After an active morning hiking amongst the cacti of the region, we were seeking some relaxation in the Atacama Desert. Lucky for us, Puritama Hot Springs offers the perfect spot. It is a series of 8 pools filled with geothermal waters which offer a natural hot spring within the desert! This was the perfect way to rehydrate our bodies while having a fun and relaxing day in the water.
Getting to the entrance of the hot springs is not for the faint of heart! As you enter the parking lot from the main road, you immediately see a roadway which flows through the parking lot and then disappears down the mountain. As the van hugged the side of the cliff, we mentally hugged each other as it felt like if we just leaned the wrong way, the van could fall over the side. It is so steep and nerve racking that many people choose to park at the top of the mountian and walk down the cliff side.
As you turn the bend, the first sight of the pools come into view. People in the water look like tiny ants swimming. The pools are surrounded by lush greenery with red wooden paths lined along the way to lead you to each relaxing spot. The area also provides picnic areas for a relaxing lunch or snack as well as changing rooms and restrooms within the property.
The transparent water is as clear as glass and instantly inviting! We visited in the morning which provided the perfect contrast of cool breeze in the canyon and warm waters of the pools. The morning time also allowed us to experience the pools with smaller crowds of people.
See those weird looking toe shoes on our feet? Well, we would highly recommend taking water shoes as the base of the pools are somewhat rocky and slimy. The water is so relaxing and the views amongst the canyon walls are breathtaking you could easily forget about the bottom.
Since the pools are set-up in series, they offer a natural look-out as they flow from pool to pool.
One of the pools was a bit higher than the others and offered a little cove which was the perfect spot to have a little fun!
The Atacama Desert is known as one of the driest places on Earth therefore it was quite interesting to find this oasis! The hot springs were certainly worth the visit!
It was quite surreal to be soaking in these warm waters surrounded by the dry, desert atmosphere of the canyon. The colors of the water and blue sky against the reddish-brown rocks offered a gorgeous contrast and beautiful setting of the Puritama Hot Springs.
If you visit Puritama Hot Springs, do so towards the end of your trip. With all of the physical activities of hiking and biking, it was nice to have some time to relax in this setting.
Have you been to a hot spring? Which is your favorite?