Santiago a small pueblo in Baja Sur with two great mountain areas to visit, Cañon de la Zorra (Fox Canyon) and Aguas Calientes (Hot Water (Springs) aera). Maps and directions on how to visit these wonderful mountain creeks and hot springs.
Baja is mostly known for its deserts and beaches but the mountains not only offer incredible views but oasis, waterfalls and hot springs in various areas with different plant and animal life. One of these areas is at the base of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains outside the town of Santiago in Baja California Sur.
This can be a great day trip from anywhere from Los Cabos to Los Barilles and all of the East Cape area. The coolness of the air with large Fichus shade trees, breezes and cold water these areas can be very refreshing. There 2 seperate place that you may want to visit the Canyon del Zorro (Fox Canyon) or the Aguas Calientes (Hot Water) area with hot springs and cold pools and creek hiking. Both Canyon del Zorro and Aguas Calientes are incredible areas to visit but difficult to enjoy both in the same day.
Santiago is a small pueblo located 46 km north of the , Los Cabos Airport (SJD),San Jose del Cabo, Baja Sur. At about 42km you make a left turn off Highway 1 to Santiago. If you are planning on going to Cañon del Zorro (Canyon of the Fox) waterfall and pool then at the far end of a divided avenue before actually entering Santiago plaza, you will make a right turn and go up a hill for about .5km through intersection and then turn left at the crest of hill at 1.3Km then at 1.7 km turn right and 4km you will see a sign for Cañon de la Zorra follow that fork for 9.7 km After passing a rancho officially called the Rancho Ecológico Sol de Mayo (Eco-park May Sun)with a gate you will pass through and arrive at a parking area where there is generally someone keeping an eye on the area as well as there is a rustico bathroom.
From the parking area it is a short 10 minute hike up to the pool and waterfall. You will see the pool down below as you arrive and you will need to descend a steep dirt trail down to the pool.
A good idea to have at least tennis shoes or sport sandals. The descent is much harder than going back up and there has been a rope to help people from slipping down the short trail through rocks, cactus and trees. The pool is over 40 feet across and the fall is about 30 feet high. The water runs year round and the pool can be very refreshing with the waterfall actually being warmer from above where the stream is very shallow and the water is naturally solar heated.
Climbing around large boulders for sunning like lizards and jumping in to refresh yourself can be an all day event. Jumping off rocks into the pools is a lot of fun but be careful it is not recommend by us at all. The canyon can become cooler fast as the sun goes down early in the mountains. The water flows year round and can be dangerous during the rainy season. If it is raining in the mountains above keep an eye out for flooding. During the winter the water may be a bit cold but the sun will heat you right up as you lay on the sun boulders. Do be careful up here as if you hurt yourself it can be very difficult to get back out of the canyon.
The tourist companies do regularly bring guests up there so if you want a little more privacy plan your trip for the afternoon as the tour companies generally leave by lunch time. Things to consider to bring along on your trip are tennis shoes or sport sandals, sunscreen, towels, extra clothes, hat, bandanna, sun glasses, water (gallon or two, leave some at car for when you get back), snacks, camera, pocket knife, flashlight. It does get dark fast in the canyons so we strongly suggest to head home well before sunset.
These pools and falls and the ones above Aguas Calientes (Hot Waters)are cool to cold and can be very refreshing in the summer months.
The hot springs can be found by passing the zoo on the way out of Santiago passing the great restaurant and small hotel Palomar to the south and follow the power lines overhead through the small town of Aguas Calientes to the damn.
The hot springs actually comes out of the rock cliff on the far side of the dam which is a cool pool reservoir at the end of the road. You may also find on the opposite side of the rock wall a beach where you may dig down and create hot pools from the upcoming hot water if people have not already done so.
Plan for a lot of time unless you are staying locally in Santiago because once you hike back to your car and drink that water you hopefully left there you may find yourself tired to drive back to San Jose or East Cape. Also if you are not a hiker or limited in walking then go to Aguas Calientes and enjoy the pool and hot springs that are right at the end of the road.
The town of Santiago has a small beautiful plaza a zoo and a beautiful church along with great food so you will want to take sometime in this quaint pueblo as well. Hope you get a chance to enjoy this area and please feel free to let us know how your trip went.