Termas de Papallacta
Relaxing spa hotel in the mountains, arranged around a series of thermal pools fed by natural hot springs.
The relaxing spa hotel Termas de Papallacta is positioned just outside the mountain village of Papallacta, two hours east of Quito on a spectacular paved road that winds past snow-capped peaks and wild páramo landscape. The surrounding area is breathtaking, and on clear days there are tremendous views of Antisana volcano.
The simply furnished guestrooms are housed in several buildings, each with its own series of small pools fed by hot springs. All rooms are heated by thermal steam and have a purified water dispenser and outdoor patio; a few have the extra treat of a Jacuzzi. An additional cluster of thatched wooden cabins suitable for families are scattered throughout the grounds around thermal pools.
The main building accommodates a restaurant, where tasty fresh trout is the speciality. There is also a small bar and lounge. Behind the lobby is an excellent spa with a sauna and steam room, where massages, reflexology, hydrotherapy, aromatherapy and beauty treatments are offered at extra cost. There's also a public pool and café in a separate building surrounded by an attractive tropical garden.
There are wonderful walks to enjoy in the forest nearby and plenty of birdlife to observe all around. Horse-riding can also be arranged.
What our clients say
97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.
Hard to pick one highlight when there were so many superlatives. The scenery in Ecuador was spectacular. The Devil's Nose train ride was great fun. Snorkelling with sea turtles, penguins, sea lions and marine iguanas in the Galapagos was simply a-m-a-z-i-n-g !JB, Newcastle
Ecuador was a fantastic adventure: welcoming friendly people, beautiful landscapes and amazing wildlife. To fit in two cities, the Andes, the Amazon, the cloud forest and the Galapagos islands into a 16 day trip on a seamless itinerary was a fantastic solution provided by Sophie at JLA and we enjoyed every aspect.GE, Glasgow
Highlight?: Galapagos IslandsRN, London
Most memorable experiences: Galapagos snorkeling at Devils Crown and the inland lagoon; walk on Fernandina; mountain bikes and trek at Cotopaxi.JG, Sevenoaks
Most memorable experiences: Snorkelling with huge sea turtles and iguanas whilst they were feeding with sea lions, penguins and flightless cormorants also coming to join in the party.LA, London
Two parts: Seeing cotopaxi and the surrounding area for the first time, and stepping off the boat onto floreana and having to avoid sea lions and iguana, magical.HT, Conwy
Highlight?: The Napo Lodge experience. It exceeded our expectations and we were very lucky to have dry weather.HB, Todmorden
Highlights:- “Quito celebrating their anniversary of independence. All the Haciendas we visited were full of history and interesting in different ways .Las Cajas and getting up into the high Andes was great”GW, Truro
Highlight?: The trek up the Chimborazo with mountaineering legend will live with us forever!!TT, Bolton
Ecuador is a wonderful country with much to see and do so often overlooked by those seeking to visit South America and that I now know is a big mistake.DW, Lingfield
Probably the Tren Crucero (was the top experience) but too many highlights to mention.SB, Cambourne
From the moment we were picked up, (on time) from our hotel in Quito, to the moment we were left at the departure lounge in the airport in Baltra, the organisation and punctuality of everything was impeccable. As residents in South America this was a very pleasant surprise!TP, Lima
Ecuador is perhaps a most underrated country for a great visitor experience. The people are great and helpful and, for anyone with an interest in the natural world, there is so much variety to see and enjoy.IB, Kendal
Quito is a fabulous city with residents that seem to be pleased to see you, really helpful if you make just a little effort to address them in Spanish. Ecuador is a wonderful country with much to see and do so often overlooked by those seeking to visit South America and that I now know is a big mistake.DW, Lingfield
It was all amazing to use an overworked word, but (i) the Cotopaxi days (train plus condors plus steaming volcano) was extraordinary, and (ii) encountering the Galapagos Islands and their unique wildlife were memorable - but so was the whole trip!JL, Winchester
Avenue of the Volcanoes was superb plus swimming with sea lions and penguins.JK, Sheffield
We had a wonderful time…we thought the guides we had were among the best we have known anywhere; we went for the Galapagos and would admit to mainland Ecuador being a bit of an “add on”, but we thought it was fabulous and would return-Quito was so much better than we expectedPW, Lambeth
Great holiday in Ecuador
Ecuador was a fantastic adventure: welcoming friendly people, beautiful landscapes and amazing wildlife. To fit in two cities, the Andes, the Amazon, the cloud forest and the Galapagos Islands into a 16 day trip on a seamless itinerary was a fantastic solution provided by Sophie at JLA and we enjoyed every aspect.GE, Glasgow
Most Memorable Moment?: Very hard to say! Loved Hacienda Venecia, and Napo, and Bellavista, and the Avenue of the Volcanoes.DL, London
Ecuador is perhaps a most underrated country for a great visitor experience. The people are great and helpful and, for anyone with an interest in the natural world, there is so much variety to see and enjoy.IB
The Galapagos was as expected beautiful and interesting but we were pleasantly surprised by the visits to the rose plantation and panama hat factory which turned out far more interesting than we had expected. also the scenery in mainland Ecuador was breath-taking at times.MW, London
Waking up at Hacienda Porvenir and being able to see the sun rising near Cotopaxi. Being in the Galapagos once again and seeing all the wildlife - such a unique experience.JB, Edinburgh
It was all brilliant, we expected the Galapagos to be the highlight, but all the other trips were as good in different ways. All the Ecuadorians encountered at hotels, restaurants, shops, etc could not do enough to help, and they did it with a smile.AH, Eastleigh
From the moment we were picked up, on time, from our hotel in Quito, to the moment we were left at the departure lounge in the airport in Baltra, the organisation and punctuality of everything was impeccable. As residents in South America this was a very pleasant surprise!TP, Lima
Ecuador Highlights: Seeing hummingbirds & humpback whales, summiting the Pasochoa peak with Kristian, Quilotoa Volcano Lake, Quito cable car ride, the Las Cajas Park walks with Wilson.PJR
We had a wonderful holiday to Quito and Galapagos with Journey Latin America. We just wish it had been longer!HS, W4
Everyone was very concious of preserving water and not littering - it seems part of everyday life in EcuadorKK, Belfast
We had a wonderful time… we thought the guides we had were among the best we have known anywhere; we went for the Galápagos and would admit to mainland Ecuador being a bit of an “add on”, but we thought it was fabulous and would return - Quito was so much better than we expected.PW, Lambeth
Most memorable experience: "Where to start? Huge evening skies on the Napo river, pulling out of Chimbacalle station on the Tren Crucero in a cacophony of whistling and hooting; the Devil's nose, swimming with penguins, sharks and sea lions. The moment on the Tren Crucero when our guide wanted to reassure us, You may have heard that Cotopaxi has been erupting recently, don't worry, it's all under control. The library in the Hacienda Zuleta; Firefly larvae in the dark on Limoncocha; smoking a cigar in the garden of Hacienda La Cienega - its's hard to keep a cigar alight in the thin Andean air, but you can pretend to be Alaxander von Humbolt."DH, Portsmouth
Most Memorable Moment?: Drving up Mt. Cotopaxi and watching a Gaucho chase a cow riding a horse at the gallop whilst trying to lassoe it on a cobbled road,...some rider! The Papallacto hot baths.The basket ride across the canyion south of Banos.NBH, Watchet
Tailor made holiday
Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for 40 years. We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.
Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert
Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.
Your edit for Latin American inspiration
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.View Extraordinary Inspiration
Real Latin America Experts
Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert
Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.
Lina Fuller - Travel Expert
Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.
Ben Line - Travel Expert
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.
Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert
Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.