A history of relaxation and revitalization resides in the waters of Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa. Just 50 miles north of Santa Fe, you can soak in private pools, indulge in many Native-inspired spa treatments, and after you’ve loosened up, hike or bike through thousands of acres of National Forest and public land.

For centuries, the hot springs in Ojo Caliente, New Mexico, have been soothing people with their supposed healing powers. Thousands of years ago, Native Americans found this natural oasis and claimed that the waters were given to them by their gods. When the Spanish arrived at the end of the 16th century, they named this spot Ojo Caliente (Hot Eye) and transformed the area into one of the first health spas in the country.

Ojo is the only hot springs in the world with four different types of sulfur-free mineral waters including iron, arsenic, soda and lithia. The iron-based spring is considered to be beneficial to the blood and immune system and the arsenic spring is recommended for those who are searching for arthritis and ulcer pain relief.  The rock-enclosed soda pool provides a sense of calm and the Lithia-rich pool is believed to aid depression and digestion.

Many Native-inspired spa therapies are available at Ojo. One of the most popular treatments is the Ojo Private Ritual Herbal Bath, which takes place in a private bathtub in the historic bathhouse. When you take part in this ritual, you can soak in the arsenic waters infused with native herbs and rest your eyes using chamomile eye pads.

The newest addition to the spa menu is the Ancient Echoes Massage. This treatment combines techniques from the 4,000-year-old Ayurvedic healing system and western massage work. The 80-minute table massage focuses on the back, neck, shoulders, arms and head. It calms the over-active mind, eases headaches, insomnia and eyestrain, and relieves aches and pains. When certain points on the body are massaged, blocked energy channels are cleared. The back work opens the spine and increases the cerebral spinal fluid flow to the head, and the slow pace of the massage gives time for the nervous system to relax into the touch.

The face portion of this massage softens tense facial muscles and reduces signs of aging. After you’ve treated your muscles, the mineral waters compliment the therapy and as you relax, you’re sure to ascend into euphoria.

The spa menu also features a Native American Blue Corn & Prickly Pear Salt Scrub, which uses a unique mixture of blue corn, prickly pear and ancient sea salt to whisk away dry, dull skin. This idea came straight from cultural tradition, because many Native-Americans rubbed blue cornmeal on their skin to refresh their skin and rid their bodies of impurities.

The resort also has a signature Milagro Relaxation Wrap. To increase your core body temperature, you first soak in warm mineral water and then enter a quiet, darkened room with rows of tables. As you rest on one of the tables, the therapist will wrap you in a light cotton blanket, followed by a heavier wool blanket. This accelerates the release of toxins and as soothing music plays, you relax in a cocoon of warmth.

Recently, the Kiva Pool was added in the courtyard between the Plaza, Pueblo and Cliffside Suites. This pool is modeled after traditional Kivas used by Pueblo Indians over 3,000 years ago. After digging circular areas into the ground and covering them with vigas (long, fully intact pine logs stripped of foliage), they would use the Kivas for sacred rituals and performances.

Today, the Kiva Pool’s round shape and stone accents resemble the traditional design. It is filled with a combination of iron and arsenic mineral waters that are said to prevent fatigue and promote healthy skin tone. As you revitalize, not only can you admire the pueblo ruins resting just above the property, but you can also enjoy the time and space for meditation.

After becoming fully energized at the spa, you are more than welcome to thousands of acres of National Forest and public land. The landscape adjoining Ojo is full of beautiful high desert mesas, a lush river valley, and miles of trails for biking and hiking. You can also take yoga classes or enjoy locally influenced foods such as Green Chile “Fries” (thinly sliced Poblano chilies fried and served with an Asian dipping sauce) and Green Chile Encrusted Salmon.

You can go to this resort for the day or stay the night. The options are endless here, but one thing is certain – you’ll leave feeling completely relaxed and rejuvenated.

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Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa