Hot Springs Spa and Hotel in San Juan Cosala Balnearios
The hot springs and hotel are located next to the lake on the way into San Juan Cosala. If you are driving on the carretera from Ajijic, as soon as you pass the lakeside restaurants, you will see the sign over the road. You turn left and one block down to the left you will see it.
The hot springs spa and hotel have been in existence for over forty-five years. Thousands of people visit it. The spa grounds spread over four acres and it has the capacity to serve up to two thousand five hundred people at a time. During Semana Santa (Easter), their busiest time of the year, there are many days that over two thousand people will be there at the same time.
The hotel is full during Semana Santa. If you want a room, you have to call two months in advance. During the rest of the year you have to call a week in advance for a room, especially if you want one on a weekend.
Every weekend the hotel rooms are full. Tour buses come in often during the weekends. If you want to swim on weekends then you had better get there when it opens at nine a.m. By ten-thirty or eleven the pool is too crowded for lap swimming. This is a popular place.
The water comes from underground springs warmed by volcanic magma. (Magma is a molten material beneath or within the earth’s crust, from which igneous rock is formed.)
The thermal water has a high concentration of minerals and the highest temperature compared to other types of thermal waters. When the water arrives at the hot springs it can be higher than 200 degrees Fahrenheit. It has to be cooled down considerably before it can be used in the pools.
The water has high concentrations of magnesium, calcium, copper, silicon, potassium, lithium, sodium and sulfur. It increases body temperature, killing germs, including viruses. It also increases hydrostatic pressure of the body, thereby increasing oxygenation. Bathing in hot springs helps improve nutrition of the tissues of the body in general. It increases the metabolism by stimulating at the same time secretions of the digestive track and liver, thus helping digestion. No wonder so many people go there. Not only is it relaxing and fun, it also is healing.
The pools range from 93 degrees Fahrenheit to 108 degrees. There are two very large swimming pools in the park and many smaller pools. Several of the pools are just for children. There is an enormous water slide in one of the large swimming pools.
There is a pool overlooking the lake with strong Jacuzzi jets. There is also an underground steam room, made out of volcanic rocks. There are several restaurants on the grounds.
But all of this is just in the main area. There is another area on a lower level that has specialized Jacuzzis and steam rooms. You pay another entrance fee to use this area. It was created six years ago.
I talked with Tomas Luquin about this area. He is the publicity manager, gardener, landscaper and plumber. He works six days a week. He has only had this job, or maybe more accurately –these four jobs for one month. He is a very busy man.
If you want more information than I provide in this article, you can contact Tomas at: email@example.com or go to www.hotelspacosala.com
Tomas told me that the original owner of the hot springs was Roberto Cuevas. It was opened in the early 1960s. Tomas didn’t know the exact date.
When Roberto passed away his family took it over. Every year more pools are added and things are upgraded. And the prices go higher. Now it costs 180 pesos for one adult to get into the main area and 80 pesos for one child. If you have a Lakeside Card there is a discount and if you have a Chapala DIF card the price goes down to 80 pesos.
The specialty area where Tomas works charges 50 pesos for the basic treatment and 75 pesos for the plus treatment. They also have a 20 percent discount for seniors and government workers. The entrance to the specialty area has many lotions and oils for sale.
When you go into the area you start a round of different pools. It takes an hour and a half to compete the basic package. It takes two hours and twenty minutes to complete the specialty package.
The hours of the lower spa area are everyday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If you make the last session at 5:00 then you can stay until your round is finished.
The rounds consist of various pools, heated to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. One is a mud bath which is available to both the basic and plus group. There are two different flower pools. There is a coffee therapy pool. They use natural grain coffee. There are two steam bath Jacuzzis for the plus package. One is called Day Soup. It is different everyday. The day I was there it was Oatmeal. There is also apple vinegar, red wine, soy milk, and more. These steam baths are located in igloos made out of volcanic rock.
There are two steam igloos (Temazcals). In the basic package you get a Sodium and Magnesium Jacuzzi. There are four Jacuzzis in the basic package, plus one steam bath.
In the plus package, there are six Jacuzzis and two Temazcals.
I haven’t tried this area yet so I can’t tell you any more details about the rounds. This treat is next on my list of things to do.
If you are interested in having a massage while you are in the specialty spa area, there are ten different massages available. They have from five to seven masseuses on staff. The massages range from simple foot or back massage for 180 pesos to lovers massage, Thai massage, four-hand massage, and more. Prices go up to 520 pesos an hour.
A hundred people a day pay the extra fee to go into the specialty area. Tomas said that ninety percent of his customers are Mexicans and ten percent are Expats. Easter week is the high season followed by Christmas.
Tomas said, “It is a beautiful place and different from other spas around. I haven’t seen special Jacuzzis in other spas and we are the lowest priced around. We have much better quality than the other spas.”
There is a garden area in the specialty part plus beautiful hammocks overlooking the water. Once you go into the specialty area and you do the round you can stay as long as you wish but you have to pay again to do the round again.
There are beautiful floating flower arrangements in different areas of the grounds.
Next, I talked with Laura Valencia. She is in charge of housekeeping in the hotel and guest services. She has been working there for a year and a half.
There are thirty-six rooms and on weekends they are all full. If you want to stay during the holidays you have to book a month in advance. If you want a regular weekend you need to book at least a week in advance.
Cost for a double room starts at 1100 pesos. There is an extra charge for more than one person. Check out the prices online or contact Laura: firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (01- 387) 76 10 222. Entrance to the main part of the spa is included in the hotel fee.
There are also two pools and one Jacuzzi available only for hotel guests. Groups come in, mostly on weekends and holidays. If they buy ten rooms, an extra room is free. The guest area stays open until 8:00 p.m. The water park itself closes at 7:00 p.m.
The rooms have two double beds. There are also a few with three and four double beds.
There are discounts available through Facebook. There is a discount for AAA members and people 60 and over have a ten percent discount on weekends and a twenty percent discount on weekdays. There are also special promotions on Facebook. Just look at Facebook: Balneario San Juan Cosala.
All the water is thermal. There are large bathtubs in the rooms where you can soak in private.
If you visit this area and don’t go to the spa, you will have missed one of the main attractions here.
If you want to know more about the area, we are here to help. You can contact me in the comments below and either I or one of the Access team members will be glad to help you and answer questions.