Quito is always bustling with people, but an hour and a half away by bus exists a mountainous national park with natural hot springs. This place is called Papallacta. I went yesterday, and it made for an excellent day trip.
The location is very close to Quito, but due to curvy roads and maintenance, it isn’t a super short ride. However, that’s not important because the views of the mountains from the bus ride were incredible. We got dropped off in the town of Papallacta and then took a taxi up to the hot springs.
The hot springs are within a large complex with a spa, cabins, restaurants and more. This appeared to be a place were wealthy Ecuadorians and tourists go, based upon how well maintained the facility was and the entrance cost ($8). There are tons of pools that form quite a large space. Some are very hot, others are warm, and some are very cold. I liked switching between the hot and cold pools. There were also showers that consisted of the water from the pools going through a pipe, which I thought was kind of funny.
The hot springs aren’t the only attraction. There is a lot of wildlife present, since a national park is nearby. I saw many birds and flowers among the mountain views. I would have liked to hike in the park, but the weather decided not to cooperate. Instead, we got lunch and then headed back to Quito.