Wondrous Peru: Well-being and relaxation

Relax in the hot springs while your body soaks up minerals that are incredibly good for your health. In these springs, underground water comes bubbling up at different temperatures (above 20 °C – 68 °F), and depending on its composition, it has several therapeutic qualities such as baths and inhalations, as well as being used for irrigation and heating.

Peruvian geology, and especially the Nazca Plate geological fault, have produced around 500 hot springs. Plate movements allow thermal flux filtration, which heats up underground water. It then comes out of the ground at high temperatures, containing minerals that are good for your health.

Cajamarca: Baños del Inca

Hot springs with temperatures over 70 °C (158 °F). The water’s minerals have therapeutic properties for treating bone, skin and nervous conditions. Designed for the comfort and best enjoyment of visitors, pools have been built where hot water mixes with cold. There is also a sauna and swimming pool where visitors can enjoy a relaxing bath after sightseeing in the city.

Due to its historical importance, it is one of Peru’s most famous medicinal hot springs. The Inca Emperor Atahualpa was found here when the Spanish conquerors arrived. The stone pool where he used to bath can still be seen.

Right from the moment you enter, the steam can be felt rising from the chloride and sulfurous waters of the bubbling springs. Although this area is particularly attractive due to its hot springs, it also has beautiful natural scenery, accommodation and magnificent restaurants.

Location: 6 km (4 miles) east of Cajamarca (2,750 masl – 9,022 fasl).

Access by Land: There is public transport available all day from Cajamarca to Baños del Inca.

Arequipa: Yura and La Calera

Yura

About 25 km (16 miles) from Arequipa, Yura hot springs are spacious with sulfurous alkaline waters at 26 °C (79°F), perfect for rheumatism, arthritis, obesity, varicose veins, breathing conditions, stomach pains, skin and urinary ailments, although they are not recommended for those with heart conditions or diabetes.

Location: 27 km (17 miles) from Arequipa (2,575 masl – 8,448 fasl).

Access by Land: There is public transport from Arequipa, the trip takes 45 minutes.

La Calera

The hot springs at La Calera are found in the Colca Valley, just a few minutes from Chivay. This spa is sought after by visitors after trips and hikes through the Colca Canyon due to its energy replenishing properties. Its 85 °C (185 °F) waters come from the Cotalluni volcano and contain minerals such as Sulfur and Iron, fantastic for the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism. The complex has five spacious and clean pools as well as a small ethnographic museum.

Location: 3.5 km (2 miles) from Chivay, Arequipa (2,575 masl – 8,448 fasl).

Access by Land: There are buses from Arequipa to Chivay. The journey takes about 3 hours. From Chivay there is public transport to La Calera.

Áncash: Monterrey, Chancos and Chavín

Monterrey and Chancos

In Áncash, when travelling through the Cordillera Blanca (White Range), visitors have the chance to take a rejuvenating bath in the hot springs. Monterrey’s hot springs are the closest to the city of Huaraz, with its water reaching 49 °C (120 °F). The spas offer swimming pools and natural pools. Another option is Chancos, at the foot of the snow-capped Copa Mountain, with even warmer waters that reach temperatures of 74ºC. These establishments offer swimming pools, natural pools, pools with aromatic herbs, caves and massage treatments. The waters of both spa resorts are suitable for the treatment of rheumatism, nervous disorders and paralysis.

Location: Monterrey (2,703 masl – 8,868 fasl), 7 km (4 miles) from Huaraz (3,052 masl – 10,013 fasl).
Chancos (2,800 masl – 9,186 fasl), 28 km (17 miles) from Huaraz.

Access by Land: There is a permanent public transport route from Huaraz both to Monterrey and Chancos.

Chavín-Quercos

The medicinal hot springs at Quercos, in the Callejon de Conchucos, are recommended for treating joint and skin complaints. Its sulfurous water comes up from deep within the rock. The complex has rooms, pools and a small swimming pool. It is a destination for hundreds of visitors seeking relief for their rheumatic condition.

Location: 2 km (1.2 mile) from Chavín, Áncash, (3,150 masl – 10,335 fasl).

Access by Land: There is public transport from Huaraz to Chavín. The journey takes approximately 4 hours.

Cuzco: Aguas Calientes

Machu Picchu Pueblo also known as the town of Aguas Calientes, just a few minutes from the famous Inca citadel, has sulfurous water, colorless and scentless at a temperature of 30 °C (86 °F), perfect for treating rheumatic, muscle and nervous disorders. An excellent way to replenish energy after hiking along the Inca Trail or through the Machu Picchu sanctuary.

Location: 2 km (1.2 mile) from the train station in Machu Picchu Pueblo, (2,400 masl – 7,874 fasl).

Access by Land: Dual system: by bus to Cusco – Ollantaytambo (2 hours), then by train to Ollantaytambo – Machu Picchu village (1 hr 40 mins).

Access by Train: the journey to Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu, on the Poroy-Machu Picchu Pueblo railway, takes 4 hours.

Lima: Chiuchín – Picoy – Huancahuasi

The legend tells of an Inca that passed through this are impregnating a princess. In Quechua language, “chiuchi” means small male child, this being the origin of the locality’s name. Located on the banks of the Chegras River, all you need to do is cross it to reach Chiuchín’s hot springs. Although getting there is not easy due to the condition of the roads, those who make the effort to visit the hot springs of Huacachín (Chiuchín), Picoy and Huancahuasi will be more than rewarded. These hot springs offer relief for liver, skin, breathing, kidney, nervous and rheumatic conditions. The temperature of its waters vary between 40 °C to 60 °C ( 104 to 140 °F). Here visitors will find a wide variety of services available.

Location: 215 km (134 miles) north-east of Lima.

Access by Land: It can be reached by the Panamericana Norte highway. At km 103 (Río Seco), after going through Chancay, take the turning to Sayán and Churín and follow the Huaura river. The journey takes about 5 hours.

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