All about Cocalmayo
The thermal baths of Cocalmayo have 4 large pools with different temperatures ranging from 38ºC. (100.4ºF). up to 44ºC. (111.2ºF). One of these pools has an ambient temperature. Its waters come from a spring from the Uripata lagoon, whose crystalline waters provide an incredible natural environment. Likewise, the place has showers, bathrooms, dressing rooms, benches and sale of snacks and drinks. People who want to camp or spend the night nearby can stay in the 'lodges' located in the upper part of the thermal baths.
The Cocalmayo thermal baths are located on the banks of the Vilcanota River, about 20 minutes by car from the town of Santa Teresa (province of La Convencion) in the jungle of Cusco. Geographically it is located in the tropical region of the Andes, 1,600 meters above sea level (5,249 feet).
The Cocalmayo thermal baths are located only 8.5 kilometers from Machu Picchu (approximately 2 hours of travel). Due to its proximity, many tourists relax in its waters before going to the Inca city. Most do it as part of the long and alterative route to Machupicchu by 'Hidroeléctrica'. Other tourists do it during the famous 'Salkantay Trek' or the 'Inca Jungle trek'.
How to get there?
To get to the thermal baths of Cocalmayo, you must start from the city of Cusco by means of a 5-hour trip by bus to the town of Santa María (cost of the trip of 15 soles in the land terminal of Antonio Lorena avenue).
Once in Santa María the tourist must board one of the 'collective taxis' that will take him to the town of Santa Teresa in approximately 1 hour. The cost of the journey is 10 Peruvian soles. Finally, in Santa Teresa you will have to take a taxi (or walk) to the Cocalmayo thermal baths (20-minute bus ride or 1 hour on foot).
The best thermal baths in Cusco?
For many tourists, the Cocalmayo hot springs are the best in Cusco. In addition to its pleasant tropical environment and its crystal clear, clean and relaxing waters; The waters of these thermal baths have medicinal properties for rheumatic and muscular ailments. Its waters are rich in magnesium, calcium, sulfate and bicarbonate.
The entrance ticket to the thermal baths of Cocalmayo has the following cost:
- Foreign adults: 10 Peruvian soles (3 US dollars).
- National adults: 5 Peruvian soles (2 US dollars).
- Local adults: 2.50 Peruvian soles (0.7 US dollars).
The thermal baths of Cocalmayo are open to the public from 5 in the morning until 10 at night.
When is it better to go?
The best time to visit the Cocalmayo hot springs is during the dry season (from April to October). In those months the rains are scarce in Santa Teresa, which facilitates the visit. Remember that rains can cause landslides or river overflow. The rainiest months in Cusco are: January, February and March. It is not advisable to visit the thermal baths on those days.
What else to do in Santa Teresa?
Route to Machu Picchu – The town of Santa Teresa, in addition to the thermal baths of Cocalmayo, is very visited by tourists because it is part of the hiking route to Machu Picchu known as the 'alternative route by Hydroelectric'. From Santa Teresa you must take a taxi (or walk) to the Hydroelectric station. From there you walk for 2 hours to the town of Aguas Calientes, located at the foot of Machu Picchu.
Adventure sports – The town of Santa Teresa has a suitable geography for the practice of some adventure sports such as: canopy, canoeing, rock climbing and more. To perform these sports you must get an authorized tourism agency. Services include: transportation, proper equipment, tour guide, and more.
Photos of the thermal baths
There are some multi-day tours that include a visit to the thermal baths of Cocalmayo, such as: the 5-day route known as 'Salkantay trek' or the 4-day adventurous route known as the 'Inca Jungle'. Both tours can be booked through an online tourism agency or in person in the city of Cusco.
The thermal baths of Cocalmayo are located in the town of Santa Teresa. This small town has a hot climate with maximum temperatures of 28ºC. (82.4ºF) and minimum temperatures of 10ºC. (50ºF).
Take repellent with you because mosquitoes are abundant in the thermal baths of Cocalmayo, especially from 4 in the afternoon. Also, do not forget to bring sunscreen, a hat, swimwear, sandals, water, snacks and cash in case you want to buy food.
If you want to visit the thermal baths of Cocalmayo, you surely want to do it as part of your trip to Machu Picchu. So yes or yes, you will need to plan a visit of at least 2 days. On day 1 you can travel and enjoy the thermal baths. The second day, you can continue with your trip to Machu Picchu and return to the city of Cusco.