"Termas de Papallacta (Papallacta Hot Springs)" Papallacta by tejanasueca

Papallacta Travel Guide: 18 reviews and 153 photos

These hotsprings are located just a couple of hours outside of Quito. They are a popular weekend spot for Quito' more well do to population. Therefore, it can get croweded duirng the weekend. So, if you can, go during the week.

Papallacta is officially in the area of Ecuador designated as the "Orient." Hence, it is a cheap and quick way to visit this part of the country, even if you don't really get that "jungle experience."

How to Get There

At Terminal Terrestre in Quito, look for a bus going to Tena and tell them that you want to go to Papallacta. It should only be a couple of bucks. While the first part of the ride is very nice, be prepared for it to get somewhat bumpy later on.

Get off the bus about 1 mile before the village of Papallacta (picture). At the busstop, you will see the village on the right, and on the left, right next to a road, there is a sign indicating "Termas de Pappallacta." Follow this road (walk or try to hitch a ride) for a couple of miles.

To return to Quito, got to the busstop and hope for the best. If your lucky, you only have to wait 10min for the bus, if you are unlucky (like we were) you might have to wait an hour (I had an appointment in Quito, so this was kind of nerve-racking. Hence, lesson learned: we you go to Papallacta, clear your schedule and just relax and enjoy the day).

What to Expect

The facilities are simple but nice (the cost is a couple of bucks).Tradition is to get in the cold river before you get into the hotsprings (the river is located towards the tophand right corner if you stand at the entrance), however, this is OPTIONAL. Do shower off before getting in though. There are several pools, some more shallow than others, and they have different temperatures. Essentially, what you do here is sit and chill and carry on conversations with your friends.

There is also a restuarant inside the facilities, but the prices are somewhat steep. For the budget traveler, there is also a little shop that sells gatorade and chips (also, bring some snacks for the busride). It might also be wise to bring some water as you are at a high altitude sitting in really hot water. Remember how hungry and thirsty you got after you went swimming during the summer?????

While the pools are warm, the springs are at a rather high elevation, so the air gets rather chilly. So, bring warm clothes and maybe some rain gear.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Outside of the city, warm pools, relaxing.
  • Cons:Waiting for the buss.
  • In a nutshell:Set aside a whole day, bring some snacks, and just relax!
  • Last visit to Papallacta: Dec 2003
  • Intro Updated Aug 7, 2004
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