Hiking, biking and volcanic hot springs; work up a sweat in Papallacta, then unwind.
Sitting high up in the Andean foothills, the small village of Papallacta is famous for its thermal springs and fantastic trekking opportunities. Nutrient-rich streams naturally heated by the surrounding Cayambe and Antisana Volcanoes are channelled into crafted plunge pools, said to offer significant health benefits. A dip in these rich waters is surely the ultimate form of relaxation, particularly after a hard day’s exploration of the plains and valleys which surround the town.
The mineral waters of the Papallacta hot springs contain sulfates, sodium, calcium, chloride and magnesium, whose properties range from anti-rheumatic and anti-inflammatory to diuretic and sedative – in other words, these waters do wonders for your health! The temperature outside ranges from 10° to 14°C (50° to 57°F); while the hot springs are a soothing 40°C (104°F), and the view across Antisana Volcano adds a bit of drama to this setting.
While Papallacta is certainly best known as a place to unwind in the rare indulgence of volcanic waters, encircled by the incredible scenery of thick forests and imposing mountains, it also provides an excellent base to enjoy horse riding and trekking opportunities for all abilities and fitness levels. Many of the trails beyond town are rarely visited and seldom trodden, giving a real sense of pioneering exploration as you go. All of this is backed up by seemingly ever-changing weather throughout the day, just adding to the excitement!
Papallacta Exploratorium Research Centre
The area surrounding Papallacta hot springs is home to numerous endemic species, both of the plant and animal kingdoms. The Exploratorium Centre was established to allow conservationists, botanists and visitors a chance to observe and track the flow of wildlife which the area enjoys. Visiting the station will help scratch beneath the surface of this biologically diverse region, and the Highlands more generally.
Thermal pools of Papallacta
Having spent the day trekking the Andean wilderness, or if looking to simply unwind in nutrient-rich, naturally-heated volcanic waters, the best way to relax is by soaking in the tempting Papallacta hot springs. With multiple pools, spas, trails and a fantastic locally supplied restaurant, the Papallacta thermal pools will tempt you to stay for hours.
Indulgent natural therapies
The Papallacta hot springs are the ideal place to relax, unwind and treat yourself to one of the many therapies on offer, in the most beautiful surroundings. Whether it's an aromatherapy body massage, natural steam cave, or any one of the water-based treatments the springs’ spa specialises in, Papallacta is sure to leave you feeling energised and pampered in equal measure.