“And what does cajón mean?”
My friend was quizzing me in Spanish, and I was mentally rolling through the half-dozen or so words I’d actually managed to remember form my impromptu lessons over the past couple of weeks.
“A space between two mountains?” I asked, more than answered.
I was on the right track. Cajón del Maipo is a steep, rocky gorge which starts about 25km southeast of Santiago, the Rio Maipo flows through it and there are multiple spots that offer whitewater rafting for the thrill-seekers out there. We were searching for an experience on the opposite end of the spectrum though, a relaxing soak in the hot waters of Colina Springs.
Following the winding road for a couple of hours led us to the collection of terraced hot baths, some of which reach up to 50 degrees centigrade.
8000 Chilean paesos bought us entry into the basic campsite as well as unlimited access to the baths themselves which are situated a short walk up a hill. Bear in mind there is no electricity, so if you fancy a midnight dip, bring a decent torch.
The collection of six or so pools range in heat, the hottest being situated the highest and the coolest a few metres down, so you can pick and choose depending on how much heat you can handle. If you’re anything like this cold-inhabiting Scot, you’ll be sticking to the lowest level.