Things to do in


Papallacta is a very small town tucked away into the Andes Mountains with little to do besides visit the legendary Papallacta hotsprings.
Top Activities and Attractions in Papallacta



Papallacta is a very small town tucked away into the Andes Mountains with little to do besides visit the legendary Papallacta hotsprings. Hot water naturally flows from the mountains and several hotels chanel it into pools of varying temperatures where guests can bask, day and night. The climate in Papallacta is generally cold and rainy, so it’s lovely to spend a day or two in the natural hotsprings and appreciating the cold but beautiful surrounding landscape. Aside from the hotsprings, there is some terrain that’s suitable for hiking and birdwatching, but most people visit Papallacta only for a day or two, and only take advantage of the famous hotsprings of Papallacta.

Hotsprings in Papallacta

Although there are a few small hostels dotting the landscape in Papallacta, and most have their own small pools, by far the best option is Hotel Termas Papallacta. You can stay at the hotel – which is pricier than smaller surrounding hostels – and hotsprings admission is included. Or you can make a day trip from Quito or stay at a small nearby hostel and pay for daily admission to the Hotel Termas Papallacta pools for $10.00 a day. The hotel has a variety of pools of varying temperatures, which they control by adding different amounts of cold water. The hotel does cycle pump water through the pools continuously, but if possible, it’s a good idea to arrive to the pools around 7 am, as the water is freshest then.

Hot water streams from the earth in Papallacta because it’s nestled between two volcanos: the Cayambe Volcano and Antisana Volcano. Water percolates in the earth at the source it ranges between 30°C to 70°C (86°F to 158°F). By the time it reaches the pools it’s considerably cooler due to travel time (pipes carry water from the source to the pools) and because the hotels add some cold water to the pools. Water from the hotsprings is said to have certain health benefits. It contains calcium, sulfates, chloride, and sodium. Its taste is slightly salty.

Papallacta Climate

The climate in Papallacta is humid, relatively cold and wet, at a relatively high elevation in the Andes, at 3,300 meters above sea level. The average day-time temperature in Papallacta is 14°C (57°F). There is little seasonal variation in Papallacta. Although the climate in Papallacta is always dreary, the cold, foggy weather sets a pleasing backdrop for hotsprings bathers.

How to Get to Papallacta

Buses that travel between Quito’s Terminal Terrestre Cumandá and cities in the Orient, especially Tena, almost always pass through Papallacta. From Terminal Terrestre Cumandá in Quito, you can catch a bus to Papallacta about every 20 minutes. The trip is only about 40 miles but due to the poor quality of the roads, it usually takes about 2 hours.

Explore the most popular things to do in Papallacta

Explore the secrets behind Papallacta

No data was found

Related Pages

Provider Spotlight

Free Galapagos Trip Planner at Galapagos Islands .com – easily plan your Galapagos vacation online, find great value, and a wide selection of customized Galapagos cruises and vacations.

Galapagos Tour Experts – Adventure Life Specialize in luxury Galapagos cruises, and land-based Galapagos tours. Adventure Life can help you design the perfect trip to Ecuador. As seen in Outside Magazine, NatGeo, and the New York Times.

Voyager Galapagos Tours haS excellent Galapagos cruise deals & last-minute offers, and land-based Galapagos tours (aka Island Hopping).

Galapagos & Ecuador Insiders use their local expertise to assist you in planning the perfect Galapagos cruise or Ecuador tour for your precise budget, needs, and interests.

Latin Trails craft customized journeys to the Galapagos Islands, the Ecuador mainland, the Amazon rainforest, and Peru. They operate the highly-rated Galapagos cruising yacht: Seaman Journey and the day tour yacht the Galapagos Hopper.

Andando Tours – Pioneers in Galapagos tourism. Two generations of sailing and shipbuilding showcase unparalleled knowledge in creating the most unique Galapagos Cruises. Owners & Operators of S/S Mary Anne & M/Y Passion.

Gulliver Expeditions – Learn more about our Ecuador ToursPeru ToursEcuador Climbing Expeditions, Galapagos Land Tours, and Machu Picchu Tours. Gulliver Expeditions offer fantastic travel experiences since 2005.

Surtrek Galapagos Cruises – has offered exceptional custom-designed trips to the Galapagos for over 20 years. They now bring their brand of off-the-beaten-path trips to other countries in South America such as Peru’s Machu PicchuBolivia’s Uyuni Salt Flats, and Chile’s Atacama Desert.

ViaNatura – provides excellent value Galapagos cruises on the Monserrat yacht, a luxury cruise experience on the Hermes yacht, and a variety of tours in Ecuador and Peru.

Exclusive Galapagos Cruises, part of the EQ Touring group – specializes in private Galapagos yacht charters. They can help your group find the perfect yacht that matches your needs at a price negotiated by a true insider who has been doing charters in the Galapagos for decades.

Explore more destinations related to Papallacta
Here are some of the most popular places to visit in Papallacta
Papallacta Ecuador1
Papallacta is a very small town tucked away into the Andes Mountains with little to do besides visit the legendary Papallacta hotsprings. …