Termas 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.
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
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.
- More of our photographs
east to the Amazonian rainforest.
afield to Tungurahua, Baños and Ambato.
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