Mamiña and Its Healing Springs
Legend has it that the waters of this place cured an Incan princess of blindness. This could explain its name, Mamiña, which means "the girl of my dreams." Located about 125 km from Iquique at an elevation of 2700 m, this town and its famous hot springs invite you do nothing but relax and indulge yourself.
In addition to scenic vistas of the countryside, you can explore local architecture that includes the stone buildings with straw roofs that are common throughout the altiplano
. There is a beautiful 17th century church on the square with colonial artefacts including an old organ.
The hot springs offer baths of different temperatures and settings including outdoor pools or a sheltered bathing area. The area also has several hotels and spas with their own thermal baths.
If you like hot pools, the best option is Baños de Ipla, where the waters are about 45°C. If you're looking to soothe muscular aches and pains, go to El Tambo, where the waters reach 57°C. If you want curative drinking water, go to La Magnesia; the Radium Spring is apparently the one that healed the princess and is prescribed for ocular problems. The town also has numerous mud baths, but the best ones are the Baños Chinos, which are rich in sodium and iodine.
For dining, don't miss local dishes such as spiced rabbit with "chuño" (dehydrated Andean) potatoes seasoned with rocoto (optional), a South American chilli pepper.
There are several pucarás in the gullies such as those at Cerro Inca, Cerro Gentilar and Jamajuga.
At dusk, you can wander around the area with your camera ready to snap that perfect picture of a sunset.
Featured Destinations of Iquique
Tours you can do
|The hottest springs and pools like El Tambo are not recommended for people with cardiovascular problems. Don't spend more than 10 min in any of the hot springs.
||In general, do not drink the water from the springs. Some have potable mineral water, but be wary of those that contain magnesium salts.
||Solar radiation in the desert is very high, especially during summer. Don't forget sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses.
|Mamiña is quite warm during the day and cool at night during the summer months. The average temperatures range from 13°C-25°C. February is rainy season so be sure to check the road conditions prior to arriving.
||Part of the route to Mamiña is well-maintained gravel, but if you plan on touring the area, which is full of winding roads that climb up and down hillsides, it is best to have a suitable vehicle.