We decided to postpone school the next morning to go to an amazing thermal hot springs located on the far side of Volcano Villarrica, the drive was about 2 hours away from where we were staying. It was so worth the drive, the springs were located on a flank of the volcano in a gorge with vertical walls, the valley was likely caused by faulting. We got there when they opened at 11am and bought our tickets and ate our lunch, we then hiked all the way up the gorge which was lined with pools that were built out of shale in angular shapes, hence the geometricas.
The valley was filled with ferns and trees that towered over your head, the hot springs typically seeped out of the walls of the valley and were captured in the pools or conveyed to other pools further down the valley. The valley bottom was a natural stream where pools could be drained and cold water was diverted; red bridges suspended over the streams allowed you to walk through the area. When you sat in the pools the sound of the stream created unique ambiance.
There was a waterfall at the top of the gorge, we stored our clothes and tested out the 15 to 20 pools that were available. We spent the better part of 4 hours playing and swimming in the pools that were usually no more than 3-4 feet deep. We had a second lunch so the girls didn’t run out of energy and then headed home. We stopped in Villarrica and had dinner and watched some break dancers, the kids were pretty amazed, I was too back in the 80’s.