thermal pool ‘El Tambo’ in Papallacta, Ecuador

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By coincidence, as I was preparing yesterday this blogpost about an outing with the group of Nudismo Ecuador a year ago, they went to the same place; so I am starting with a few photos from their recent trip

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… and continue with the story of my visit: A few years ago I got an idea to travel to either Ecuador or Peru and of course looked up options for naturism; Ecuador seemed to have a much more vibrant naturist community with a few active groups. I had to cancel and postpone my trip a couple of times, but a year ago I finally went there and indeed found a good bunch of local naturists. There is a couple of groups in Quito, with weekly gatherings at a pool with sauna and less frequent outings to thermal pools outside the city. Even though Ecuador is situated (you’ve guessed it!) at the equator, the capital and a few other major cities have pretty cool or even chilly climate being high up in the mountains (Quito is the second highest capital city in the world), so hot springs is a natural choice if you want to hang out naked. I had been in touch with one of the local naturist groups – Nudismo Ecuador – for a while, so when my plans solidified, I made sure to coordinate to meet up with them. So a dozen of us went to the thermal pools of Papallacta east of Quito.

There are no officially designated clothing-optional pools, but some admit naturist groups with prior arrangements. This one is called ‘El Tambo’. If you want to enjoy it sans clothes, coordinate with Nudismo Ecuador by e-mail. After parking, there is a short pebble walkway (quite slippery from the mist),

view 0000 balneario Tambo, Papallacta, Ecuador

on which we stripped off right away, as from then on only sheep could see us. They seemed a bit a amused,

naturist 0003 balneario Tambo, Papallacta, Ecuador

as at this altitude of 3.5km asl, even some plants prefer to have a wooly cover.

plants 0003 balneario Tambo, Papallacta, Ecuador

So, yes, it was quite chilly, especially in the mountain mist, so we quickly proceeded to the pool,

naturist 0004 balneario Tambo, Papallacta, Ecuador

although some preferred to gain some body heat from running around the pool first.

naturist 0005 balneario Tambo, Papallacta, Ecuador

But once we were in, it was pure relaxation… until more group member arrived and we decided to play a ball game. The invented it on their own, so I was curious to try!

naturist water ball 0000 balneario Tambo, Papallacta, Ecuador

While water volleyball is common at naturist resorts,

naturist water ball 0002 balneario Tambo, Papallacta, Ecuador

this one is more reminiscent of rugby: you score by touching the “gate” area of the opponent team.

naturist water ball 0003 balneario Tambo, Papallacta, Ecuador

Due to having to run in water, passes are more common in this game,

naturist water ball 0004 balneario Tambo, Papallacta, Ecuador

and less chance of injuries from tackling.

naturist water ball 0005 balneario Tambo, Papallacta, Ecuador

We did take it seriously, so the victory was well celebrated =)

naturist water ball 0006 balneario Tambo, Papallacta, Ecuador

After the game, we were certainly warm enough to venture out for a brief hike, even though it was drizzling.

naturist 0001 balneario Tambo, Papallacta, Ecuador

Some of the mountain peaks around are covered in snow – it would have been even more amazing to see them while hiking naked or enjoying the pool, but there was a thick cloud blocking the view (typical for the area).

view 0003 balneario Tambo, Papallacta, Ecuador

We went down to a small river,

view 0001 balneario Tambo, Papallacta, Ecuador

and on its bank there was a natural thermal spring

view 0004 balneario Tambo, Papallacta, Ecuador

with contrasting, almost neon, colors.

naturist 0000 balneario Tambo, Papallacta, Ecuador

All that moist results in dense vegetation.

plants 0000 balneario Tambo, Papallacta, Ecuador

Some plants were blooming,

plants 0001 balneario Tambo, Papallacta, Ecuador

and tree trunks were covered in ferns, moss and lichens.

plants 0002 balneario Tambo, Papallacta, Ecuador

After the hike, it was already time to go back to Quito, but that hot shower felt amazing!

naturist 0002 balneario Tambo, Papallacta, Ecuador

So even though there is not much official recognition of naturism in Ecuador, local naturists are certainly very active, and my further travel proved that there is plenty of opportunities for naturism!

2 thoughts on “thermal pool ‘El Tambo’ in Papallacta, Ecuador

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