After a busy workday, we decided to go to the Cuenca Hot Springs in Baños Azuay that’s located a short distance west of Cuenca Ecuador. What a relaxing afternoon! ¡Muy relajante!
If you’re looking for things to do in Cuenca, this is a very relaxing way to spend a few hours and it’s only a 15 minute cab ride from El Centro.
Novaqua at the Cuenca Hot Springs – Baños Azuay
Novaqua is one of several Cuenca hot springs spas in Baños Azuay. While we also enjoy the other places we’ve been to, we prefer Novaqua because it’s adults only. You have to be at least 16 years old to enter and we’ve seen them turn people away with young kids.
If you have kids or enjoy listening to kids play, we recommend Hostería Durán, which is just a short walk from Novaqua. It has a nice kid’s pool, as well as a nice thermal bath room that’s perfect for relaxing. The last time we went to Hostería Durán, it cost $8 per adult and I believe they also have kids rates. However, their kitchen is not very vegan friendly so be sure to take snacks.
The Nova Café at Novaqua has a few more vegan options, but still not a lot. They have a fruit cup with nuts that comes with yogurt but they can leave that out if you ask. They also have a veggie sandwich that’s pretty good, although a little heavy in olive oil. We usually take some granola bars with us in case we get hungry.
The main pool at Novaqua is really nice and very warm. My physical therapist prescribed the hot springs as part of my physical therapy. She gave me some exercises to do in the pool, plus swimming laps.
We also like the contrast thermal pools. This video was the first time I’ve gotten in the cold pool. AND IT WAS REALLY COLD!!! Leading up to my spinal surgeries and until recently, cold water felt like it was burning my skin so I avoided cold water like the plague. However, thanks to lots of physical therapy and great medical care here in Cuenca Ecuador, my nerve damage is improving. The cold water didn’t burn, but it did feel really cold!
Amelia loves the sauna and the hot boxes, so we opted for the “Relaxing Thermal Plan,” which costs $20. The Basic Plan costs $15, but excludes the sauna and hot boxes.
The $20 plan also includes the mud cave, which Amelia had never tried before this video. She wasn’t quite sure what to do with the mud and I thought it was hilarious that she was looking around the cave with a handful of mud wondering what to do with it! “Put it on your skin!” I told her. 😂
That’s one of the great things about recording videos: They push us outside our comfort zone!
The Novaqua locker rooms are very nice and clean. They have showers so you can rinse off before an after enjoying the pools. You also get a robe and swimming cap (gorra en español) that you have to wear in the pools, but only if you have hair. They also have guarded lockers for your belongings.
We’ve had massages there before and those were very enjoyable, too. They make the whole experience even more relaxing!
Mía Pizza Gourmet
After we got back home from the Cuenca Hot Springs, we walked down the street a few blocks to Mía Pizza Gourmet for some vegan pizza. They have four vegetarian pizzas on their menu, which we make vegan by having them leave off the cheese and add a little extra sauce (sin queso y extra salsa).
My favorite is the Pizza Funghi (Mushroom Pizza) and Amelia prefers the Pizza Vegetal (Veggie Pizza). They’re the perfect size for one person so we each order our own.
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