Today there are more than 275 thermal baths and hot springs in Chile many of which are connected to luxury spas, hotels and ski resorts. They range from sources located at sea level, to others situated on top the mountains, over 3000 meters in height. Some of them are very small and others real tourist attractions.
Chile is a country with excellent conditions to take advantage of natural thermal spas and hot springs, due to its volcanic features that enable the rise of hot mineralized water through the geographic faults. The thermal springs throughout Chile vary from very simple outdoor wells to luxurious hotel spas and facilities with private cabins and marble bathtubs. Spa services can include mineral water baths, mud baths, massages to exfoliating and moisturizing body treatments. Different alternatives to choose from, suitable for individual tastes and budgets.
Thermal therapy is proven against stress and many other ailments, these waters contain mineral composition guarantees relaxation and health benefits. Positive results from these treatments have begun to change the way western medical professionals think about this alternative therapy.
Thermal Spas and Hot Springs in Chile are concentrated in three zones, the North, Central Valley and the South which are covered below.
The Northern Altiplano sector is located in a high altitude and is know for its very hot water.
Hot Springs in the north are more scarce as compared to southern Chile. In many cases, thermal springs in the northern Andean foothills are connected to outdoor pools placed in salt flats and streams. And while they are surrounded by beautiful landscapes, it can be difficult to access some of theses areas making it more suitable for the adventure type.
The more accessible thermal baths, are located on the mountain range and are popular with tourists. Termas de Mamiña, in Región de Tarapacá, has waters have been rated favorably given their healing properties.
In the Central Valley there are some older thermal areas, like Jahuel Thermal Springs, to the North of Santiago, which were visited by Charles Darwin himself in 1834, during a research trip. Most of the thermal springs in this area have great infrastructure and facilities and are family oriented, with a sports area and games for kids.
Next to the Termas Jahuel, there is the Termas del Corazón located in the Valparaíso Region, and Termas de Colina and Baños Morales in the Santiago Metropolitan Region.
Just to the South of Santiago you’ll find Termas de Cauquenes, a traditional thermal center that has been open since the 19th century.
By far Southern Chile has the most hot springs. Starting from the Biobío Region to the Aysen Region, there are almost 30% of thermal water sources, thanks to a mixture between volcanic activity and the Liquiñe-Ofqui fault which allows water from rains and snow to be filtered. Facilities in this area vary from a simple natural well, surrounded by nature to luxurious baths in first-class hotels.
In these areas you’ll also find the Termas de Chillán, located in Biobio Region, surrounded by diverse facilities that combine skiing activities and hot springs. In the Araucanía Region there’s the Termas del Huife, located amid a lush forest. The Termas de Menetue are very family-oriented.
Further south, in the Los Lagos Region, you’ll find the Termas de Coñaripe and Liquiñe Springs. And the Termas de Puyehue is famous for its mud baths.
And in the far South, the Aysen Region near the Carretera Austral, you’ll find the Puyuhuapi hot springs. According to many experts, this is one of the best thermal springs in Chile, surrounded by spectacular native scenery and high-quality facilities.