Termas de Cacheuta

After camping in a parking lot in downtown Mendoza and Aconcagua Provincial Park for several days without amenities, I was ready for the spa.  This area of the Andes is known for many hot springs.  I head to the Cacheuta hot springs a one hour drive from Mendoza.  The road used to run to the Uspallata Pass and over the mountains into Chile but now dead ends shortly after Cacheuta at the Potrerillos Dam built between 1999 and 2003.

Cacheuta is close to Mendoza.
The Portrerillos dam flooded the road, and the railway was abandoned in 1984, the spa is no longer on the way to anywhere. Less than an hour’s drive from Mendoza it now serves mostly locals and few tourists.

The spa at Cacheuta was developed on a massive scale around 1904.  A very substantial luxury hotel was developed on the hill above the river with the spa directly below the hotel.  The establishment achieved particular success through its link with the Transandine Railway, which opened in 1910. The line ran straight past the hotel, and a special railway station was erected there. Passengers arriving on the platform at the spa station would descend a staircase directly into the hotel.

The old road, (route 82), follows the Mendoza River
View from the road of the Mendoza River near Cacheuta hot springs.

In 1934 a glacial flood in the Mendoza canyon completely destroyed the spa. The establishment never recovered.  In 1986 a modest new facility was constructed.

The new Cacheuta Hot Springs water park.
The new Cacheuta Hot Springs water park.

I had a very relaxing day at the spa and only paid seven dollars for my all day pass and another two dollars for a locker.

I will make it one of my goals to explore more of the Andean hot springs as I head south.

 

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