Hot Springs Beach in El Sargento Baja Mexico

So, the first half of our Christmas vacation didn’t go very well with super high winds and sinking kayaks at Tecolote.

However, the second half ROCKED!!!!

We decided to move to see if winds would lessen with a change in location.  We headed south east down the coast of the Baja further to a little town called El Sargento.  I had read that this town boasted a beach we couldn’t pass up!!!

As we came up over the mountains and could see the sea again we were hurdled into the view of more than a hundred kiteboarder’s kites in the air all along the sea’s edge!  It was an incredible view.  We even forgot to take pictures until we were down into town.


We found a place to stay and parked for the night.  We were suppose to have hookups (so we could do laundry) but it didn’t go very well.  Three extension cords later we had electric and although there was a water spigot there wasn’t enough water pressure to run the washing machine.   The campground was almost totally kite boarders.  We had no idea we had stumbled into one of the 3 kiteboarding meccas in the western hemisphere (also Hood River, Oregon and Maui, Hawaii).

Since we had gotten in quite early we checked out the beach where we wanted to stay to see if there were any acceptable spots to park Gracie.  We weren’t going to just go straight to the beach with Gracie since we were still a bit gun-shy from getting the van stuck in the sand at Tecelote.  Could this amazing beach be our home for the last few days of vacation?

Ding Ding Ding!  We had a winner!

Early the next morning we moved Gracie to her new spot and were settled within minutes!  We wanted to get to the reason we were here!!!!!


This specific beach is called Hot Spring Beach and visitors can dig their own hot tubs!  Which we proceeded to do immediately!

You have to dig your hot tub pit, line it with a tarp and add a combination of both sea water and water from the hot spring. 


We had read that you would also need to dig a 7+ foot deep pit to gain access to the hot spring water (that was 140 degrees F) but we discovered that on Christmas day a group of kiteboarders made a well to the hot water out of plastic 50 gallon drums.  It was super easy to get the hot water using the hand-over-hand method with a bucket on a rope.



We had taken a tarp with us on this trip to cover the bikes from the rain. We hadn’t used it yet. We also happened to have a gallon ice cream bucket, and a length of rope. Who knew these were the materials (plus a shovel) to build a hot tub!


Only two hours later we were all chilling in our own custom, hand dug, outdoor hot tub with an ocean view!  It was so fabulous!


We had 2 other groups of hot tubbers join us (about 25 people) around 1:00 pm and although everyone that afternoon were expats (there was not enough wind to kite board), they were all very nice and we hosted a huge hot tub party in Gracie’s front yard!

We literally sat in our hot tub all afternoon, getting out only to add more hot water or retrieve refreshments.  The other tub-party goers departed around suppertime and we finally toweled of our uber-pruney bodies and fixed some supper (chicken fajitas-YUM)


We then prepared to light our fireworks for New Years Eve.  The kids LOVED doing our own fireworks and Paul enjoyed lighting things some of which he had no idea what they would actually do.


  • Lighting Fireworks — mildly dangerous
  • Lighting Fireworks made and sold in Mexico — more dangerous
  • Lighting Fireworks made and sold in Mexico with hard to decipher instructions— very dangerous
  • Lighting Fireworks made and sold in Mexico with no labels at all — extremely dangerous

We’re blessed that only once did anything come close to Paul and he’s just fine maybe even a little quicker on his feet than before.


Firework remnants

The next day we added more hot water to our tub and the kids played in it all morning while Paul and I did misc. repair jobs around Gracie.




This is one of the locations where the hotspring mixes with ocean water and people have moved stones to create a natural hottub. But the ocean water was too cold and overpowered the hotspring (which is where Becky is standing)

That afternoon the kids flew their kites (a big thank you to our friends the Peine's for Thys’s birthday gift!) An awesome thing to do when you’re at a mecca for kite boarders!







While the kids were occupied with their kites Paul and I redesigned the hot tub for adult use in the evening.  Then after the kids went to bed we enjoyed a hot tub under the star filled sky to the tune of ocean surf with Malibu rum in hand!!!!  Very relaxing!  A GREAT end to the holidays and our vacation!

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Becky Kortman

I'm a homeschooling, world traveling, Jesus follower who is a wife and mom of 4 kids, In all my travels, I am looking for places that fit with my soul and feel as much like 'home' as they can this side of heaven.

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  1. Mandi

    That is so cool!!! What fun!

    If you like hot springs, next time you are in NW Oregon, maybe check out Bagby Hotsprings which has incredible dugout trees, and handmade tubs with natural handmade pipes coming from the spring. (There are some precautions. Ask me about it if you ever head that way.)

    • Paul Kortman

      Wow. Sounds awesome. I doubt we’ll be up in Oregon for at least two years but if we do We’ll ask you about it!

  2. Linda

    I love your creativity, resourcefulness, sense of fun and adventure! That is the sort of holiday kids remember forever! Was the ocean swimmable there, or was it too dangerous?

    • Paul Kortman

      Thanks Linda! It’s hard to beat, we have a plan for Christmas this year but no idea how to ring in the new year. As for the ocean there technically it’s swimable but not for our crew for a couple reasons, 1 it dropped of quickly, 2 it was quite cold there (compared to Bahia de conception or Cabo Pulmo) and finally 3 it’s quite windy and most days that makes it choppy on the water, great for wind sports, terrible for kids to swim in. We did see some teenagers swimming/snorkeling. But for the most part everyone stuck to the hot tubs!

  3. Russ Armstrong

    Awesome, adventurous fun loving family! Kudos to mom & dad!

  4. Beverly Heath

    What fun!


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