Unknown to many, Colombia holds nearly 10% of global biodiversity and ranks number two for the most biodiverse countries in the world. This South American country’s biological richness is a product of its variety of ecosystems (314 to be exact!). At Santa Rosa de Cabal in Risaralda, one can soak in one of these nature’s gifts: TERMALES (hot springs). Termales de Santa Rosa de Cabal is one of the most raved hot springs in Colombia and after enjoying an afternoon of termales bliss at this beautiful nature retreat, I finally understood why.
The journey to Santa Rosa de Cabal is a treat!
Winding roads through the mighty Andes mountains mark the journey to Santa Rosa de Cabal, which is also part of the Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia endorsed by the UNESCO. Nature thrives in this green highland and exhales the sweet breath of dew that lands like a gentle kiss on her appreciative visitor.
“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.” ― Sylvia Plath
The town of Santa Rosa de Cabal is an hour’s drive away from Pereira, the capital city of Risaralda located in the middle of the country’s western region. From the town center, a 20-minute scenic drive out to the countryside (where the hot springs are) promises to be a visual highlight. If you are not driving, there are plenty of taxis available at Parque Las Araucarias - the main square in town with its iconic church. Remember to get the taxi driver’s number and book for a return trip.
One of the most beautiful places in Colombia
Termales de Santa Rosa is one of the most beautiful places in Colombia. In case you prefer to reserve your judgement like this author, be assured that all forms of scepticism shall escape upon your first sight of the trickling streams, which you will actually hear before you see it. The music of nature plays a mystical melody, and one cannot help but feel that fizz of excitement, as you climb upstream towards the source of this natural goodness.
Brace yourself for a 5-minute walk to the hot springs at the north of the entrance. There are two paths; a direct upslope on concrete pavement or a scenic path lined with streams and carved stairs.
Indulge in odourless pools in Santa Rosa de Cabal
There are several hot and cold pools at Termales de Santa Rosa de Cabal, but your attention will be commanded by the cascading waterfall that is the iconic background of this Colombian natural attraction. One of the reasons why Termales de Santa Rosa is so popular, especially with domestic visitors, is because of its alkaline nature. Unlike most other hot springs that can be quite pungent due to their sulphur content, these pools at Santa Rosa de Cabal are odourless.
As the pools are mid-size, it is best to visit during weekdays for an optimal relaxing session. Otherwise, it can be challenging to have a ‘zen’ moment in a crowded pool. Visiting during the late afternoon shall also afford you a beautiful sunset view.
Things to know about Termales de Santa Rosa
There are tables and chairs for resting, should you wish to take a break from soaking in these healing pools. Follow the signages for best practices and benefits of the termales. While there’s a cafe at Termales de Santa Rosa de Cabal, it could be wise to bring your own food and drinks due to the limited cafe menu. In case you were wondering, there is no time limit for staying within this site and locals usually make it a day’s outing here during the weekend.
Bring your own lock if you wish to store your bags at one of the lockers. Otherwise, there’s a bag deposit area where the staff on duty will look after your belongings for a minimal charge.
Explore Santa Rosa de Cabal
If time permits, go on a hiking tour or stay a night to explore nearby attractions. Also, don’t miss the region’s local specialties, Santarrosanos Chorizos (juicy sausages) and bandeja paisa (a generous serving of rice, grounded meat, beans and crispy lard). Santa Rosa de Cabal is home to a number of natural, cultural and historical attractions, and one can consider an overnight trip here.
Termales de Santa Rosa de Cabal
Address: Km 10 San Ramón Road, Santa Rosa de Cabal, Risaralda, Colombia
Price: from 30,000 COP / ~10.50 USD
Opening Hours: Daily 9am - 11.30pm
Duration: minimum 2.5 hours required
Contact: +57 6 3655237
Website: Termales de Santa Rosa de Cabal
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