Out of all the things to do in Mendoza, taking a day trip to Cacheuta thermal baths is probably the most relaxing. And the hot springs Mendoza are the perfect hangover cure from all the wine tasting you will no doubt be partaking in while in this part of Argentina.
In this blog post we’re going to give you all the information you need to plan your Mendoza day trip to termas de Cacheuta, as they are called in Spanish. Including how to get there, costs, opening times, what to take and where to eat. Let’s do this!
Hot Springs Mendoza
The first thing you need to know is that there are two options when it comes to visiting the hot springs Mendoza. And that’s because there’s the Parque de Agua – Termas de Cacheuta, i.e. public water park, or the Hotel and Spa Termas de Cacheuta.
We’ll go through the differences of each shortly, however because it’s the same for both, let’s cover off how to get to Cacheuta thermal baths in Mendoza.
How To Get To Cacheuta
It’s a local company called A.Buttini that runs the bus service between Mendoza city centre and Cacheuta thermal baths. The have a desk in the main bus station, Mendoza Terminal. You can pick up tickets either on the day or beforehand. If you are travelling in peak season it’s better to get them a few days in advance.
The tickets cost $122 ARS ($2.70 USD / £2.10 GBP) return and the journey to Cacheuta takes around an hour.
There are buses leaving at 9:00, 10:30, 13:30 and 17:30. And on a weekend an extra one at 12:00. The options for buses coming back are 15:30 and 18:50.
Seats aren’t assigned and there isn’t a toilet onboard, it’s just a single decker local bus.
We took the 10:30 bus, arriving just after 11:30 and came back on the 18:50 bus. You have to choose the time that you want to return when you book the tickets.
Cacheuta Thermal Baths
If you’re really not sure how long you want to stay in the hot springs Mendoza, you could chance it and try to purchase a ticket on the bus back. Although I really wouldn’t recommend it as they don’t allow standing room. And pretty much your only option from out there would be to hitchhike back.
We had plenty of time with the times we choose, but we did take quite a long lunch break. So if you wanted to cut it down I think the 9:00 bus out and 15:30 bus back are also good options.
You’ll know when you’re there because pretty much where everyone on the bus will be heading to Cacheuta thermal baths. However there was some confusion on where exactly to get off.
The first stop in Cacheuta is for the Hotel and Spa Termas de Cacheuta.
The second for the Parque de Agua – water park. So do check you’re getting off at the right one, either by asking the driver or downloading the area on Maps.Me beforehand.
There’s no signal once you leave Mendoza City – which only adds to the relaxation in my opinion.
On the way back to Mendoza, the bus stops are just on the opposite side of the road from where you get off.
If you have hired a car you can also drive to the hot springs Mendoza. The parking cost is $100 ARS ($2.25 USD / £1.75 GBP) for the day in the public car parks, or free if of you are staying at the Cacheuta hotel spa.
Parque de Agua – Termas de Cacheuta
As I said above, this is the public water park in Cacheuta. It’s the Termas de Cacheuta used by locals and is the cheaper of the two options.
The entry cost for the day is $280 ARS ($6.25 USD / £5 GBP). You get a wrist band so you can leave and re-enter the complex as many times as you like throughout the day.
It’s possible to pay on card (visa or mastercard) and the opening times are 10:00 – 18:30.
There are changing rooms, toilets and lockers for use. The lockers cost $50 ARS ($1.10 USD / £0.90 GBP) to hire for the day, plus a $50 ARS deposit for the key.
Inside Parque de Agua – Termas de Cacheuta there are lots of different size pools, at different temperatures set over different levels. Some are inside and some outside.
Naturally the ones outside have the best views out over the Mendoza river and surrounding Andes mountains. The top levels pools are more for just chilling in and there’s a pool for adults only.
On the bottom level is the ‘waterpark’ area. Complete with slides and a lazy river. This is only open during spring/summer months though. We were there in May and only the top two tiers had water in them. There was still plenty of space though.
However we did hear it’s much busier on a weekend. Particularly in peak season so if you have the option to go to the hot springs Mendoza during the week opt for that.
If you don’t fancy making your own way here, everything can be organised for you with a tour to the Thermal Water Park. It includes transfer and entrance fee, meaning you can get straight into complete chill mode.
Hotel and Spa Termas de Cacheuta
Your other option if you are after a more private visit to the Cacheuta thermal springs is to head instead to the Hotel and Spa Termas de Cacheuta, where you have a few options.
You can either book yourself in for a half or full day spa package. This includes access to the inside and outdoor thermal water stone pools, mud bath therapy, the natural cavern wet sauna with thermal vapor and the dry sauna.
The thermal pool temperatures range from 28°C to 42°C and some have bubble beds and water jets. A range of optional massages are also available to book in advance. Oh and you get a delicious barbeque buffet with a selection of salads and deserts.
Or opt for an overnight stay at the Cacheuta hotel spa. This includes all of the above plus an evening meal, breakfast and obviously your hotel room complete with thermal water private bathroom.
There are also other activities available from Cacheuta thermal spa such as hiking, biking and horse riding along the Mendoza river and Andes mountains if you fancy a longer stay.
Spaces at the Cacheuta thermal spa are limited to 60 per day so it’s best to book as early as possible to avoid missing out.
Cacheuta Thermal Spa History
This is actually the second spa that has been built in Cacheuta. The first one developed in 1904 was much larger and grander. However unfortunately a glacial flood in Mendoza Canyon completely wiped it out in 1934.
A smaller complex was rebuilt in 1986. And later a dam built further up the river for flood control and irrigation eliminated the possibility of a repeat catastrophe.
However since the disaster and subsequent 1984 financial collapse of the railway running alongside it, the area never really recovered its former glory days.
The Cacheuta thermal spa still a seriously luxurious spot to indulge in some serious relaxation time however. And the natural surroundings of the Mendoza river and Andes mountains, well that’s the icing on the cake.
Where To Eat in Cacheuta
If you’re visiting the Parque de Agua – Termas de Cacheuta or looking for somewhere to eat before or after your stay at Hotel and Spa Termas de Cacheuta, you have a few options.
Mainly parillas, but hey you’re in Argentina and who doesn’t love a papilla. Well, except vegetarians! But don’t worry there are options for you too.
There’s a few restaurants along the road, however it being a weekday slightly outside of peak season when we went most of these were closed.
But there are plenty along and opposite the entrance to Parque de Agua – Termas de Cacheuta.
We ate at a place called K-cheultina, just across from the entrance to the public Cacheuta Thermal Baths and it was really good. We got a parilla for two which included steak, chicken, ribs, morcilla and chorizo.
With a bottle of wine it cost us $910 ARS ($20 USD/ £16 GBP). And there was a salad bar and desert included in the price.
If you are travelling on a tighter budget or simply prefer to eat your own food, there is a large picnic area in the Cacheuta thermal baths water park. Complete with BBQ areas for you to use if you fancy doing your own parilla.
There’s also hot water on hand for your mate. Naturally you can’t eat or drink in the area where the thermal pools are.
What to Take to Cacheuta Mendoza
Here’s everything that we recommend taking with you to the Mendoza hot springs.
First up obviously you’re going to need your swimwear. For some reason there were signs up in the Parque de Agua – Termas de Cacheuta saying that women couldn’t wear shorts. Although women definitely were, so I think it was referring more towards none swimwear shorts. No idea why this wouldn’t apply to men too.
Especially during summer months the sun is extremely strong in the outdoors pools, so it’s a good idea to take a hat and sunglasses with you too. Temperatures can reach over 40°C (100 °F) during the height of summer at the hot springs Mendoza.
Whilst there weren’t any signs up saying you couldn’t wear sunscreen, it being a natural water source, I think it’s best to opt for a natural sunscreen if you are going to wear it.
And there weren’t any knocking about while we were there, but we did also have our natural mosquito repellant with us too just in case.
More Hot Springs Mendoza Tips
It’s not mandatory that you use the lockers. So if you do want to keep your things with you, or have your phone/camera etc to hand, take a waterproof bag with you to keep them safe around the side of the thermal pools.
I also took my kindle with me. There were plenty of quiet corners to sneak into away from any splashes.
Oh and probably the most important of all (well aside from your swimwear), take a water filter bottle with you.
Even on an overcast day, it’s all too easy to get seriously dehydrated at the Mendoza hot springs. And the last thing you want is feeling faint as you’re climbing in and out of hard rock pools.
There didn’t seem to be a problem with people having drinking water around the pool areas.
Depending on the time of year you probably want to take a jacket or some warm clothes with you for when you leave. You are in the mountains after all! I forget my lightweight down jacket and was really cold waiting for the bus back into Mendoza.
If you forget anything else, don’t worry though, there’s plenty of stalls around the Parque de Agua – Termas de Cacheuta selling everything from swimsuits to snacks.
If there’s anything else we can help with for planning your Mendoza day trip to Cacheuta thermal baths drop us a comment below and we’ll do our best to help!
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