Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


The Baja Pedicure

The Hot Springs

The Hot Springs

I bet no one thought DryStoneGarden would post about pedicures.

But I did get a pedicure of sorts at the hot springs in the Sierra de la Laguna national park near Santiago, a town about 50 miles north of San Jose del Cabo. The hot springs is very low-key, just a circle of rocks in a stream coming out of the hills. Hot water comes up through the sand and seeps out of the cliff in a couple of places, right before an abandoned concrete dam. The pool is not especially hot, though I would still rate it as a hot springs rather than just a warm springs, especially after we dug down into the sand to make the water warmer. But the unique part was that after we’d been in the water a little while, twenty or thirty small fish about 4-6 inches long gathered round and started nibbling at our feet.

It was a bit unnerving at first. Not so much the feeling — which is delicate and sandpapery, a little like being licked by a cat or I suppose a swarm of cats — but rather the thought that these fish were feeding off our bodies. But we got used to it. We joked that it was probably a fancy skin treatment in Asia, but of course it turns out that it is. And it definitely works; afterwards our skin was silky smooth. As a test, we let them feed on one of my knees but not the other, and we could indeed see a noticeable difference afterwards. It wasn’t a huge difference — nobody stared or pointed at my knees when I walked around in shorts — but one knee was distinctly shiny and smooth while the other was rough. I recommend it.

Sierra de la Laguna Granite

Sierra de la Laguna Granite



We explored up the gorge a ways; fun boulder-hopping. There was a double band of dark rock running along the creek for something like kilometer before the creek turned. Really beautiful. I hadn’t expected to see such striking granite in southern Baja. I was struck by the similarity between the roots of the wild figs and the veins in the rock. We basically went to the park because we happened to be passing by, but, out of all of Baja, the park is probably the place that we most want to go back to.

Wild Fig

Wild Fig

More Veins

More Veins

The Gorge

The Gorge,

Tags: ,

5 Responses to “The Baja Pedicure”

  1. February 13th, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Carol says:

    Lucky you!! Gorgeous healing place! Thank you for sharing! There is a forest of life that lives on our bodies… skin mites etc. … all natural to our life. Having the fist clean the forest of skin sounds neat! ;>))

  2. February 13th, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Nell Jean says:

    This is an inspiring post as I sit here with cold feet as the temperatures drop outside as the sun goes down.

  3. February 14th, 2010 at 9:42 am

    ryan says:

    Carol – You’re right, there are things feeding off our skin at every moment. It felt a little different for them to be 6 inches long and visible, but not so different in the end. A wonderfully healing place.

    Nell Jean – Even I appreciate thinking back on Baja, and I don’t live in a place with cold winters.

  4. February 14th, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Town Mouse says:

    How interesting! Sure makes me think I’m ready for a vacation…Great pix!

  5. March 15th, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    chuck b. says:

    I’ve heard about people getting their feet treated with those fish. I would never. But that’s cool.

    I was going to explore Baja one year, bought a ticket and everything, but came down w/ a terrible flu the night before my flight to La Paz and it never happened. I wanted to see the cave paintings in Mulege.

Leave a Reply