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My-Quito.com : Papallacta


Papallacta Thermal SpaTermas de Papllacta
We stayed at the Termas de Papallacta Spa Resort in 2006, having arrived in darkness after a six hour drive from Banos on the Oriente loop.

Set at an altitude of 3300m, the hotel is beautiful but expensive by Ecuadorean standards  -we were surprised that the $90 room rate didn't even include breakfast. The bedrooms are in thatched cabins arranged around courtyards containing hot pools from the thermal springs -you can simply walk out of your room to enjoy them at any time -day or night! The rooms themselves are large, but dark -they would benefit from more and larger windows, especially to take in the stunning views towards the gleaming peak of the Antisana to the south east. Dinner was reasonably priced, but in the morning they offered a huge and expensive breakfast buffet.

After breakfast we went for a walk, starting at the public Thermal Baths. These are wonderful -a series of hot pools in a beautifully landscaped setting of floribunda trees. Visitors pay just $6 for a day, and it is an excellent day out from Quito. The weather had become a bit cooler on the day of our visit, so we didn't stop there, but set out on our walk toards the Rancho del Cañón at the entrance to the Cayambe Coca Reserve. We only walked a short way, but you can see the scenery from the photos. Longer walks (or pony treks) are possible with guides.

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On checking out of the hotel, it seemed that everyone else was busy disputing their bill with an intransigent manageress -she seemed well used to it.

As we left, we had a quick look the hotel at the bottom of the hill opposite the turning to the Thermas -much more basic but clean, and if you are on a budget $10 a day might be more acceptable. They have their own steam baths too.

The 70km journey back to Quito had some interesting scenery but was otherwise uneventful -happily Guapulo can be reached without going into the centre of the city.

 
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More of our photographs of Papallacta.
 

Other
El Oriente -travelling east to the Amazonian rainforest.
Northern Andes -further afield to Tungurahua, Baños and Ambato.
 

 
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