April 19, 2013 — I must say, from Piedra de Agua in Cuenca, to Papallacta an hour or so from Quito, Ecuador sure knows how to create a hot spring resort. And now this one — a resort called Santa Agua Chachimbiro.
Chachimbiro is only about an hour or so drive via a bus from the terminal in Ibarra and the drive is quite picturesque.
We took the first bus out at around 7:00 am Friday morning and the bus back to Ibarra at 3:30 pm. The last bus out of Chachimbiro is at 5:00 pm.
Santa Agua has something for everyone. The recreation zone has seventeen pools (so says their brochure–I didn’t count) for children and adults. As well as a gaming room, waterslides, a karaoke bar, and restaurants. The entrance fee is $4.00.
There is horseback riding. There are cabins for rent at around $10.00/person, and hostels for the same price. There’s also a tram ride, possibly a zip-line, fishing in the tilapia pools, camping, and more.
The upper Spa resort has steam rooms and at least one with a pool, saunas, individual bathing tubs, thermal showers, mud messages, and many pools at various temperatures–indoor and out. These thermal waters come from nearby Volcan La Viuda. The entrance fee for the upper Spa resort is an additional $4.00 and well worth it.
I received a face and shoulder mud message for $2.50. The full body message was $10.00.
During the siesta hours, Fred and I literally had the entire Spa resort all to ourselves, although the weekends can get pretty busy.
Please note that prices may have gone up since this writing.