Cocalmayo Hot Springs
(The sign on the main road from Santa Maria indicating the footpath to Quellomayo and also Cocalmayo)
Walking to Cocalmayo is fantastic. Our home is only a 60 to 90 minute walk from the hot springs and it's a great hike. We recommend doing this route during dry season (end of April to early December) but check with us on how things are.
The walk leads you along agricultural pathways, passing local farms and houses. Much of the first part is along the river and you get to cross streams and the main river itself on a suspension bridge. During rainy season (December to April) there is usually a climb to the road on the opposite side of the river followed by a short walk leading to the basket that crosses back again. This basket is suspended at about 150 feet (50 metres) above the river and offers phenomenal views. Usually there are local community members to pull you across and you should pay them no more than 2 soles and ask for a receipt; this way the money is certain to go to the community for the upkeep of this service. During dry season (May to November) the basket crossing is down by the beach and you do not need to climb to the high road after the suspension bridge crossing, you simply follow the riverbank and eventually come accross the basket.
Sadly, some guides taking tourists on this route have been known to charge 5 soles or even 10 soles per passenger to cross the river in the basket; this is an abuse of visting tourists and we do not condone this behaviour. The guides pocket the difference, this is simply not fair and those who operate this scam are an embarassment to their profession.
Once across the basket (rainy season) you follow the path which splits at one point (both directions lead to the springs, down leads to the beach access, up leads to the steps the other side). It should only take 10 to 15 minutes. During dry season your crossing will place you very close tot he springs, simply follow the beach up-river and hug the edge of the mountain until you reach the pools.
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