The hot springs of Cocalmayo, also known as Santa Teresa thermal baths, are the ideal place to relax after an exciting adventure in the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu that will most likely leave your body tired and wanting a bit of relaxation and relaxation. rest.
The town of Santa Teresa is located in the valley of the Urubamba river, in the district of the same name, province of La Convención, department of Cusco. It is located approximately 14 kilometers from Machu Picchu town and 220 kilometers from the city of Cusco.
The thermo-medicinal baths of Santa Teresa are found in the middle of a beautiful landscape of sub-tropical jungle, with an average annual temperature of 21°. The rainy season, as in the entire department of Cusco, begins between the months of November and December, usually ending in April and is characterized by torrential rains that can in some cases cause landslides and roadblocks. During the summer season -or winter- the climate is normally dry and at night the temperature can drop to 11°. This season is between the months of May and October, these being the best months to travel.
The district of Santa Teresa is located at an altitude of 1,511 meters above sea level and has a population of 5,972 inhabitants according to the last population and housing census of 2017.
Created on October 11, 1957, the district of Santa Teresa is one of the thirteen districts of the province of La Convención, being known regionally and nationally for the production of fruit, coffee, coca leaf and many other products. that grow abundantly in this place thanks to the temperate and humid climate.
In 1998 this town was devastated by a huge landslide of stones, mud and trees from the Aobamba River that almost completely destroyed both the town center and the thermal baths, and the town was later relocated 50 kilometers upriver.
There are various alternatives to reach this paradisiacal place, which depend on both the traveler's budget and their physical condition and willingness to hike. Here we list the options:
You have to take a bus at the 'Almudena' bus stop located in the Santiago district in Cusco and after approximately 5 hours of road travel you will reach the town of Santa María. From here you must take a bus or taxi to Santa Teresa, the trip lasts approximately one hour along a dirt track to finally arrive at this picturesque town. The heated pools are located approximately 10 minutes by car from Santa Teresa or 1 hour on foot (4 kilometers).
The cost varies depending on the type of transportation chosen (bus, private taxi service, minivan) but usually getting to Santa Teresa from Cusco by land costs between S/.70 and S/.100, one way.
The medicinal baths of Cocalmayo, as we have already mentioned, are located just 14 kilometers from the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. There are two alternatives to reach Cocalmayo from Aguas Calientes, the first is a walk of approximately 3 hours on the train tracks from the station known as 'Hidroeléctrica' to the town of Santa Teresa, in the middle of an exuberant tropical landscape, with abundant vegetation and a lot of heat, once here you have to walk another hour to finally reach the heated pools; The second alternative is to arrive by train to the aforementioned station, this section will take approximately 20 minutes. Once here you can continue walking or by car.
The cost of the train transfer for this short 14 km route is S/.5.00 for Peruvians and USD31 for foreign visitors.
In the town of Santa Teresa you can find everything from cheap hostels, with prices around S/.50.00 to Lodges that offer more luxurious services whose prices can reach S/200.00. It is important to mention that in Santa Teresa there are no 5-star hotels, but in Machu Picchu town you can find a wide variety of offers in terms of five-star hotels.
The entrance fee for foreign visitors is S/.10 soles, while the cost for national visitors is S/5. The opening hours for the public are from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
It consists of three large pools with crystalline and transparent waters coming from the subsoil, the water temperature varies between 38° and 45° Celsius degrees. The complex has changing rooms for both men and women, showers, camping areas, soccer fields, restaurants, bars, swimwear rental stalls, and parking lots. These medicinal waters are attributed healing properties for skin problems, rheumatism or joint pain, being at the same time a natural source of hydromassage and relaxation. If what you want is to cool down your body, you can calmly access the icy waterfalls from the Uripata lagoon, located next to the hot pools.
Entering the Cocalmayo thermal baths at night is an unforgettable experience, since you have to take into account that most of the animals and insects that inhabit the jungle come out at this time, creating an environment full of cicada noises and many other little sounds. usual that create a very special atmosphere, which invites you to relax and enjoy the hot water and forget about everything else. An important piece of information for those travelers who have decided to come and explore this beautiful place is to bring mosquito repellent, because as you can imagine, the place is a jungle with an abundant presence of insects.
During your visit to Santa Teresa and the thermal baths of Cocalmayo you can do the following activities:
Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail Tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views.