If you’ve already hiked Aconcagua or maybe you’re tired after days of bicycle wine touring, a relaxing day trip outside of Mendoza can be found at Las Termas Cacheuta. Termas, or “hot springs” are dotted all throughout the Andes and serve a special purpose for locals and travelers alike as a place to relax, picnic, and soak up the natural earth minerals. Amidst local cacti and other desert flora, the pools within this spa are intricately constructed with surrounding river rocks, and between pools are various spots for relaxing in the sun or hosting an impromptu picnic.
The geothermal heated water cascades down the hillside from pool to pool starting at ultra-hot near the top of the hill leading to cooler waters in the slow current river located in the “water park” below. Surrounding areas within the Spa are often filled with Argentinian families grilling various meats (what else would they grill?). The official spa is also a hotel with options for mud baths and more, and the surrounding tiny village has a few places to stay with some restaurants. Make sure to bring cash as there are no credit cards accepted anywhere and no ATM! Winter is known for being more quiet and enjoyable in the warm waters, while summertime can get quite crowded. Pack something to grill and don’t forget your swimsuit although the locals don’t seem to care if you’re in your boxer-shorts (whoops). Day pass is 60 pesos (about $12USD)
Note:To get there via public transportation, you can take a bus twice daily from the central bus station in Mendoza which takes over an hour and can make multiple stops with local kids getting on and off for school. To get the most out of a day trip, take the earlier bus.