Churín: Hot springs and snowy peaks near Lima

Norka Peralta Liñán for Vamos!

The hot springs and snowy peaks of Churín make for a great getaway from Lima.

Churín: Hot springs and snowy peaks near Lima

The springs at Churin (Photos: Víctor Villanueva/PromPerú)

With the recent paving of the road between Churín and Oyón, this province is diversifying its tourism offerings. In addition to hot springs, the regional government of Lima is hoping that tourists prolong their stay in order to see the other attractions of the province, which include views crowned by snowy mountains and lagoons, fish farms, and archaeological zones.

This route begins in Churín. To arrive at this population center, you must travel on the Panamericana Norte to kilometer 45, which is the turn-off to Sayán. From here, it is another 50 kilometers.

Churín has three hot spring complexes: La Meseta, La Juventud and Mama Warmi.

Although the infrastructure is simple, La Meseta has the hottest waters in Churín, and they have high sulfur concentrations. Here, the locals say, you can treat rheumatic illnesses, respiratory problems and skin issues.

La Juventud has large pools and a good selection of services, including a bar, a kitchen, a dining room and even stairs for people with disabilities. There are other spaces apt for a spa, massages, saunas and Spanish showers, but they are still looking for investors to get the facilities up and running.

The baths at Mama Warmi are the most famous. Maybe the waters are not so hot, but the beauty of the natural setting, which has not been altered, is incomparable. The spot has small waterfalls, various natural swimming holes and caverns.

An hour away, the traveler arrives to the springs of Huancahuasi, a town populated by entrepreneurial people who administer the springs, as well as an inn for visitors and a canola oil plant.
This was the spot that former president Alberto Fujimori selected to build a country house by the hot springs. Today, the house is administered by the community and receives tourists. In the low season, it costs $60 to rent the house, which has three bedrooms, a heater, and its own hot water pool. The price rises during Semana Santa and long weekends.

Between Churín and Huancahuasi, there exist other hot springs: Chiuchín, Huncachín and Picoy. Additionally, the route offers picturesque towns like “Huacho sin pescado,” baptized as such to distinguish itself from the city of Huacho, on the coast. The town is a stop in visiting the nearby archaeological site of Antamarca, located at 3,200 meters above sea level. From here, you can also see the snow-capped Yarahuayna.

Leaving the city of Oyón, you can see lagoon and waterfall of Guengue, at 3,800 meters above sea level, and appreciate the imposing mountain called Raura, at 4,600 meters.

Another option is to head to Rapaz, at more than 4,000 meters above sea level, where the locals guard a beautiful colonial church and a quipu more than 100 meters in length. The whole route can be covered in three days, and if you don’t have your own car, one can be hired in Churín. All you need is a little adventurous spirit.