Nothing sounded more relaxing than spending the afternoon rejuvenating in one of Mother Nature’s baths. The Atacama desert offers such a wealth of wonder in one place, it’s akin to joy.
The Puritama Hot Springs are less than an hours drive from San Pedro de Atacama. Along the way, the desert rises and falls like steady breath and the sparse open space lays uninterrupted and indistinguishable. So it’s always a surprise to suddenly see something new, even when I expect to see it.
Located just shy of 3,500 ft. the Puritama Hot Springs are inconspicuously positioned within a ravine. Peering over the edge, we could just make out activity surrounding the hot springs, otherwise the ravine lays quietly. Eager to get in, we made our way down the dusty slope.
With simple and unobtrusive facilities, the atmosphere is relaxed and open. We start at the lowest pool, also the coolest at around 25℃. With no one in there, I rush in and am embraced with gentle warmth. With the shadow edging over and the winter air present, the water feels great.
We put our heads under the water, it feels good. Bobbing up and down, we are soothed. The water is so clear, as is the sky. The rocks are dusty red, sprouts of grass line the water and people are content.
We move up to the next pool, shivering in the cool air as we rush to get back into the heat. Such relief to feel the hot water against our goose pimpled skin. We repeat the process until we reach the top pool – the biggest and the hottest. It is here that we get chatting to two girls, one from England and one from the U.S. We chat, we relax, we enjoy the simple beauty.
It is time to go, we have soaked ourselves wrinkly, we are cleansed. We eagerly put on our clothes, the cool of the desert air is fast approaching. Back up the path we go and into the light – up high enough to enjoy the last of the sun for today.