After 5 weeks of sweat, hand-washed clothes and hauling a backpack the size of a small country around with us, we were desperate for some luxury, and I’m sure this feeling is mutual amongst the travel community! Well, for those of you lucky enough to be traveling the bewitching wonders of Ecuador, you’re in luck, because we’ve found just the place to give your travel battered body a much-needed unwind!
Piedra de Agua Fuente Termal & Spa just outside of Cuenca, Ecuador’s third largest city is a luxury spa complex providing toe-tingling massages, soothing facials, calming hot springs and many other bodily pleasures ( that sounded more sexual than it was intended ….But you get my point, minds out of the gutter boys and girls!). A short taxi ride away from the city center you can expect to be treated like royalty by the fantastic and friendly staff who want nothing more than to make your stay dreamy!
The establishment is incredibly easy on the eye; with candle-lit massage rooms carved out of the volcanic rock face, steaming pools of thermal water and a polished, crisp feel which makes you feel cleaner before you even begin.
Myself and travel partner Sasha were incredibly lucky to be invited to check out the wonderful facilities at Piedra de Agua Fuente Termal & Spa during our stay. We chose to do the spa circuit (more on this later) and opted for a full body massage to give our bodies some much needed TLC.
Ready and excited for the spa!
The massage was just what the Doctor ordered. We were taken to get changed into bikinis and were provided with the fetching yellow robes you see above. Then we were met by our masseuse and taken to our own little corner of paradise at the hands of the very capable staff. If you’re a bit of a sensitive soul opt for lighter pressure because they swing more on the former side here, but despite sometimes feeling like I needed a safe word when she was working out the links in my back, my body felt great afterwards – my back felt like months of tension had finally dissipated. Sasha’s soon to be hubby is a physio therapist so she knows a thing or three about massages and she came out very impressed with their technique, so strong recommendations there!
Next we eagerly went to tackle the spa circuit. This was by far my favourite part of the visit as it was so unique! The circuit consisted of Turkish baths, contrast plunge pools, red and blue mud hot springs and steam boxes. Each party is guided around by your own personal staff member who attends to your needs, provides instruction and information on each section and in our case acted as personal photographer (and got very into his role I might add!).
The first stop was the Turkish baths which is essentially a steam room. Sasha and I are usually not fans of steam rooms as we feel like we’re being slowly suffocated, however, this one contained some sort of plant which freshened the air making it easier to breathe. After sweating out the clogged pores from 5 weeks of backpacking we finished up with a cool shower.
The next stop was the red and blue mud baths. We were instructed to paint ourselves first in the red mud which made us look like swamp monsters but felt fabulous on our skin. We reclined in the volcanically heated pool allowing nature’s facemask to dry before washing off and jumping in the blue mud. This was much coarser and aimed to exfoliate – we definitely needed some of that after over a month with a nonexistent skin routine!
Looking fantastically attractive in the red mud bath
Next was the contrast pools, this consisted of 10 minutes in a steamy hot pool followed by two minutes submerged in an icy one. The underground area where these pools were located was stunning; set in a cave lit by candlelight which caused shadows to dance around the room made it seem almost magical. The shock of the cold water was definitely not the most pleasant experience but it left my body feeling refreshed and hydrated and I’m going to use the classic British saying here; “it’s alright once you’re in!”
The final part of the circuit was the steam box. Now despite it looking like a device of medeival torture, it was surprisingly remarkably pleasant (and looks incredibly comical in photos). What’s great is your head is free so you don’t feel like you’re suffocating and the rest of you is satisfyingly engulfed in a warm blanket of steam.
Two happy floating heads
We finished off our evening of unadulterated luxury enjoying the tranquility of one of the many gloriously warm pools. This was without a doubt one of our favourite activities in Cuenca and we’d both encourage anyone to test out their circuit for themselves. And the best part? It’s completely affordable, even on a backpacking budget!
So now you have no excuse, go and check out their website now! https://piedradeagua.com.ec/circuito-spa
Disclaimer: I was provided a free spa circuit pass and discounted spa treatments with Piedra De Agua, however, this has not influenced my opinion in any way and all opinions are my own.