TLDR? The Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal are hot springs located a day’s getaway from Medellin.
It would take someone years to see all of the natural gems of Colombia. One of those gems is the thermal hot springs of Santa Rosa de Cabal.
Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal, as the locals call it, is something special. The natural setting is unique with its memorizing waterfall, lush vegetation, river running through it, and of course, the thermal pools.
The question is, how do you get there? What does it cost? And the big question is it worth it? Not to worry, in this article, I’ll give you all the answers.
What is Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal?
To put it simply, hot springs are pools of water heated by geothermal energy. This can be from a nearby volcano or tectonic activity happening below the earth’s surface. Colombia is full of volcanoes and tectonic activity, so it’s no wonder that there are so many hot springs throughout the country.
Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal is one of those places. The water rises from the earth at temperatures around 70 degrees Celsius (158 Fahrenheit).
But, don’t stress, the water in the pools at the hottest is around 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).
The water has therapeutic properties that may help with things like arthritis, skin conditions, and even stress relief.
The name Termales Santa Rosa de Cable simply translates to Santa Rosa de Cabal Hot Springs. Santa Rosa de Cabal is the name of the municipality where the hot springs are located. The municipality is in the Risaralda department of Colombia and is about a two-hour drive from Salento, Colombia.
If you are hiking in Cocora Valley, we highly recommend making a detour to Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal. I’ll discuss how to get there from Salento later in this article.
If you aren’t convinced you should make the detour, this next part may change your mind.
What to Expect at Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal?
As I said, the hot springs are set in a beautiful natural setting. The waterfalls, flowers, and greenery make it feel like you’re in a jungle oasis.
But first, you have to get there. Let’s take a look at how to do so.
Getting to Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal
You can get to Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal in a few ways:
Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
Obviously, if you have your own vehicle, this is the easiest way to get there. The hot springs are about six miles (10 km) from the center of Santa Rosa de Cabal. Just put Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal into your GPS and follow the directions.
Taxis in Colombia are safe, although they can be a little more expensive than in other countries. For example, a taxi from Santa Rosa de Cabal to the hot springs should cost around 25,000 COP (subject to change).
A jeep is a shared taxi that holds up to 6 people. They’re common in Colombia and are an inexpensive way to get around. A jeep from Santa Rosa de Cabal to the hot springs should cost around 4,000 COP per person. This is the cheapest way to get there.
The jeep will drop you off at the entrance to the hot springs. From there, it’s about a 5-minute walk down to the pools.
Expect taking a bus to be half the cost of a jeep and a little more than a tenth of the cost of a taxi. But the bus is not as direct and will take a little longer. In addition, busses leave on a schedule whereas you can grab a taxi or jeep almost any time.
The bus and jeep pickups are near the central plaza. We recommend asking your hotel, hostel, or Airbnb host for the exact location.
Arriving at Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal
Once you’ve made your way to the hot springs, it is time to enjoy!
You’ll pay the entrance fee at the gate. The cost to get in is about 60,000 COP (subject to change) per person.
I can’t express this enough—arrive early. The pools open at 6 am, but by 10 am they’re packed with people. We got there at 7:30 am and had the place almost to ourselves.
After you’ve paid, make your way down the path by the river. You’ll be blown away by how elegant and beautiful the river is. The genius of the design is that it allows people to enjoy the beauty of the river on their walk to the pools.
Then smack dab in front of you will be the prepossessing waterfall. The waterfall is one of the reasons this place is so special.
While waterfalls like La Escalera in Jardin are raw power, the waterfall at Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal is about serenity and relaxation.
There Are Lockers
Once you’ve made your way to the pools, you’ll see that lockers are available for use. I recommend taking advantage of them as they only cost a couple of coins. Bring a few coins if you need to open the locker more than once.
There Are Multiple Pools
There are four pools in total, each with a different temperature. The first and hottest pool is right next to the waterfall. It’s hot at first but your body will quickly adjust to the temperature.
So, if you have kids that need a cooler pool to play in, don’t worry. There’s a pool for that! The second pool is still quite hot but manageable. It’s perfect for people who want to relax and enjoy the benefits of the hot springs without being uncomfortably hot.
Try each pool and find the perfect temperature for you.
If you get too hot, then go take a dip under the waterfall. The water is cold, but it feels amazing after being in the hot pools.
Plus, it’s a great spot to get pictures.
Food and Drinks Available
There are three places to get food and drinks at Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal. Each one has full meals such as bandeja paisa, empanadas, arepas, and more.
Plus, they have snacks and drinks like soda, water, coffee, and beer. So, you won’t go hungry or thirsty while enjoying the hot springs!
We’ve been told the party comes out at night at Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal. So, if you want to have some drinks and dance, this is the place to do it. Just don’t drink too much aguardiente!
Catch a Ride Back to Town
Unless you drive to the hot springs, you’ll need to catch a ride back. Then, you’ll either need to wait for a jeep or bus to come by for a dropoff. You likely won’t need to wait long as they’re constantly passing by.
Another option is to let your taxi driver know when you want to be picked up. We’ve had great success with this in the past as they’re always on time (if you tip generously).
Of course, you could also walk back to town, but we don’t recommend it unless you’re staying close by. It’s a bit of a hike, and after being in the hot springs all day, you will just want to relax.
How to Get to Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal from Salento
The best way to get to Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal from Salento is by taking a bus. You’ll find in Salento that taxis are hard to come by. Plus, the jeeps are mainly used to take you to the Cocora Valley.
To get to the springs, you’ll first need to take a bus from Salento to Pereira. From Pereira you then hop on a bus to Santa Rosa de Cabal. The trip should take around 2.5 hours and cost you under $10 USD.
Where to Stay in Santa Rosa de Cabal
Santa Rosa de Cabal is a decent-sized town with a population of 60,000 people. With that, you’ll find several hostels, hotels, and Airbnbs.
Of course, there are more expensive stays close to the hot springs. But, if you are looking for a cheap place to stay, then I recommend checking out Hostel Don Jose.
It is about 3 blocks from the bus drop-off and includes breakfast. Plus, the showers are hot, the staff is friendly, and they have a nice common area.
Relax At Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal
If you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy some hot springs, then Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal is the perfect spot. It’s close to Salento, cheap to visit, and has everything you need on-site. So, what are you waiting for? Go soak in some hot springs!
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