Hemispheres The Americas Chile

Explore Las Termas del Flaco

Termas del Flaco

Termas del Flaco is a hot springs resort with thermal baths at an elevation of 1.776m above the sea level located in the Región del Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins, of Chile.

The baths, also known as Baños del Tinguiririca and Las Vegas del Flaco, are located in the Colchagua valley, in the Andes mountain range. The road is one-lane and dicey, as it follows the tumbling Tinguiririca River upstream, and leading eastward into the Chilean Andes. This long gravel road is called I-45. Starting from San Fernando, on the Panamericana Sur 64, the drive is 77.8 km long, with no pavement, that can be covered by any type of vehicle. The dirt road to the baths is only open from December to April and closed from May to November. It’s usually closed in winter time due to heavy snow.

-- Dangerous Roads [.com]

No wonder Dangerous Roads featured the Termas del Flaco...the bus ride from San Fernando is one of the most grueling treks we've ever undertaken. We visited in the off-season, early May--the snows had not yet closed the roads, but the hotel was already closed for the season. Fortunately, we were able to convince one of the employees still on the job to open one of the cabañas for us. But there was no heat so we had to crawl under layer upon layer of heavy wool blankets to get through the night.

We managed to hitch a ride with another couple of visitors the next day to avoid having to endure another bus ride back down the mountain. All in all, not the visit we had envisioned, but an adventure that will stay with us to the end of our days! -- Guy Roger