The thermal hot springs of Papallacta provided a wonderful recollection of childhood vacations. Papallacta is located to the east of Quito, less than 2 hours away. We spent Sunday night at the "Termas Papallacta" resort and despite it's cost it was worth it. They have piped the hot springs water (87 to 110 degrees) into waist deep pools that are immediately in front of the cabins. The pools in our courtyard area were very hot, hot and ice cold. The cool mountain air forces you into the wonderful pools in which you cannot remain because it gets too hot, so we moved around alot, enjoying the views from all angles.
As a kid, this resort was nonexistant, but the hotsprings public area was. This is what I remember, but has been kept up nicely, and improved now to have a nice restaurant, changing areas and whirlpool jets in some of the pools. I was glad that someone had the idea to develop the natural resource so that it could be visited comfortably by tourists and others. I was saddened to think of the local people, who used to bathe in the springs along the roadside. The natural springs that flowed there arent' there any longer (water piped to the resort) and neither are the people. It clearly would be cost prohibitive to many. What remains unclear is whether there is a place for the townspeople to enjoy.