Charquito Atotonilco Warm Springs
About 10 miles (16 km) west of the Tututepec side road, Highway 200 passes over the Río Verde, Oaxaca’s grand river, which funnels the entire runoff from Oaxaca’s central valley into the Pacific a few miles downstream.
This source of warm, sulfury, curative water has been used and revered by untold generations of local people. Folks have built a small chapel on the hill above the pair of springs. The first spring is to the right, below the road, beneath an immense, spreading guanacastle tree, and the second is marked by a wide, waist-deep riverbank bathing pool.
A continuous stream of mostly local people bathe here, especially on Sundays and holidays. If you’ve got extra time, this might be an interesting place to set up a tent or park your RV for a few days (at a respectful distance from the springs themselves; as a courtesy, ask if it’s OK to camp). Unless you’re under three, do not bathe nude. Please respect local custom by wearing at least a modest bathing suit while using the springs.
On the slope above the springs, pay your respects inside the small chapel, dedicated to the Virgen de los Remedios. Here, at the altar, people give “thanks to the virgin for the hot waters that have been provided.”
West of the river, near the Kilometer 48 marker, just over a half mile (one km) west of Charquito village, turn left at the Guayabo-labeled side road for Atotonilco hot springs and sacred site.
If driving, set your odometer at the turnoff. Continue through Guayabo (2.1 miles/3.4 km), Patria Nueva (2.8 miles/4.5 km), and a shallow river bed (about a foot and a half deep during the rainy season) to the warm spring at 4.2 miles (6.8 km).
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Oaxaca, 5th edition