The 7 best thermal baths in Cusco
Cusco has an Andean geography characterized by the presence of several thermal baths. There the visitor can relax after visiting various tourist attractions such as the 7 Colors Mountain, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the snow-capped Ausangate and even Machu Picchu. Natural hot waters are beneficial for muscle and joint pain. Get to know the 7 best thermal baths on your visit to Cusco, one of the best tourist destinations in South America.
Benefits of thermal baths – The hot waters of the thermal baths benefit the humanitarian system with the natural increase in endorphins. It also helps improve metabolism by promoting digestion. People with muscle or rheumatic pain can relax and feel relief. Most natural waters are sulfuric and contain minerals with high amounts of sulfur, calcium, magnesium and zinc. It is an excellent idea to visit them after visiting tourist attractions like Machu Picchu.
Cocalmayo thermal baths
The thermal baths of Cocalmayo are considered the best in Cusco. The reason? It is surrounded by a lush landscape of high jungle in the town of Santa Teresa (approximately only 20 kilometers from Machu Picchu). The place has 3 swimming pools whose temperatures vary from 38ºC. up to 44ºC. The waters come from a natural source from the Uripata lagoon.
The Cocalmayo thermal baths are famous for being the setting for the movie Until We Meet Again (2022). These thermal baths are also part of tourist routes such as the Salkantay trek or the Inca Jungle, both with a final destination to Machu Picchu. The place has hot showers, changing rooms, bar service and even tourist accommodation. Visiting hours are from 6 in the morning until 11:30 at night.
- Location: Calle Unión B-6, town of Santa Teresa – La Convencion.
- Price: Foreigners 10 soles, Peruvians 5 soles and Cusqueños 2.50 soles.
Lares thermal baths
The Lares thermal baths are one of the most famous in Cusco for being part of the so-called ‘Lares trek’, a 4-day hiking route that culminates in none other than Machu Picchu. It is located in the town of Lares, about 150 kilometers by road from the city of Cusco. Its geography is Andean, at an altitude of 3,150 meters above sea level. Therefore, the place is surrounded by high mountains and, in the distance, imposing snow-capped mountains.
The thermal baths of Lares are also famous for having waters with a high concentration of minerals (hence their yellowish color), such as: zinc, copper, magnesium, iron, potassium, magnesium, chloride and sodium. This favors rheumatic and muscular ailments, as well as the skin. The temperatures of its waters vary from 35ºC. up to 41ºC. Visiting hours are from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Location: District of Lares s/n, province of Calca, Sacred Valley of the Incas.
- Price: Foreigners 10 soles and Peruvians 4 soles.
Aguas Calientes thermal baths
The Aguas Calientes thermal baths are one of the most popular in Cusco, due to its proximity to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu (just 10 kilometers away). It is located in the town of Aguas Calientes, in the jungle of Cusco, at an altitude of 2,040 meters above sea level. Therefore, the pools are surrounded by green mountains, beautiful vegetation, as well as waterfalls. The baths are visited by both Peruvians and foreigners.
The thermal baths of Aguas Calientes also have a volcanic origin. It has three small pools and three large ones with temperatures that vary from 38ºC. up to 46ºC. Its somewhat yellowish waters have minerals such as sulfur. The place also has dressing rooms, clothes storage, restaurant and bar. They are ideal for relaxing muscles after visiting Machu Picchu and its mountains.
- Location: Avenida Hermanos Ayar s/n, town of Aguas Calientes – Cusco.
- Price: Foreigners 20 soles, Peruvians 10 soles and Cusqueños 5 soles.
Pacchanta thermal baths
The Pacchanta thermal baths are famous for being located at the foot of the imposing snow-capped Ausangate, the highest in Cusco at an altitude of 6,384 meters above sea level. That is, the place is surrounded by high mountains and Andean geography with temperatures that can drop to 0ºC. However, its seven pools have temperatures that vary from 38ºC. up to 44ºC, which effectively combats low outside temperatures.
The thermal baths are located in the community of Pacchanta (4,200 meters above sea level), in the Ocongate district, about 126 kilometers from the city of Cusco. This destination is part of the famous ‘Ausangate trek’ hiking route, which also includes a visit to the Mountain of 7 Colors. The place has a very simple infrastructure, but with landscapes that are worth it. It is open every day and at all hours.
- Location: Pacchanta s/n annex, Ausangate community – Ocongate district, Cusco.
- Price: Foreigner 5 soles, Peruvian 5 soles and Cusco 3 soles.
Occobamba thermal baths
The Occobamba thermal baths are also called the La Raya thermal baths because they are located in La Raya, a geographical area that separates the regions of Cusco and Puno. It is located about 167 kilometers by road from the city of Cusco. The place is famous for its public and private hot water pools, as well as its mud baths and its ‘mini volcanoes’ with hot waters that are excellent for muscle and rheumatic pain.
The Occobamba thermal baths have several large, medium and small pools. These have minerals that help reduce symptoms of rheumatism, arthritis and muscle ailments. The place has a restaurant, tourist accommodation and even a sauna with medicinal plants. Although they are not well known and are far from the city of Cusco, it is a tourist destination that is worth visiting.
- Location: District of Marangani s/n, province of Canchis, La Raya, Cusco.
- Price: Foreigner 5 soles, Peruvian and Cusco 5 soles.
Chimur thermal baths
The Chimur thermal baths, although little known, offer a relaxing and pleasant experience in Cusco. They are located in the district of Challabamba, in the province of Paucartambo, a hidden place full of vegetation as it is in the edge of the Cusco jungle (altitude of 2,820 meters above sea level). The easiest route to get there is through the town of Amparaes in the province of Calca. The place is not full of visitors, which allows a better space to enjoy it.
The Chimur thermal baths have two medium-sized pools with turquoise waters whose temperature varies from 46ºC. up to 53ºC. The place also has green areas for camping, which is recommended (trip of at least 2 days and 1 night). The nights are not very cold, since the average annual temperature is 23ºC. Opening hours are daily from 6 am to 11 pm. It is a hidden paradise in the high jungle of Cusco.
- Location: District of Challabamba s/n, province of Paucartambo, Cusco.
- Price: Foreigners 3 soles, Peruvians and Cusco locals 3 soles.
Marcapata thermal baths
The Marcapata thermal baths are located in the district of the same name (about 2,800 meters above sea level), in the province of Quispicanchi, about 173 kilometers by road from the city of Cusco. The place is famous for its high mountains, especially the proximity to the snow-capped Pachatusan, located at about 4,842 meters above sea level. Its waters have high temperatures so they pass through a cooling pool to be available to the public between 25ºC. and 30ºC.
The Marcapata thermal baths have a pool of twenty square meters and a depth of 1.7 meters. Due to frequent rains, the site is covered, with views of the green mountains with thick vegetation. Its waters, with mineral properties, help reduce rheumatic, gastric and bone ailments. The pools are in good condition and are recommended during experiential tourism tours in this Andean town.
- Location: Marcapata District s/n, Quispicanchi province, Cusco.
- Price: Foreigners 3 soles, Peruvians and Cusco locals 3 soles.
By Machupicchu Terra – Last updated, October 20, 2023