At Termas de Papallacta you can choose to go to the more expensive Spa or to the pools at Balneario. I went to Balneario and the admission there was $7.50 (August 2013). To get a locker cost $0.50 extra, and you need to leave a $5 deposit for the key.I put a few things in a locker but other things I put in a basket which was provided, a basket you...more
When I came to Termas de Papallacta I noticed there was a short trail starting from there, so I decided to walk it before visiting the baths. The path is called Sendero de La Isla and it will take you for a walk along the small Río Papallacta. It is a nice walk with views of the surrounding mountains. It took 45 minutes to walk around the whole...more
There are three areas of hot pools at the resort, not to mention those to be found elsewhere in the village. Firstly there are the small pools dotted around the grounds in front of the cabins that form the accommodation here. These are naturally for the exclusive use of hotel guests. Secondly there is a group of public pools, which guests can use...more
Residents at the hotel get a 15% discount on all treatments at the spa, which in any case is much less expensive than similar facilities at home in England – what more excuse did I need to treat myself?! There is a long list of possible treatments, and I decided to go for something that it seemed I would find it hard to get elsewhere – the Andean...more
As well as the hot pools and spa, the resort owns and maintains a tract of land dedicated to conservation of the local environment called the Rancho del Cañón. This is crisscrossed by a number of footpaths and walking trails of varying lengths, from about two kilometres to about seven. For all but the shortest, the Island Path, you are required to...more
There are horses right outside that are available to take you around the nearby area. You can go for about one hour. There are also many hiking trails and you can go with a guide or with out. I think with a guide would be better because thers so much to learn and better appreciate with a guide. He/she can also explain the many medicinal plants that...more
I arrived to Hostería Pampallacta Termales in the afternoon. I had eaten snacks and a fruit salad on the bus but definitely wanted to eat something more before going to the thermal baths. So I ordered a chicken soup and a strawberry batido. I was told to take the seat were there was a heater, and that was good because it is cold in Papallacta. In...more
We ate two meals (in addition to the included breakfast) in the resort’s attractive restaurant. Arriving late morning on a Sunday we came here for a light lunch. It was pretty quiet at that time – I think most guests had either not yet arrived or were in the spa, which has its own café. The cooler climate here made soup an attractive option and...more
I left Hostería Pampallacta Termales at 8:40 and walked down to the main road. Luckily there were not a lot of barking dogs along the way, as it had been the evening before. It took 20 minutes to walk to the main road and I had thought that I probably had to wait quite long for a passing bus, but luckily a bus was standing at the bus stop when I...more
In Tena the rain poured down in the morning so I didn’t go to the bus terminal until it had stopped, but of course it started again before I had reached the terminal (it was not very far from my hotel so I walked). I arrived at the terminal at 10 and the next bus for Quito was leaving at 10:30. While I waited I bought some snacks for the bus...more
Catch any bus headed from Quito to Tena or Lago Agrio from the Terminal Terrestre in Quito or from the gas station in Cumbaya, the valley just north of Quito. Ask to be let off at Papallacta. It is just past the large oil pipes coming from the jungle about an hour and a half outside of the city. There is a large sign off the highway and a road...more
The typical plate of Papallacta is trout. It is prepared in all way imaginable, stewed, fried, baked, or grilled. The prices vary from 3 to 8 dollars per plate. You will see Trucha everywhere as restaurants advertise their specialty.
Before it got dark I walked down to the village to see if I could find a shop selling water, and maybe even an Internet place. Well, as I had expected there were no Internet place in Papallacta, but I saw two small shops and bought a large bottle of water before I started my walk back to the hotel. There are not street lights all the way up to the hotel so I had brought my torch.
I had not walked far before dogs started to bark and one big dog jumped up with its paws on my chest, at the same time as several other dogs started to approach. I had noticed more dogs further up and now turned around and walked back down a bit. I did not want to pass these dogs in the dark. I waited until a pick up track came. The driver dropped a passenger and I asked if it was a taxi. He wanted to have $2 to drive me to the hotel. I said that it is not very far so he reduced the price to $1.50. I gladly accepted that.
On our way back to Quito from Papallacta des Termes we stopped briefly at this scenic spot to take some photos. The weather wasn’t great, and as on our walk earlier I was reminded of scenery back home in the UK – Wales or maybe Scotland. But then this is paramo country, with patches of cloud forest and swampy ground. The lake lies at close to 4,000 metres above sea level and is up to 5.5 metres deep in places. It was formed naturally by a landslide across the Rio Papallacta and is home to freshwater trout among other fish species.
I’m not sure if you can hike in this area but if so it would a great place to do so. But we merely stopped for this brief look before heading back to Quito where for a short while we would find that the sun was shining.
Location of the lake on Google maps
This is my last tip on Papallacta so please click here to return to my intro page and leave me a comment – thank you.