Healing waters of a Thermal Spa
Click on all photos to enlarge
When we met some RVers at the market in Lake Chapala south of Guadalajara, Mexico who told us they were camped next to a thermal spa and I just had to investigate. We both love our RV lifestyle but John misses his big screen TV and I haven't figured out how to have a hot tub on board ready to climb in. The only thing I really miss by living in an RV is my bathtub.
RVers must have thought I was obsessed because I kept asking more
and more questions. Soon after, we visited their park just
outside of the small village of Villa Corona. When I saw their
incredible campground/water theme park complex, a most sensational
me. Taking a swim in the beneficial 'silky' therapeutic water of a
Mexican 'Balneario' (Thermal Health Spa) suggested an incomparable
It was easy to imagine the pleasure of warm spa waters swirling
around me, I knew camping in this complex could become an ultimate
period of relaxation. We also found a second campground/thermal spa
facilities in the city of Villa Corona, state of Jalisco. Both were
located 50km south of Guadalajara on Highway 80 and within an hours
drive of Lake Chapala which means extensive shopping is close at hand.
entertaining parks not only include thermal spas and private enclosed
pools, they are also the home of every imaginable water
related amusement amenity.
Such attractions as colossal water slides, wave pools, ancient
ships to explore, lazy river rides, water volleyball, children's
much more helps to entertain every family member. Non camping
visitors can rent hotel rooms or bungalows on site. The parks decorative
gardens and vast parklands contribute a tranquil flavour to the spa -
especially during non busy times, Both campgrounds routinely provide a
specific thermal pool solely for use of park members. Each evening the
staff refills one pool with fresh thermal water especially for
campground clients and overnight guests.
Following highway 80 through Villa Corona, the first Spa we came
'Chimulco'. Several Olympic sized thermal pools in this
Balneario nestle among abundant artistic flower gardens. Giant trees
shade the vast picnic area alongside the lake.
This is such a spacious location for the entire family to enjoy a
fun filled day enjoying the outdoors. Rental bungalows include kitchen
conveniences and all services, however an appetizing,
inexpensive menu at the snackbar can provide lunch for those
without a picnic basket.
Chimulco not only invites day visitors to use the theme park
amenities...cost is reasonable, the economical overnight camping rate
and low charges for hotel rooms or bungalows encourages vacationers to
extend their holiday. Guest have 'free' use of most spa facilities. This
park has mainly transient RV clientele, although a number of Canadians
and Americans call Chimulco their winter home. RVers spending time in
such an extraordinary place think they found heaven. Chimulco's full
service trailer park has 50 generous sites, 3 way hookups, potable water
and a good source of power. A club house, park activity
schedules, satellite TV, and much more helps to keep RVers busy. The
reasonable daily rate of the campground, decreases up to 30% for
month extended stays.
The other spa near Villa Corona is 'Aqua Caliente'.
This park boasts of an additional adventure section -- one
with immense water slides and
Of course it also offers all the spa amenities mentioned above.
Agua Caliente Balneario provides a full service 62 site campground with
a variety of amenities including a coin laundromat as part of their
Many park residents at Agua Caliente are families from
Guadalajara who rent a site for the season. They leave their trailers
there all year and visit to relax and enjoy spa life whenever work
Agua Caliente, overnight guests and trailer park patrons have the use of
all main pools and facilities as part of their rental rate. Day visitors
pay a basic fee for use of these Olympic size thermal pools including
the wave pool and many facilities. However all customers must pay an
extra charge to use the Toboggan Park. In this spa too, aesthetic
surroundings enhance the tasteful grounds throughout the complex.
nothing comes close to the sensation of the medicinal hot smooth waters
of the thermal spas massaging your body.
Of course here, as in most thermal spas, enclosed
private pools are available by the hour - costs are reasonable for a
minimum of three to five hours.
we were investigating these special campgrounds, we also discovered
other spas in the Lake Chapala area. Each one we visited was unique in
Most had one main gigantic swimming pool of warm medicinal
thermal water alongside several other immense pools containing water of
varying temperatures...the warmest -- approximately 104oF.
has numerous spas throughout the country. As we've seen, some combine
camping facilities with their many amenities. The majority of pools
contain natural untreated warm water which spouts from deep underground.
No chlorine or chemicals are necessary to purify or cleanse these baths.
Management drains and refills each one depending on usage; changes may
occur daily or at regular hygienic intervals.
the medical profession suggest a swim or relaxation therapy in a thermal
spa to ease symptoms of arthritis, rheumatism, stress, fatigue, and
sleeplessness. Persons recovering from fractures and certain operations
discover the elevated spa temperatures helps to increase mobility.
Balneario personnel skilled in massage and physiotherapy adds to client
'Motel Balneario' in San Juan Cosala sits alongside
picturesque Lake Chapala beneath a mystical mountain. It's a mere 60 km
south of Guadalajara and 20 km west of Chapala en route to Jocotepec.
This quaint Balneario and Motel complex has
several large pools and jacuzzi's. Each one is kept at varying
degrees from extremely warm to invigorating cool. There are no campsites
here but comfortable motel rooms and apartments nestle amidst a variety
of fragrant colourful flowers. The bathroom of each suite includes
thermal running water for your private bath. If this tub is not
luxurious enough, residents can rent a large private enclosed Thermal
Hot Tub by the hour...for a complete relaxation experience; ask a friend
to join you.
Both public and private pools at Hotel Balneario in San Juan Cosala are
open to overnight guests and to those enjoying extended vacations.
also encourages day visitors to partake in the Balneario
facilities - for a low fee of course. Children too are welcome at this
facility. A comprehensive playground area provides amusement for younger
The hotel's full service restaurant offers nutritious meals for
guests who wish to spend a pampered few days, or an entire season. This
spa has an added attraction - a geyser erupts at full heated strength of
from deep below ground every eight hours.
We found another spa in San Juan with medicinal high temperature
water flowing through it's many private pools and jacuzzi's...including
the hotels several large thermal swimming pools. Overnight guests at Villas
can rent furnished apartments complete with a
kitchen, TV and a bath with thermal running water. Attractive
surroundings and beautiful gardens at this picturesque Balneario enhance
the pleasure of
the guests. The feeling of being part of a very exclusive private
place is overwhelming because this spa is only open to hotel guests, no
day visitor passes are available.
In the centre of cosmopolitan Chapala, we found one more spa
overlooking the lake...the hotel 'Villa Montecarlo'. This spa has
been the social centre of Chapala for many years. Two large thermal
swimming pools surrounded by exquisite gardens and several massive,
century old trees punctuate
these elegant grounds.
An aura of grandeur is evident everywhere throughout this
Villa Montecarlo is a full service hotel/spa complete with an
elegant dining room. Thermal pools are open to both hotel guests and
daytime visitors as well.
A convenient and reasonably priced month long 'day pass' is
available. Many residents of the community as well as Chapala visitors
enjoy the benefits of this spa on a regular basis.
has approximately 30 luxurious spas scattered throughout the country,
but like campgrounds
when one closes another usually opens their doors.
No matter which spa you visit, the experience should be
overwhelming. A hot tub is merely a hot tub until you spend a day
or longer at a Thermal Balneario (Spa) in Mexico. Why not add adventure
to your RV travels? Visit a soothing spa today.
What better way to experience how warm Mexico can really be.
Bar to this story..
Mexico Mike researches life and travels in Mexico and he knows
Mexico better than anyone. Mike has written several books on Mexico's
Thermal Spas. For more information about Spas or any other questions
about traveling in Mexico, please visit our RV
page for numerous links about Mexico.