After “roughing it” just outside of Tena on the outskirts of the Amazon rainforest, we were whooshed off to the mountainside town of Papallacta. Papallacta is a place known for their hot springs, and because of this, they’ve become the country’s top destination for luxury thermal baths.
We stayed at the Termas Papallacta resort, and based on the accommodations that our G-Adventures Ecuador tour had provided us so far, I was absolutely shocked by how nice this property was. In the main building was the lobby and the restaurant. From there, the property branched off. Outside of the main building, there are paths that lead to the multiple outdoor thermal baths, each with a different temperature. Our hotel room was steps away from the baths, which was so ideal.
Speaking of our room, I’m not quite sure why I didn’t take any photos (I’m blaming fatigue?), but compared to our previous accommodations, it was pure bliss. The showers had hot water, the bathroom tiles were heated, and the bed had just the right level of comfortable.
Later, after settling down a bit, we wandered to their spa and treated ourselves to a massage. The price to treatments are roughly half of what we typically pay for in the States. Alongside a massage, I also opted for a 30-minute chocolate wrap. I’m not sure if I would do a wrap again because they wrap you in what feels like saran wrap — you can’t move anything, even if your face has an itch. It was somewhat torturous!
We ended the night with dinner at the resort’s hotel, and the food was just excellent. I can still taste the fresh fish now. Melt in your mouth fish meat, with a citrus taste.
The next morning, before breakfast, I decided to hike the trail right by the resort. Termas Papallacta owns 200 hectares of what they call Rancho del Cañón. They have several trails, each costing $3-$15 with a guide, according to their website. When I went, I believe it was free and it was not guided (meaning, I went by myself).
Near the start of the hike, I passed by llamas (or are they alpacas?) and they were so adorable! They came close to me, perhaps hoping for some food, and I quickly took out my camera and snapped a few shots. I think the bottom one was meant to be in front of the camera, haha.
A good chunk of the trail was in an open meadow at the foothill of mountains nearby. It was beautiful and serene. I loved trekking on the graveled path, with tall grass and wildflowers growing wildly on either side.
After a while, the sun was starting to peek out of the morning clouds, and I can feel it becoming unpleasant if I didn’t get into shade.
And just like that, the path led to a rainforest with a canopy to provide shade. A strong stream flowed within the forest, adding an additional layer of tranquility.
I crossed paths with a couple of other hikers, but otherwise, it was just me.
It felt like I had the forest to myself.
After an hour, I headed back to the resort for breakfast and for departure. Intaking such gorgeous views sure was able to make a person have an appetite!