The Hot Water Springs of Papallacta

Papallacta in Ecuador offers therapy, relaxation and adventure. What more could one want in a holiday destination? About 60 km east of Quito on the Quito-Baeza Road, Papallacta is located at an elevation of 3300 meters in the southwest edge of the Oriental Mountain range. This is part of the Andes Mountains and Papallacta overlooks the spectacular snowcapped Antisana (5700m).

A rustic village, Papallacta is renowned for its hot springs known as the “Balneario Termas de Papallacta” or Termas de Papallacta Hot Springs. Among the best in Ecuador, these thermal baths or hot springs are located on the banks of the Papallacta River. The natural environment has been maintained in scenic surroundings and the nine hot thermal pools, one river water pool and three cold water pools of different sizes are a picturesque sight.

Papallacta is located between two volcanoes, the Cayambe and the Antisana. This is the source of the heat of the springs. The temperature at the source of the natural springs varies from 30 degrees C to 70 degrees C though it is cooler in the pools. The one closest to the river is around 60 degrees. The waters in the springs contain a high percentage of sulfates, chloride, sodium, calcium and traces of magnesium, which have no odor or color but do give the water a slightly salty taste.

Very close to the springs is a spa and hotel, with accommodation for a hundred and twenty people. It offers comfortable rooms and treatment in the thermal baths. The curative properties of the bath waters are supposed to improve intestinal function. It is supposed to have anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and anti-rheumatic powers as well

Treatment is offered for a number of problems like respiratory disease and sinusitis, arthritic problems and even kidney ailments. In one of the treatments the patient is expected to immerse himself in the hot waters for fifteen minutes and then take a quick dip in the freezing waters of the snow fed river.

This is lovely place to relax and enjoy the therapy of the thermal baths. One can also go horse riding hiking and fishing around the regions. The hotel organizes fascinating eco-tours from here.