Termas Papallacta, Ecuador
One of our greatest passions in life is the pursuit of the perfect hot spring and the adventures that arise in that endeavor. The healing waters bring us back to the warmth of our mother's womb and we feel nourished and alive after soaking in nature's life source. We typically prefer undeveloped hot springs that are off the beaten path but the majestic Termas Papallacta looked too good to pass up.
High up in the Andes mountains at almost 11,000 feet this hidden gem beckoned us with its flowing crystal-clear waters heated by a volcano. Termas Pappallacta is located on approximately 500 acres at the entrance of the Cayambe-Coca National Park.
The hotel has multiple large hot spring pools surrounded by private cabins. We stayed in a Standard Double Room and couldn't be happier with the location. The door to our little wood cabin opened up to giant pools running hot water 24 hours a day. The room was clean, the bed was comfortable and the free breakfast buffet was delicious!
Adjacent to the hotel is a day spa with a plethora of more fancy pools with rock sculptures and water features galore that are available for day use for around $30. If you're a backpacker traveling on a budget, we recommend the public pools that are under $10 for the day and almost as nice as the spa.
There are three restaurants located on the property serving farm to table food fresh from their garden. If you're a hiker, there are also a number of trails for all skill levels with beautiful waterfalls and scenic views.
As avid hot spring explorers, this place is definitely towards the top of our list. Whether you're looking for a quick excursion just outside of Quito or a long term place to relax and retreat, we couldn't recommend Termas Papallacta enough!