Termas Cacheuta Spa is an idyllic hot springs hideaway in the Andes Mountains. It’s a little off the beaten track in Mendoza, Argentina but well worth it.
If you’re the type of traveler that likes to experience new things, or appreciates natural wonders, loves history, or just wants to do something not many get to brag about – this is the place to be.
The hot springs are about an hour out of town, up into the Andes. You won’t get so high up that you’ll feel lightheaded but there’s definitely an elevation change.
You can arrange for the spa to pick you up and drop you off from your accommodations in Mendoza but if you have a rental car it’s much easier to get there and back and you can do it on your own timetable.
Brian and I usually balk at renting a car when we travel but Mendoza and the Uco Valley are very spread out and not serviced well by taxis or public transport. Having a car makes a huge difference in being able to experience everything the region has to offer.
There are two “Termas Cacheuta” hot springs
One is a locals spot, called the Parque de Agua Termal that is free or very low cost but can get extremely crowded. We didn’t go inside this park but photos show that it has some water slides and fountains. It seems very relaxed and family friendly so could be a good option if you’re traveling with kids.
The other one, Termas Cacheuta Spa, is more like a traditional spa, although honestly, it felt a bit like a sanitarium. I imagine this is the sort of place Ford Madox Ford had in mind where Florence and crew went to “take the waters.” (The Good Soldier was set in Germany, but still…)
For around $40 USD you get a robe, bag check, lounge chairs, hot springs, mud bath, a buffet lunch, and beautiful grounds with a swimming pool. You can add a massage for an additional fee. There’s a hotel on site so you can stay overnight too if you want.
If you are driving to the spa, be aware that google maps will direct you to the public springs and once you turn in it’s virtually impossible to get out. The turn for the spa is a couple hundred yards before the turn for the public springs and it doesn’t look like much of anything, just a small road. So if you’ve reached a turn that many people are also walking towards, then you are at the public part: turn around and go back.
We made this mistake unfortunately, and after turning in the car was swallowed by a crush of people. A man waving a piece of cloth flagged us down to follow him at a creep through the crowds. The road narrowed to a single lane that opened into a parking area where cars were being triple parked. There was no way we were going to allow our car to be blocked in. After a lot of gesturing and head shaking on our part (we really should have learned more Spanish) they reluctantly let us exit the parking area but this time without the escort so we inched along through the crowds at a snail’s pace. I wish we’d gotten some photos because it was insanity. But I was feeling way too claustrophobic to think about pictures.
Once we got to the Termas Cacheuta Spa things were a lot more relaxing
We checked in at the front desk and were given a robe. You can also bring your own if you want to save a few dollars. We could tell who the locals were because they all had fluffy colorful robes that contrasted starkly with the thin white cotton ones we received.
Inside the spa area, we put on our bathing suits and checked our clothes and other things with the attendants. You do not get a locker with a lock on it and I’d advise not bringing anything too valuable with you since it’s basically just a coat check.
There were so many pools to choose from: lukewarm, hot, blazing hot, cool – indoor, outdoor, waterfalls, tiny pools for two, large pools for groups. All of them with the most magnificent mountain views. We spent a couple of hours soaking and swimming and snapping photos.
When we were tired of taking the waters, we gave ourselves a mud bath. Supposedly the mud there is good for your skin and we soaked that in too! There are showers with firehose water pressure to help you wash it off.
A buffet lunch is served in the hotel restaurant from 11:30am until 1pm or so and you can go to it wearing your robe which made me feel very opulent. However, by the time we finished eating, all I felt was very corpulent. The food spread was amazing and there were so many vegetarian options.
If I had to complain about something, it would be the dessert selection which was cheese slices and fruit cocktail from a can. Go on and fill up on the lunch itself. You won’t regret missing dessert.
After lunch most people lounged at the pool instead of going back to the hot springs. Brian and I just walked around the grounds and digested, then headed back to town before the crowds started coming down the mountain.
The road back to Mendoza is just a single lane each way so traffic can get pretty backed up. We left around 3:30pm and made it to town with no problems.
Things to know before you go to Termas Cacheuta
- Bring a little cash for tips and if you want to buy an alcoholic drink at lunch as alcohol is not included in the price.
- Don’t bring a lot of valuables with you because your items are left in a coat check, not in a secure locker.
- Wear a bathing suit you won’t mind getting muddy if you plan on doing the mud bath.
- Wear water shoes if you have sensitive feet as the area in and around the springs can be rocky.
- If driving, do be sure you turn in to the Termas Cacheuta hotel and spa and not the public area. If you’re planning on enjoying the public portion, try to park along the road as the parking lot is hard to get in and out of.
- Reserve your spot at the spa by emailing in advance to guarantee that you can get in, especially on the weekends.
- Massages are available by reservation but you can also sign up for one when you check in.
I hope these tidbits are enough to entice you into heading to Termas Cacheuta on your next trip to Mendoza! It’s always a delight to discover interesting spas around the world.
You can read about my adventures at a hammam in Morocco for a much different kind of spa experience.