Piedra de Agua Fuente Termal & Spa is a fairly new (early 2010) hot springs spa in Baños, just south of Cuenca.
The buildings, including the change rooms, massage rooms and the "cave," plus the walkways, are all constructed from rough-hewn quarried stone (the "piedra" part of the name).
Access to the various areas of the resort are by colored wristbands. The day we were there, blue bands allowed access to the swimming pool and other public areas. The orange bands allowed access to the spa areas.
Use of the swimming pools (two of them, with another being built), lounging pools (hot and cold) and steam room is available to everyone.
The cost to use only these pools, which also includes access to the restaurant and other public areas, is $10 per adult, $5 per child, including the IVA tax.
The pool, while not hot, is warm enough to enjoy on a chilly day.
Next to it is the hot lounging pool. It's quite a bit hotter than the swimming pool. Next to it is the cold pool, where you won't do much lounging! A quick dip and you'll be over into the hot pool in no time!
The steam room will heat you up fast. Be careful, though, as the steam control is outside the room. If someone else adjusts it, you could find it very hot, very quickly.
The spa area is separated from the public areas by some rock walls.
Access to the spa area costs $30 per person, including the tax. Towels (an orange color to match the rocks) are provided to spa visitors.
The spa includes a mud pool, or piscina de lodo volcánico (enjoyed by Lulie and her kids in the photo on the right), subterranean contrast pools (very warm, but not quite hot, and cold), a more private steam room, and lounge areas outside and inside.
The mud pool, contrast pools, and the steam boxes (see below) can be enjoyed for $10 each by those not wanting to pay $30 for full spa access. You'll receive a different wristband, depending on which of these pleasures you want to enjoy.
A warning to blondes: don't put the volcanic mud in your hair, or you'll have an orangier version of your blonde hair when you leave the resort. Lulie learned that the hard way!
As noted above, be careful when using the steam room.
The control is outside, so the room can heat up very quickly without you realizing it, as more steam billows in.
A safer way to steam open your pores is with the "old-time" steam boxes (baños de cajón).
The attendant opens the doors for you, you sit down, and she closes the doors, with only your head exposed to the open air.
This ensures that your head doesn't overheat, or at least not as quickly as it would in the steam room!
By the way, those are Lulie's kids, Anissa on the left and Isaac on the right, soaking up the heat in the steam boxes.
Piedra de Agua also offers massages in the cueva de masajes (massage cave).
Is there a better way to enjoy the relaxation of the steam room than to follow it up with a 30 minute or 60 minute massage?
The 30 minute massage costs $20. The 60 minute massage costs $40.
We think you'll find a massage well worth it!
There's also a music therapy cave, where you can rest and enjoy the soothing sounds of relaxing music.
A monthly rate is available for $39.90 plus tax, for a total of $44.69. It gives you access to every area of Piedra de Agua, including the spa pools.
If you live in Cuenca, you'll more than cover your cost with two trips to the resort.
Your membership will also give you a 10% discount on special events there.
Gift cards are available, in $10, $20, $50 and $100 amounts. You can buy them at Piedra de Agua, or at Repycom Corp., located on Remigio Crespo 3-52, in front of the bicicross stadium.
There's no time limit on gift cards, so they're good indefinitely.
Gift cards can be used for restaurant purchases (see below), and for massages, although you need to make a reservation for a massage.
There's also a very nice casual restaurant, called Libélula. You can enjoy a meal or a snack in one of two large tent areas, or inside the main restaurant/reception area.
The resort is a bit out of the way. We hired a taxi in Cuenca, and the driver had no idea how to get to Piedra de Agua, although Jeff did give him incorrect directions, which didn't help.
If you drive yourself, or hire a taxi, look for the large Hostería Durán sign. Turn left up that road, but continue past Durán. You'll soon see a sign, but that's for the pedestrian entrance.
Be sure to follow the signs to Paseo de la Guadalupana y Calle S/N (an unnamed road). The entrance is very unobtrusive, especially since it's at the end of that unnamed road.
The resort is open 7 days a week. Monday to Saturday hours are 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Sunday hours are 9 a.m. until 7 p.m.
There's a web site at http://www.piedradeagua.com.ec. They have a mailing list where they make special offers, available only to subscribers (they ask for your birthday, so I expect you'll receive a special offer to come celebrate your day).
The phone numbers are 07-2892496 and 07-4092413 (drop the 07 if calling from a landline).
You can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Piedra de Agua Fuente Termal & Spa is a place to spend a day, delighting in steam and mud and hot water.
As their slogan says, it's un regalo para el cuerpo y los sentidos (a gift for the body and the senses).
Enjoy the gift! We certainly did!
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I just want to thank you both soooo much for creating this web site. I am originally from Cuenca but moved to New York 11 years ago and have not being back since. My husband and I are planning on visiting Cuenca over the Summer and this web site has helped me a lot.
When I came to the US we still had the "sucre," the bus ride cost 1,000 sucres and a pack of trident gum would cost 3,000 sucres. I am very nervous to go back, but thanks to your web site I now know what to expect.
My husband is American and Captivating Cuenca has taught him a lot about what my great city has to offer, things that I had forgotten about myself! :)
Thank You both so much! I cannot wait to visit Cuenca!!