But, what brings in the people?
Well, Santa Rosa de Cabal is a commercial and manufacturing hub for agricultural products grown in the surrounding area. In addition, silkworms are grown in the municipality, which produces silk that is used in the textile industry.
Lastly, gold, silver, and mercury mines nearby provide jobs for many of the town’s residents.
Unlike other tourist spots, when visiting Santa Rosa de Cabal, there isn’t a lot to do. If you’re going to Salento, you will explore the breathtaking Cocora Valley.
However, the town itself doesn’t have much besides the hot springs further up in the mountains. The thermal baths are one of the most popular attractions in town, and many people come to take a dip in the relaxing waters.
While there isn’t a big hiking rock like El Penol, you can still find some small hiking trails near the baths.
However, the town of Santa Rosa de Cabal is big enough that it offers some good shopping and dining options. If you’re staying in town for a few days, be sure to explore the different streets and try some of the delicious food!
Since it’s near the Andes Mountains, the weather in Santa Rosa de Cabal is fairly mild. You can expect the average temperature to be in the low 70s Fahrenheit (low 20s Celsius).
However, it can get chilly at night, so be sure to pack a jacket!
If you come during the summer months, expect rainfall when visiting Santa Rosa de Cabal due to being in the Andes mountain range. However, the town experiences very little rainfall during the dry season from December to March.
For those who want sunny skies, the dry season might be a better time to visit.
The best time to visit Santa Rosa de Cabal is during the dry season, from December to March.
The weather is mild, and there is very little rainfall. However, if you want to experience the thermal baths, you can visit any time of year as the temperature of the water is always warm!
The best way to get to Santa Rosa de Cabal is by bus. Most people either come from Salento after exploring the Cocora Valley.
But if you want to see the Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal, then the easiest way to get there is by taking a bus from Pereira.
You can make it in an hour, depending on traffic. Like Santa Rosa de Cabal, Pereira is a busy city, and the traffic can be a nightmare. Another option is to get a taxi or Uber from Pereira, which is more expensive but will save you time.
Unless you have family or friends who live in Santa Rosa de Cabal, then you’re probably visiting for the Termales at Santa Rosa de Cabal.
The good news is that the hot springs are only 10 kilometers from town and very easy to get to! If you don’t have your own transportation, you can easily take a bus or taxi from Santa Rosa de Cabal.
In addition, you can hop on a Jeep taxi, which is a popular mode of transportation in Colombia.
Jeeps are cheap and can navigate through traffic easily. The prices are also relatively inexpensive, so it’s a great option if you’re on a budget!
I recommend going to the hot springs early in the morning as it gets crowded later in the day. If you want to experience the hot springs without all the people, then I recommend going on a weekday.
You’ll find that there are several quick and easy places to eat when visiting Santa Rosa de Cabal.
Typically, the quick spots revolve around fried or rotisserie chicken. The food at these places comes in large portions and is good value.
If you’re looking for more of a restaurant experience, you can find several sit-down places in town.
Santa Rosa de Cabal is known for their meat dishes, including pork, steak, and chorizo. I highly recommend trying the chorizo!
Here are two restaurants that I recommend.
We stumbled upon this place while looking for a quick bite to eat. The pastries here are excellent and very reasonably priced!
They have some impressive cakes on display as well. If you need a quick sugar fix, this is the place to go!
In addition to the desserts, you can eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner here. For lunch, they typically have three options that change daily.
You can order a la carte or go for the set menu, which includes a drink, soup, main dish, and dessert. The portions are large, and the food is delicious!
If you want to indulge in the chorizo and are craving steak, then you have to come here!
The food is fantastic, and the service is great. I recommend ordering the meat variety platter so you can try a little bit of everything.
The platter comes with two different types of chorizo, pork chop, and steak. It also comes with plantains, arepas, side salad, and rice. You can order for one person, two, four, six, or eight people.
My girlfriend and I ordered the two-person platter, and it was more than enough food! Another great thing about this place is that it overlooks the center plaza.
We recommend sitting on the bar top facing the plaza so you can people-watch while enjoying your meal.
In any new country, drinking water is always a concern. However, the good news is that the tap water in Santa Rosa de Cabal is safe to drink!
I had no issues drinking the water straight from the faucet and never got sick. However, if you’re still concerned about water quality, you can always buy bottled water.
Either way, you’ll be fine!
Packing for any trip can be a daunting task but don’t worry; packing for Santa Rosa de Cabal isn’t too bad!
First, the weather there is relatively warm year-round, so you won’t need to pack too many heavy clothes. A light jacket or sweater should suffice for the evenings. Plus, a raincoat should be in your suitcase as it does rain occasionally.
Second, since you’ll be spending time in the hot springs, you’ll want to pack a bathing suit.
We also recommend packing some quick-dry clothes so you can change into something else after your time in the water.
Finally, make sure to pack comfortable shoes as you’ll be doing a lot of walking!
The easiest way to head back to Bogota, Medellin, Santa Marta, or Cartegena is by flying out of the Pereira Airport. The Pereira Airport is located about 45 to 60 minutes from Santa Rosa de Cabal.
The best way to get to the airport is by taking a taxi or an Uber. Both will be close to the same price and will get you to the airport in plenty of time for your flight.
We paid 50,000 COP for our Uber to the airport, which is about $12 USD.
If you want to take a taxi, then I recommend going to the plaza to flag one down. There are always taxis parked there, and it will be easier to negotiate a price.
Now that you know all there is to see and do in Santa Rosa de Cabal, it’s time to start planning your trip!
The busy town is home to hardworking people, and there are a lot of cultures to experience.
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