Soak in natural pools of thermal waters, rich in minerals, surrounded by native forests with snowy peaks in the background. This is one of those true pleasure you can experience in Chile.
In Chile there are a great number of volcanoes, where pools and springs of warm water emanate from deep insides the Earth. Porous rocks such as sandstone heat up rain and underground waters that possess healing, cosmetic and relaxation properties.
In Chile, well-being and connecting to nature is one and the same as taking a bath in the hot springs. Visiting these pools of pleasure is more than just soaking in hot water, it’s living an experience that combines leisure, adventure and beautiful landscapes, all of which contribute to one’s health.
A gift for the mind, body and soul, thanks to the bounty of the Andes Mountains. Scattered from north to south, 270 geothermal baths allow visitors to enjoy the beneficial properties of their waters in the midst of landscapes ranging from the arid Atacama Desert to the exuberance of Patagonia’s vegetation.
The south of Chile has the largest number of Hot Springs in all of the South American continent, having been used for thousands of years by native inhabitants due to the benefits that these waters possess.
THE EXTRAORDINARY BENEFITS OF HOT SPRINGS AND MINERAL BATHS
Aside from the fun one gets out of swimming in pools of natural thermal waters, being surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and enjoying all the activities that tourist resorts have to offer, nothing quite compares to having the extra benefit of soaking in mineral waters that emerge from the ground, soothing our bodies and heal our aches and pains.
Hot Springs are one of the most popular and luxurious medical treatments that exist, which is why so many doctors and therapists recommend them as an alternative therapy.
Indeed, thanks to the high temperature of the water from thermal sources the body’s oxygenation and metabolism are increased, tissue nutrition improves and the digestive system is stimulated. Many hot springs resorts in southern Chile even bottle mineral water for drinking.
Do you need another reason to visit the hot springs? What follows is information about their diverse locations and options available at the sites where you can indulge all your senses.
POLLOQUERE HOT SPRING
At an altitude of over 4,000 m.a.s.l. (13,123 ft) and in the midst the opulent nature of northern Chile, you’ll find one of the hottest thermal baths in the country. The hot water of Las Termas de Polloquere emerges from the ground at 60ºC (140°F), it possesses a high concentration of minerals and its turquoise water tempts you to submerge. Access is free but you’ll need a 4×4 to get there. The ride is worth it as you soak and relax. It’s remote and without formal infrastructure but it’s a great place for a picnic or to camp.
Polloquere Hot Springs, located inside Lauca National Park, is famous for its medicinal and therapeutic water, as well as for the recreational nature of its surroundings. The park is the natural habitat of Chilean native animals, such as the ñandú (a bird that looks like an ostrich), Chilean flamingos, ducks, vicuñas, alpacas and llamas, among other species, that add to the excitement of the scenery.
MAMIÑA HOT SPRINGS
The Mamiña Hot Springs are found in the middle of the Atacama Desert, the driest on Earth. This ancient indigenous settlement has a legend that says that an Inca chief baptized this Valley “Mamiña”, meaning “girl of my eyes” after his daughter recovered her sight by using the hot springs to heal her eyes.
Its warm waters, found at the top of the valley, overlook the desert landscape giving one views of fields of traditional crops growing in terraces below. The area has a number of buildings from the Spanish colonial period now administered by the descendants of the Aymaras and Quechuas.
PURITAMA HOT SPRINGS
Considered one of the best hot springs in Chile, located 32km (20.5 mi) NE of San Pedro de Atacama, the Puritama Hot Springs are a series of eight thermal baths whose temperatures reach 33°C (91°F). These waters empty into a river whose waterfalls plunge into a number of escalated pools.
The facilities at this site which is hidden among the arid landscapes of the Atacama Desert, are simple, modern and comfortable, and do not disturb the natural environment. Each warm, refreshing and revitalizing pool becomes part of its picturesque surroundings by wooden walkways.
Its sulphurous waters are highly recommended to relieve rheumatic diseases, fatigue and stress. In addition, you can visit the natural surroundings, and archaeological attractions.
LAGUNA VERDE HOT SPRING
Located in Tres Cruces National Park, these hot springs emerge on the shores of Laguna Verde, the mountain lagoon well-known for its high levels of salinity.
The snowy peaks of Los Ojos del Salado volcano and El Cerro del Muerto are part of the attractions in this spectacular desert.
Experiencing this natural thermal bath that combines the cold water of the lake with the hot water emanating from the earth, transforms your day into a fun outdoor adventure.
EL PLOMO HOT SPRINGS
The ride to these mountain hot springs, close to Santiago, is a pleasure both for the eyes and the soul. The road goes through many beautiful places along the Maipo River and next to the impressive El Yeso reservoir in Cajon del Maipo.
The thermal waters in the three rustic, natural pools that make up this site come from the San Jose Volcano with temperatures reaching 37°C (~98°F). The best time to visit is between November and April, since access may become difficult during late Fall and Winter.
VALLE DE COLINA HOT SPRINGS
High up in the mountains, at the foot of the San Jose Volcano, 140 kms (87 miles) from Santiago, there are 9 outdoor hot spring pools found at staggered heights, with water as hot as 55ºC (131°F) that cools as it flows down to the lower pools.
The pools were formed by calcareous deposits caused by the high concentration of minerals in the geothermal water. The natural springs offer incredible views of the Andes Mountains and an abundance of peace, quiet and well-being.
TERMAS DE HUIFE
Nestled in the middle of a forest at the foot of the Andes Mountains, surrounded by native trees, such as the millenary Araucaria, the Huife Hot Springs sit on the banks of the Liucura river, 133 km (82 mi) from Temuco.
The temperature of the water oscillates between 38 and 40°C (100-104°F) in its three outdoor pools with separate pools of cold river water to cool off in.
One of the best ways to unwind is to take a dip in these geothermal, natural wonders that also offer a number of delightful services, such as massages, fine dining and other leisure activities.
The Parque Nacional Puyehue is located in Chile’s Patagonia, at the foot of the Andes mountain range and on the Banks of the Chanleufú River. This natural sanctuary is famous for the beauty of its rain forests. The park has several installations including hotels, cabins, lodges, domes and exquisite thermal waters.
Thermal pools are found in this native forest where alerce, lingues, mañíos and coigüe trees grow undisturbed. The hot waters and beautiful surroundings provide the scenery for a wonderful, relaxing adventure.
In addition to the pure, crystalline glacial spring waters, one can also choose from Sulphur and mud baths, cosmetic therapy, massages and detox activities.
TERMAS DE PUYUHUAPI
Termas de Puyuhapi is surrounded by a native forest populated by Lenga and Coigüe trees, snowy mountains and glaciers. The thermal waters are found in the middle of Patagonian fiords, only a 15 minute boat ride from the Carretera Austral.
Its thermal sources come from a snowdrift and the place is considered to be one of the best, most exclusive and southernmost on the continent. Thanks to its First-Class installations, this wellness center offers a perfect equilibrium of sophistication and premeditated simplicity.