Hot Springs in Chile

Rebecca Hanlon
Last Updated: March 14th, 2024

Chile is a South American country where health, well-being, and a connection with nature are inherently linked to the wealth of hot springs in the region. Much of Chile contains areas of volcanic activity, which means geothermal waters that surface as hot springs, spas, and natural thermal baths are plentiful.

Visiting hot springs in Chile is a matter of health and pleasure for the many who enjoy soaking in the natural, mineral-rich, hot thermal pools amidst beautiful landscapes.

Yet unlike other countries that have made an entire industry from the wealth of hot springs in the South American region, the hot springs in Chile tend to be less of a resort spa environment and typically more outdoor and rustic.

As with many of the other surrounding South American hot springs regions, in Chile, these natural water features are commonly known as ‘termas’. So let’s take a deeper delve into the regions and specific characteristics of some of the termas in Chile

Termas Colina thermal pool via Kevin Buehler

As a seismically active and fault-lined country with plenty of volcanic activity, it’s not surprising to discover that Chile has more than 250 hot springs as a result.

Chile Hot Spring Regions

Chile has an abundance of natural thermal springs running throughout the country. In fact, Chile has some of the most amazing hot springs to be found in all of South America.

Dotted from north to south, the geothermal baths allow visitors to enjoy the benefits of these natural wonders in diverse and contrasting landscapes.

El-Tatio

Consider the arid Atacama Desert, for instance, and compare it to the landscape and vegetation commonly found in places like Patagonia, and you’ll get a picture of the combination of the intriguing landscape surrounding the hot springs.

A reasonably long and thin-shaped country, Chile has a concentration of hot springs in the central regions. That said, heading in either a northern or southern direction will find no shortage of mineral termas options either. Yet, it is the south that is home to the highest number of hot springs.

The Most Popular Hot Springs in Chile

The popularity of the springs may be due to a unique or individual attribute of the water or the landscape.

Many visitors to Chile coming for the hot springs love the diversity on offer, while others will have more defined preferences related to factors like the location of the spring as well as the age and the size of the group etc.

Termas de Puritama

In the northern regions of Chile, this hot spring is considered one of the best in the entire country.

Located just over 20 miles to the northeast of San Pedro de Atacama the Puritama Hot Springs equates to eight thermal baths with temperatures up to 91°F.

Termas-De-Puritama

The water from the basins runs into a river with waterfalls that in turn cascade into a number of other escalated pools. The sodium sulphate waters are lined with wooden walkways and changing rooms are available, as are massages and other treatments on weekends.

This hot springs site is somewhat hidden within the arid Atacama Desert landscape, and you can look up at the magnificent canyons around you as you enjoy the therapeutic flow of the waters.

Termas de Mamiña

Also in the northern region, bubbling away at an average of 113°F, the mineral-rich pools of Termas de Mamiña have their own impressive views of the surrounding desert terrain.

Thermic-Pool

As legend goes, there was a blind Incan princess whose failing sight was miraculously restored upon encountering these waters. Her father named the area Mamiña to mark his gratitude, which means ‘girl of my eyes’.

Termas de Polloquere

The northern climes offer yet another thermal pool—this one located within the Lauca National Park and big enough to swim in.

The relaxing turquoise-tinged waters are quite hot and can reach temperatures in the region of 60°C. The minerals here are said to be a great skin tonic.

Termas de Laguna Verde

Yet more baths in Chile’s northern regions come by way of Termas de Laguna Verde.

This hot spring is close to what is the highest active volcano in the world—Ojos del Salado—the source of heat for these thermal baths.

Green-Lagoon

Laguna Verde is in a spot that provides amazing views of the huge turquoise-tinged lake. The imposing presence of the volcano bubbles away in the background adding to the surreal effect of the scenario.

Termas Puyehue

The Parque Nacional Puyehue is located in Chile’s Patagonia, right at the foot of the Andes Mountains.

This entire region is a natural rainforest sanctuary, and the park has various installations by way of hotels, lodges, and renowned thermal waters.

This is an undisturbed native forest region with thermal pools dotted throughout. The therapeutic hot waters coupled with the highly scenic surroundings make for a wonderfully relaxing experience.

Termas Geométricas

Heading this time into the southern Chilean regions we find these well-known geothermal baths near Pucón.

This spot has an abundance of natural hot springs, due to the nearby underlying volcanic and geothermal activity.

Termas-Geometricas

Termas Geométricas has Japanese-inspired labyrinths which are particularly popular for soaks during the night. Certainly, couples will find romance here when they see the stars illuminating the sky while steam rises gently from the water.

The sense of peace and calm emanating from the night forest is something that needs to be experienced to be believed.

Baños Colina

This amazingly-scenic setting is another southern hot spring. To say it is somewhat off the beaten track is putting it mildly, as you have to journey high up in the mountains to the base of the San José Volcano.

The hot spring setting contains a total of nine outdoor hot spring pools all located at slightly staggered levels. The water is quite hot here at around 131ºF, but it cools slightly as it filters down to the lower-level pools.

You might find this to be one of those unique moments—sitting in a thermal bath at the foot of the San José volcano, surrounded by scenic views of the snow-capped mountains and towering jagged peaks with Argentina on the other side of them.

About The Author

Rebecca Hanlon

Rebecca has been a blogger for over 5 years, before that enjoying a number of jobs to fund her passion for travel. She’s taught English as a foreign language in 5 different countries, been a part-time Barista, a waitress, and a tour guide around some of Europe’s finest vineyards. She the one behind the social channels here at HotSprings.co whilst somehow finding the time to travel the world with her partner Will ❤

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