The Mysteries of Machu Picchu
Since its discovery in the early 20th century, Machu Picchu has taken off as a world destination, being named year after year as a best travel destination and one of...
Since ancient times, hot springs have been used as a natural therapy for treating various kinds of illnesses as well as a means of socializing. These waters are warmer than usual, and they come from subterraneous layers of the earth, providing many beneficial minerals for human beings.
Luckily, in Cusco there are numerous sites where you can enjoy these hot springs. Whether you’re looking for a moment of pure relaxation or in need of their medicinal properties, these are the best hot springs in Cusco.
When taking the train to Machu Picchu this small town will be your final stop. Aguas Calientes (meaning ‘hot waters’) is so named due to the hot springs that can be found here. Sulphurous and ranging in temperatures from 100-115 degrees Fahrenheit, these hot springs are recommended as a relaxing reward after trekking the intense Inca Trail. With a total of five pools of distinct heat levels, the Aguas Calientes complex includes all you need for a day at the hot springs: toilets, showers, dressing rooms, towels and flip flops (in case you forgot to pack your own). Last but not least, you can enjoy a nice relaxing drink while enjoying a serene soak, thanks to the available bar service.
Lares Hot Springs
The village of Lares is located at 3,250 meters above sea level, and belongs to the province of Calca. The waters of these hot springs are of a yellowish color due to its rich composition of many beneficial minerals. At the entrance, you will be able to see rock formations such as stalactites and stalagmites. If you want to extend your stay (and take another dip in the hot springs) guests are able to camp onsite. While here, you will likely come across trekkers who have chosen this spot as a haven to rest their feet.
Colcamayo (Santa Teresa)
At the edge of the Urubamba River and along the mountains, the Santa Teresa hot springs can be found. The natural beauty of their surroundings have made these hot springs some of the most popular in Cusco. Open 24 hours a day, enjoy an evening soak in these warm waters that reflect the starry sky above. As this area of Cusco is considered a high jungle region, we recommend to bring bug repellent to avoid any unwanted mosquito bites.
Some 8 kms away from Calca, near the aforementioned community of Lares, you will find the Machacancha hot springs. They are one of the few in Cusco that are indoors, though the skylights in the roof structure allow for plenty of sunlight to seep in. The average temperature of these hot springs are 104 degrees Farhenheit and they are especially recommended for people suffering from anaemia and hepatic illness. Make a full day of adventure by visiting the nearby Huchuy Qosqo archaeological site.