Is any trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico complete without visiting a spa? We'll, I suppose it depends what you are into. For us a thermal spa that was on our travel route and so affordable was an opportunity not to miss. Escondido Place also referred to as Escondido Hot Springs is the most budget friendly option for hot springs when you are visiting San Miguel de Allende. The reviews online were mixed but we decided to give it a go anyway & we were definitely pleasantly surprised!
How to get to Escondido Place (Escondido Hot Springs)
Taxi to Escondido Hot Springs
For those not travelling on a budget, you could just jump in a cab. When we checked for the Uber cost it was $220 (£9.50/$11.50) one way.
Bus to Escondido Hot Springs
We started our journey to the Escondido hot springs following the instructions from the tourist information in town. We were advised the buses to Escondido Place run roughly every 30 minutes from The Central de Autobus on Calz. de la Estación. To get there it's one straight road from Jardín Allende (the main square outside Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel), head down Canal (that's the road name not actually a canal) which will turn into Calz. de la Estación after 5 blocks. The walk is 1.6km (1 mile) & flat so an easy 20 minute walk.
Once at the bus station head to the Pegasso counter ask for a ticket to Escondido Place/Cortijo. The buses should run every 30 minutes (bare in mind it is Mexico & our 8:35am bus left at 9am) from the terminal & the cost is $15MXN (£0.65/0.80) per person each way. The bus you will be getting on is actually heading to Dolores Hidalgo, but don't just ask for a ticket there as it's $71MXN to go there.
When you board the bus it is worth asking the driver to tell you when to jump off for Escondido Place. To be safe we sat at the front & watched Google Maps (if you don't have phone data you can use, you could always use Maps.me) then reminded him that we wanted Escondido Place when we weren't far away.
The journey from San Miguel de Allende to Cortijo takes about 15 minutes.
Upon exiting the bus, the next leg is walking again. It is only a 8 minute walk from the highway to Escondido Place is 0.8km (0.5 miles).
The bus back from Escondido Hot Springs
When we left the hot springs we headed back to the highway to flag down a bus. There is an actual bus stop 200 meters down the highway heading away from San Miguel de Allende (left as you hit the main road). We didn't spot this until we noticed one of the purple & white local buses pull in there. However, this wasn't a problem we stuck our hand out to hail the driver stood in the driveway to Escondido Place. The bus back to San Miguel was cheaper than the way out, this was because it was a purple & white local bus.* The bus cost was $10MXN (£0.40/$0.50) per person. Another added bonus of the local bus was that it dropped us at the corner of Mario Talavera & Calz de La Aurora, which was only 2 blocks from our Airbnb, bonus!
*Flag down any local bus that passes but make sure you check with the driver it is going to San Miguel.
Buying tickets for Escondido Hot Springs & opening hours
There is no need to buy tickets for the hot springs in advance you can simply turn up & purchase them there, the tickets cost $190 (£8.25/$10) per person. You can pay extra for treatments at the hotel next door, we opted to just go in the springs.
The Escondido hot springs are open everyday of the week from 8am - 5pm. I recommend getting there early as the springs have a reputation of getting busier as the day goes on. We had planned to get there earlier than we did but struggled to get out of bed! We arrived at 9:30am on a Friday & there was around 10/15 other people already there. We left at around 3:30pm by which time there were more people, around 40/50 but it was a long way from busy. Maybe we were lucky or maybe the springs aren't quite as busy mid week as they are at the weekend.
Food & drink at Escondido Hot Springs
Escondido hot springs is perfect for the budget backpacker as they allow you to bring in all of your own food & drink (they only say no alcohol allowed). There is the option to purchase food & drink too; they sell, ice lollies, crisps, sweets, cold drinks & beers (I guess they say no alcohol so you buy theirs?).
Experience at Escondido Hot Springs
We were a little apprehensive as a few of the recent reviews had indicated the springs got very busy & some made out the place was dirty. However, we were pleasantly surprised; bar a few leaves in the outdoor pools the place was spotless. There are two outdoor cooler pools, big enough to swim in & three covered hot pools. Dotted around the outdoor pools and a pretty lake full of fish, turtles & water lilies are sun loungers you can chill with you book. There are clean toilets, showers & changing rooms. Be sure to bring a small padlock to use one of the free lockers to store your bags whilst in the indoor pools.
We would 100% recommend anyone who visits San Miguel de Allende to spend half a day at the springs, you won't regret it!
Things to bring
Money for entrance fee & snacks
Sun hat & sunglasses
Shower toiletries & hair brush
100% you could follow the same itinerary as us walking to the main bus station to get the bus to the springs. In all honesty though I would be tempted to ignore what we were told in the tourist information & walk to Calz de La Aurora & stand opposite Mario Talavera and flag down one of the purple & white buses heading north. This will likely save you $5MXN & also it's closer to the centre so probably closer to your accommodation.
If you do jump on the public bus out of town, please can you let me know in the comments so I can update this blog to help others? Thanks