There are over 270 hot springs in Chile! You are literally spoilt for choice. Depending on your taste and budget, there is something for everyone. Our list is small, as we still have yet to experience every hot spring on offer.
Here is a list of my favourites and my not so favourite:
1. Termas de Aguas Calientes in Puyehue, Osorno
Our favourite hot springs in Chile are located east of Osorno near the border crossing to Argentina in Puyehue National Park (south of Chile). We love them because they are completely natural. They are also 100% free. Next to an icy cold river is a pebbly bank where hot springs fill up from the ground. The heat comes from the earth, so the more you dig the hotter the water gets.
I do mean dig, bring a shovel and settle in. Bring your own food and beverage and choose a pool. The hot springs are not overly crowded as the majority of people choose the private pool across the river, which resembles a local swimming pool.
It doesn’t get more natural than this, so if you prefer untouched hot springs, this is your place!
The best way to get there is by private transport. Once you arrive ask Conaf (Chilean park rangers) about the springs, cross the bridge and enjoy!
2. Termas Geométricas, Coñaripe
Outdoor hot springs on the north face of Volcano Rukapillan (south of Chile) that are especially beautiful in winter. Imagine natural hot springs set in a lush green valley. Red wood walkways wind through the hot pools to a large waterfall at the top. There is also a cosy café with a fire and hot drinks available.
The only downside is the steep price, and it can get very full in peak season (summer). Any tour agency in Pucón & Villarrica offers transport to and from the hot springs, and includes entry. The minimum price is $40.000 Chilean pesos per person ($80 AUD).
If you have your own transport entry starts from $25.000 Chilean pesos ($50 AUD).
One of my favourite hot springs, but lower on the list due to the high price.
3. Ecotermas Río Blanco, Pucón
These natural hot springs are located deep inside the mountain range near Pucón (south of Chile). They are for those that want hot springs all to themselves (it is more crowded in summer) and the natural experience.
The cool thing about these hot springs is that the guy who owns the land has had them in his family for generations. His sister owns the hot springs across the river. The guy digs the hot springs out himself, he finds steam coming off the grass, digs a hole and out comes the hot spring!
You can camp the night, light a fire and relax. The facilities are basic, and bring your own food & water. It is also only accessible by private transport, through 58km of gravel road.
However, it is truly relaxing, quiet and you have the place for two days and a night. Most other hot springs only allow you to stay a few hours and charge high prices for entry. We were charged $4000 Chilean pesos ($8 AUD) per person to stay the night and enjoy the hot springs for two days.
4. Termas de Menetúe, Pucón
A beautiful spa nearby Pucón (south of Chile) with a restaurant and more facilities than some other hot springs. It is often included in other tours, that take you there and pay for entrance, with our tour costing $14.000 Chilean pesos per person ($28 AUD). These tours also include a few other stops, so are quite worth your while. Without a tour, in peak season, the entrance is $20.000 Chilean pesos per person ($40 AUD).
These hot springs are indoors and more man-made, but offer more comforts.
El Tatio Geysers
The hot springs in El Tatio Geysers are situated in the North of Chile near San Pedro de Atacama. Going there is definitely worth it to see the geysers, that are absolutely beautiful in the sunrise.
However, the hot springs are a bit underwhelming due to how overcrowded they are. Which is why I did not rank them by number. If crowds in swimming suits don’t bother you, strip off and get in.
Dress warm outside of the hot springs as temperatures drop below zero, bring gloves! The entrance to see the geysers and enter the springs cost $10.000 Chilean pesos per person ($20 AUD).
To get there, go by private transport or book a tour. The town of San Pedro de Atacama is saturated with tour companies that all offer package deals. Shop around, bargain down, and you can often find a great deal for a few tours.