Ecuador is a land of untouched nature and volcanic forces, so it should come as little surprise that the country is home to some excellent health spas. Volcanic hot springs bubble to the surface in crystalline pools overlooking lush forest, towering volcanoes, and spectacular vistas. Ecuador spas tempt with exotic massage and health treatments to pamper guests and melt away the stresses of travel. Relaxation and rejuvenation are the name of the game. Prepare to be pampered Ecuadorian style!
Keep reading for our very best Ecuador spa recommendations, perfect to visit for a one off beauty treatment, or for overnight stays.
Volcan Runtun Resort (formerly Luna Runtun) is an elegant collection of buildings sitting on one side of the Banos valley overlooking town. Luxurious rooms and suites have lavish furnishings including fireplaces and plenty of natural light. The spa offers surprisingly affordable treatments including rejuvenating herbal facials, hot stone massage, and volcanic mud baths. The resort grounds also feature a handful of crystal clear hot spring pools heated by natural geothermal volcanic activity. A soak at night rewards guests with enviable views overlooking the valley and town below. On clear days you can even spot Volcano Tungurahua which provides the heat for these inviting waters.
Samari is another first class spa resort located closer to town in the Banos valley. This spa is based in the grounds of a 300 year old jesuit monastary, surrounded by beautifully kept gardens. A big part of the Samari Spa experience is exploring the patios, fountains and grounds of this architectural gem - "Samari" means "Feel at home" in the local Quechua language, so don't be shy. Guests overnight in comfortable adobe chalet-style cabins fitted with cosy goose-down duvets. Turkish baths, a heated indoor pool and jacuzzi entice bathers, while their comprehensive spa treatments offer boundless pampering.
Why not combine a spa visit with a few days of adventure exploring the Valley of the Waterfalls and horse riding in the surrounding mountains? Our 3 day / 2 nights Banos Highlights tour package includes all this and more.
Papallacta is a small whistle-stop of a town about an hour from Quito. Its big claim to fame are outdoor hot pools full of natural minerals with properties that support heathy skin and body. The springs bring people from all over to relax and soak away the worries and stress of life on the road. Take your pick from 15+ pools of varying temperatures, as well as a cold plunge pool. There's also an excellent day spa in the main resort offering steam rooms, body wraps and a variety of massages including deep tissue massages, hot rocks, bamboo massage and facials. Try to book services in advance as their experienced masseuses are often fully booked, especially on weekends or public holidays.
Papallacta hot springs can be visited in a single day, or as an overnight in comfortable cabins or family rooms for 6. There are two areas of public pools available for day use, and a more secluded private area reserved for overnight guests that stays open until late. There's nothing quite like a relaxing soak at night when the outside temperature drops.
If time permits check out the riverside trail that starts right outside the resort - this makes a pleasant stroll in a pristine natural setting. Keep your eyes open for native birds flitting between trees and flowers, including the spectacular sword-billed hummingbird. There are even occasional Andean bear sightings in the area.
Arasha Resort is an oasis of calm set amidst lush tropical forest about 3 hours from Quito. Colorful thatched cabins boast elegant interiors with a rustic vibe, while the outdoor pools, jacuzzi and loungers provide an attractive space to relax or swim. First-class spa treatments include different massages and mud wraps, while guided forest activities and experiences mean you'll never get bored.
Arasha Spa Resort has a collection of awards to attest to their first class amenities and services-heading the top of the list for the best resort in Ecuador for many consecutive years.
Piedra de Agua is the best spa in the surrounds of Cuenca city. Day trippers are welcome to wile away an hour or two at their open air hot spring baths. For a full splurge we recommend their spa circuit ($35 per person) combining hot springs, turkish bath, red mud pool, blue mud pool, steam box and japanese bath. The red mud, rich in iron and calcium, eases out wrinkles, while the quartz, copper and gold enriched blue mud provides an intense skin moisturise. The underground cavern feel of the treatment rooms adds a wonderfully mystical ambience to this spa experience.
If you're in Quito city and your body is demanding a massage after a punishing travel schedule, don't despair - you don't even have to leave town! Amrita Spa is part of Swissotel Quito, a luxury spa available for hourly treatments that can easily fit into your busy itinerary. Amrita is the perfect place to harmonise mind and body in the heart of the busy city. As you pass through the entrance you are instantly whisked away into another world. Music creates an ambience to relax your spirit, herbal teas refresh the soul, and a diverse massage menu offers everything your body need. We guarantee you'll leave Amrita a fresh, new person, ready to face the challenges of the modern world once again.
Spa treatments are also available at other destinations around the country including the coast, the Galapagos Islands, and at some jungle lodges. Contact us for help finding a package that is just right for unwinding while exploring the stunning destinations of Ecuador.
In conclusion, there are some excellent Ecuador spa resorts worthy of your attention. Whether you need a quick back massage or total pampering we hope you've spotted something that takes your fancy in our blog. We especially recommend an overnight stay at an Ecuador hot spring resort - it doesn't break the bank, and a long soak promises to rejuvenate like only hot volcanic waters can.