September 22, 2019

Termas de Papallacta Spa & Resort: An Amazing Escape in the Mountains of Ecuador

Termas de Papallacta Spa & Resort in the mountains of Ecuador is an amazing escape from the typical tourist rush.

Drivable from Quito, the resort is a rustically-romantic getaway that successfully blends luxury with nature. Nestled high in the mountains of Ecuador, Papallacta provides thermal pools, a full-service spa, fine dining and access to nature trails. We stayed there for a night during a month-long vacation in Ecuador. Here’s a run-down of our experience.

The Papallacta spa was fantastic.

We were pleased to find that the Papallacta spa was a full-service establishment with a fireside quiet area to enjoy while we waited for our treatments. Mid-week rates were a steal, with a one-hour hot stone massage costing only 30 bucks on a Thursday night.

How was the food at Termas Papallacta Spa & Resort?

The restaurant served a fair amount of food that was sourced locally, including fish and vegetables. While we’d heard great things about the service, they were apparently breaking in a new staff person while we were there because it left a bit to be desired. That being said, it was a nice restaurant and the food was definitely fabulous.

The rooms at Papallacta were rustic but definitely comfortable.

While I believe there were regular rooms available, we stayed at one of the guest cottages with step-out-the-door access to multiple thermal pools of varying temperatures and steaming hot waterfalls to sit underneath. The cottages had a room that would sleep five, a huge bathtub and shower combo, and a front room with a glass-front wood stove, couch, dinette set and several kitchenette appliances like a toaster oven, sink area, small fridge and a microwave.

There was also a front porch sitting area to enjoy the mountain scenery after a dip in the thermal pools. There was also another side of the cottage that you could book as an adjoining room if your family or traveling group was large. We found the cottage to be very comfortable and used the kitchenette to have a private breakfast rather than heading to the restaurant.

Termas de Papallacta definitely has some perks.

Step-out access to steamy, thermal pool luxury, a full-service spa, hiking and equestrian trails with a two-room suite and fine dining to boot make the Termas de Papallacta Spa & Resort worth the trip. Add in the mountain scenery and relaxed atmosphere, and you’ve got yourself a romantic getaway you’ll remember for years to come. The partially-furnished kitchenette in our room at Papallacta was a huge perk as well, allowing privacy and cost-control for at least some of the meals consumed while we were there.

Personal Papallacta verdict?

In my opinion, Termas de Papallacta is a nice establishment that’s worth spending the money to visit. The fact that Wi-Fi was only available in the main lobby area seemed like a bit of a quirk to me, because I am a freelancer who works from the road. That being said, it is supposed to be a luxurious nature getaway and the capacity to check in with clients back in the States was definitely available on site. Papallacta makes a great getaway in its own right, as well as a fun and scenic drive-and-stop to combine with a trip to Ecuador’s Orienté to explore the headwaters of the Amazon River.

Editor’s Note: These and other pictures of Papallacta are available at one of our sister sites, Pictures of Travel Places for you to use for free through a creative commons agreement. We ask only for a link back to the photo gallery.

Photo Credits: Trek Hound


  1. Lisa says:

    The adjoining cabin is a great idea for groups. It looks like a great place.