Miraflores & Tarapaya Hot Springs Near Potosi, Bolivia
Hop on a local bus or take a private tour, either way the hot springs – or ‘termas’ (thermal baths in Spanish) – of Miraflores and Tarapaya are a short 40 minute drive from the city of Potosi, Bolivia.
There are TWO Tarapaya hot spring locations. One is “Balneario Tarapaya“, a public pools facility with private hot tub rooms you can rent as well as a hotel and squash court. This facility is on the main road, 10 minutes before you reach Miraflores.
The other is the natural outdoor Laguna Tarapaya (Tarapaya Lagoon in English) – a 50 metre wide crater lake that reaches up to 30 degrees C (86 F). You have to walk to the lagoon from the main road (around 20 minutes, ask the bus driver to drop you off at the crossroads) or take a taxi direct from Potosi .
Tour companies offer half-day tours (4 hours) to Laguna Tarapaya that usually include lunch. You can buy snacks and drinks at the balneario or eat at a local restaurant in the tiny town of Miraflores, but there are no restaurants at Laguna Tarapaya; it is an unspoilt natural setting.
Public busses to Miraflores leave from Mercado Chuquima, near the bus terminal. There are simple, low-cost ‘local fare’ restaurants and drinks and snack stands where the bus drops you off. The public pools are a short walk away. Here is a video of the street – I mean ‘town’ – of Miraflores:
The natural lagoon Tarapaya is considered a sacred Inca site, also named “Ojo del Inca” (Eye of the Inca in English). Enjoy a rejuvenating soak but refrain from swimming in the lake; swimmers have drowned due to strong undercurrents.
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Photographs & video by Molly McHugh, all rights reserved.