The Best Desert Getaways: 2. Ojo Caliente, New Mexico

Get pampered in the Land of Enchantment

Ojo Caliente

Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa     Photo: Julien McRoberts

A layer of snow might fall here through the end of April, but this town’s sulfur-free, geothermal mineral waters flow from a subterranean volcanic aquifer that can heat up to 109 degrees—and that should keep you plenty warm. Sitting roughly halfway between Taos and Santa Fe on U.S. 285, Ojo Caliente has been a spa oasis ever since the ancestors of today’s Native American Tewa tribes built pueblos surrounding the hot springs in the 15th century. Today there’s still a private soaking area for tribal leaders, but the public pools—Lithia, Iron, Soda, and Arsenic—are yours for the soaking, and they’ve been upgraded with a new ozone and UV light filtration system to keep them clean and chlorine-free.

Also new within the last few years are 12 miles of mesa-top hiking and mountain biking trails, a wine bar, three private soaking pools with outdoor fireplaces, four spacious new massage therapy rooms, and beautifully updated cottages and suites. Don’t worry, the centuries-old charm hasn’t worn off. The all-inclusive three-night, four-day Ojo Escape starts at $899 per person.

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