Cacheuta Waters

What you don’t know doesn’t really matter. Or it could, but as you don’t know until later, it doesn’t matter. Or it does matter, but in a way you didn’t expect.

I’d read about Cacheuta Thermal springs in the Lonely Planet guide. As the guide was published in 2018, but the material sourced years earlier, it wasn’t all that relevant. I tried to find more info on-line. The website is terrible. Trip Advisor wasn’t much help either. So much conflicting and unspecific information.

Still, I wanted to go and so we went. From Mendoza it’s about an hour and a half bus ride. When the bus stopped, we followed everyone. I had read that there were two sections – an upper for kiddies and a lower for kids and everyone else. The entrance fee includes both. Which is great if you have kids, as both parts of the park are kid friendly.

This photo – rode along several narrow roads like this to get there.


I’ll say this: upon arrival, we were underwhelmed, as is often the case when expectations and reality converge. There were a lot of people. It seemed confined. Yet, as we entered further into the park, it expanded. Still, for the number of people there, it was crowded. And still, for that, it was very enjoyable.

A recorrido, or flowing river of water runs around the park. In the center is a large pool with a central fountain. Two water slides provide slippery means of entrance, should you select that mode. Or, you can just walk into the main cool pool. Around that, are numerous shallow soaking pools, with varying temperatures of naturally heated water to relax in.


As I was soaking in one of the shallow areas, a young woman joined the rest of us. Settling in, she sighed, “Es un paradis.” I could only agree, as the water was warmly welcoming, the sky overhead was deeply blue, and the surrounding foothills of the Andes provided a dramatic backdrop.


Another slide just to the left of the tube.

This seems to be the quintessential Mendoza day trip. Families come with chairs, food, mounds of equipment. They claim a picnic table in one of the many possible locations, either under a covered structure, or along the recorrido, under trees. In some areas, grills (parrillas) are available; wood to burn and cook on can be bought. Bring your own meat and accompanying side dishes and make a day of it.


It was an experience that told me, “This is Argentina.” Families are extended and expansive and really seem to enjoy one another. On arrival, we saw at least 10 family members enter the recorrido together, laughing and chatting and being in the moment. There is an ease among families here that seems accepting and voluminous. Voluminous in speech and laughter, and in the joy of living.

Now, as to what you don’t know. Rather, kind of know, but can’t pin down. Just up the road apiece from the public and populated thermal pools, there is a hotel with private thermal soaks. At the equivalent of ~$50 USD per person, you can imagine it is much more refined. There you will find showers, lockers, towels, room to spare in the thermal pools. What the website doesn’t tell you is that you must reserve in advance to access this delight of desultory relaxation. A variety of massages, facials, etc. are also available.

While that option may have been the more overall relaxing of the two, I have to say that I appreciated being amidst the gente and the full throated, full throttle exuberance of the more local experience. I mean, would the hotel have water slides and the recorrido and full on, true to life family outing? No. So, I’m glad I didn’t know in advance. Cuz, truthfully, I probably would have gone for the more expensive, more isolated, less true-to-everyday upscale selection.

Travel – it plunks you into the local, if you let it.

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