The La Calera hot springs are a great place to unwind after some trekking or taking the long, winding road from Arequipa to Chivay. Just 5 kilometers east of town, the hot springs are a short walk or a quick ride away.
You can take a bus or a taxi from Chivay to the "la calera" hot springs, but a more rewarding and cheaper way to do it is to walk there. It's about 3kms and a great way to get used to the altitude. You walk next to the colca river and there are some nice views on the way. The hot springs feel much better if you did an effort to get there.
How to go???
At the plaza de armas walk to the church then go left until you can only go left or right. Go to the right here (there is an indication of "la calera" if I'm not mistaking). Just follow the road and you'll get to the hot springs.
These hot springs about 3 km outside of Chivay are a treat after a long hike, or anytime. When I was there, there were two pools open, an indoor pool and a larger outdoor pool. Both pools offer water temperatures of around 38ºC or 98ºF. If you go when there is a chill in the air, going to the outside pool in a wonderful choice. The contrast between the cool air and the warm water is fantastic. In either pool, if you find the water inlet you can get as hot as you want as the water comes into the pool at around 120ºF. They say the water has curative properties for arthritis and rheumatism; I don't know about that, but it surely feels good. The cost is S\. 10 and there are lockers available as well as a small café. There is also a museum connected with a history of the region.
This is a nice, relaxed market where you can feel free to browse without all the movement of the markets at Pisac or Chincheros in the Sacred Valley, for example. Here the prices are generally better than can be found in Arequipa, although my sense of it is that you won't find the really high quality alpaca goods here like you would in Arequipa. Still a great place to look around and pick up a pair of swimming trunks for the hot springs if you forget to bring a pair as I did.
Chivay is a small city at the Colca Valley, and a overnight stop from Arequipa, to visit the Colca Canyon and the Condor's watch point.
Wake up early, and you'll have this great view.
These hot springs are located four kms from Chivay, two big swiming pools with showers, and a small cafeteria. I was surprised to find different swiming pools (and prices) for peruvians and tourists.