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Get to know the mystical thermal baths of Santo Tomas, in Abancay

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Get to know the mystical thermal baths of Santo Tomas, in Abancay

In the district of Pichirhua, in the province of Abancay, in the Apurímac region, are the Santo Tomas Hot Springs. 

These hot springs are located on the banks of the Pachachaca River and arise from two water sources that are distributed in rudimentary pools in the surrounding territory. The minerals that nourish the waters of the Santo Tomas springs are recommended for people with muscle ailments or high stress levels, since they have relaxing and analgesic properties. 

In order to get to the Santo Tomas Hot Springs, it is necessary to walk along a 5 km path. Admission to the hot springs is free, and although the place can be visited at any time, it is preferable to do it in the morning.  

The sun was as hot as the social protests when we left Abancay in search of some unlikely thermal baths. In half an hour, the taxi driver stopped in front of the magnificent colonial bridge of Pachachaca (built in 1654), which used to be part of the route to Andahuaylas. As soon as we got off, we were approached by Simón Aymara, a 74-year-old peasant, who showed us the way to the thermal baths of Santo Tomás. He was dressed almost in tatters, but his gaze was clean and conveyed dignity. He told us that he would wait for us with a cane juice. 

Outdoor

We walk about 40 minutes downstream between cacti and molle trees. Suddenly, the valley thinned out and became a canyon of no more than 15 meters. There were the three outdoor pools; the water that fed them ran down a golden ocher wall. The amazing thing was bathing a foot from the restless Pachachaca River, which went to meet the Apurímac. Here time stops or, rather, begins; the cardinal points meet. Beauty is unlikely, but also wild, beyond our understanding, hence its terrible power of seduction. 

They recommend them for muscle ailments; however, the most palpable effect is that your life stops overwhelming you, your past is episodic and the future a bit of heaven in your eyes. We return almost levitating to the Pachachaca bridge. Simon was waiting for us there with the promised cane juice. He didn't ask us for anything. The sun had already set, but his dignity remained intact. 

Location

Located at kilometer 437 of the interoceanic highway and on the left bank of the Pachachaca River, a few kilometers from the city of Abancay, and one and a half kilometers from the Pachachaca colonial bridge. 

After walking for about 20 minutes from Pachachaca and passing through some sugar cane fields, you pass a small river named Tincoc that descends from the heights of the annex of Tambo and Sotapa, from this small river the road becomes narrow and full of plants that try to cover the visibility of the walker, from this point you can see the Ampay Huaico ravine in front, one of the many micro-basins that the great Pachachaca River has. 

From a rock wall of more than 20 meters the waters of Santo Tomás are born, which flows constantly to the water wells that are located on the edge of the river, the water wells that are like a step on the banks of There are two Pachachaca that have an average temperature of 20 °C and below these pools there are more than one pool but with a smaller diameter, however its water temperature increases significantly, reaching up to 35 °C. 

The water's temperature

Varies between 20 to 35 °C 

How to get there hot springs of Santo Tomás?

Economic option, there are public transport companies that provide service to Chalhuanca, they take you for 1.50 soles to the height of the bridge, in the place there are houses that offer the famous pachachaca sugar cane liquor; then you will have to walk to the colonial bridge of Pachachaca, for a time of 10 minutes. 

After crossing and appreciating the bridge, you will have to walk for approximately 25 minutes to the right side (downstream) before arriving there is a small stream that you have to cross carefully, because in the rainy season the flow increases making it difficult to pass ; Total distance you have to travel, from the bridge to the baths is 1.61 kilometers. 

The best option to get to Santo Tomás, go in a group and take a taxi to the Pachachaca bridge, for a cost of 15 soles, then follow the route indicated in the economic option, and on the way back there was a minivan to Abancay, cost 3 soles, that It was in the afternoon, I imagine that during the day one has to wait on the bridge much longer.

But if you are in a hurry you can calmly go to the Panamericana, there if there is mobility towards Abancay. 

Recommendations

Do not get too close to the edge of the river, there were already many people who fearfully did the opposite and the consequences are not good, always go accompanied, since there is no visually close farmhouse or annex in the place. Even if you ask for help, no one would come to your aid because of the noise generated by the river; the risk of falling into the river exists if you get too close to the edge, because there is no wall or railing where you can hold on; take your precautions and enjoy the ride. 

If you go alone, try to get to the Pachachaca colonial bridge and there join people who go to the bathrooms, I am sure that the walk will be a beautiful memory. 

Costs

Taxi 13 soles for 5 people only round trip 1.50 public transport.

Best Tours in Peru

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. 

If you want to visit Machu Picchu, we recommend you to book your Machu Picchu Ticket in advance, so you will enjoy your Vacation in Machu Picchu without any problem.

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