On our recent trip back from Huancayo to Lima, we stopped to take a dip in some thermal spring baths. The baths are interesting and relaxing – the water is heated by sulfur as it bubbles out of the ground, providing a natural jacuzzi effect. There are several areas of Peru that are famous for their thermal baths, including the Colca Canyon, Aguas Calientes, and the Inca Baths of Cajamarca. The Colca Canyon is the second deepest canyon in the world, and visitors often relax in the baths there after exploring the area. Aguas Calientes, literally meaning Hot Waters, is located at the base of Machu Picchu, and has become a very popular attraction for people seeking not only relaxation, but also medicinal healing from the naturally warm water. The baths in Cajamarca have remained mostly intact from the time of the Inca Empire, making them a special historical site as well as a place to enjoy the water.
Other areas of Peru are more remote, and not as famous for their hot springs, but can be just as enjoyable. We stopped at one of these spots to experience the baths, and it was a peaceful respite from the long drive back to Lima. The warm water fizzed and bubbled with each of our movements, but was calm and clear when no one was in it. There were two baths in the small building, and privacy for changing into bathing suits. We could smell the sulfur when we first arrived, but quickly got used to it as we relaxed in the water. For just a few soles, we were able to experience what many consider to be a natural healing method that can treat not only stress, but even bone and muscle disorders. Be sure to bring a bathing suit on your trip to Peru, and experience one of these naturally relaxing thermal baths.