Before getting into the specifics of this tour, I would like to share my overall experience with Adventure Journeys (skip to next paragraph if don't care about this part). Adventure Journeys came highly recommended from a friend who went on their 10-day Galapagos Multisport tour. When we were scheduling the Galapagos trip, we found out quickly what an incredible company they are. Their goal is to provide their clients with best experience through excellent service and tailor to the client's interests and needs. That philosophy started with the booking phase and I really appreciated their dedication since it can be very stressful to plan long trips to counties that you don't speak the primary language. We worked with Nicole during the booking phase, and she was incredibly kind, accommodating, and best of all, very responsive. Because of her excellent service, we decided to schedule a couple of day trips on our extra days in Quito.
Moving on to the day trip experience, my husband and I travelled for about 15 hours the previous day and we needed a mild and relaxing activities to reset on our second day in Ecuador. This day trip to Papallacta and being able to soak in the hot springs was exactly what we needed. The ~1.5 hr drive to Papallacta was scenic and we learned about Ecuador's history, geography, and culture from our guide, Juan, as we drove. We went for a brief hike, soaked in the hot springs, had delicious authentic Ecuadorian lunch (recommended by Juan), and stopped at a scenic overpass to view the Laguna Papallacta.
General recommendations, the hike was pretty quick, if you like longer hikes, I would encourage you to ask your tour guide if you can do a longer hike. Remember, this company is all about doing what you want to do and give you the best experience so don't be shy to ask. For the hot springs, there are public hot springs which is included in this day tour and then there are private hot springs connected to the spa which costs slightly more. We paid for the difference ($26) which I believe was totally worth it.
Finally, I don't know who your tour guide will be but our guide, Juan was incredible. He was kind, very knowledgeable, helpful, and just so pleasant to spend time with. My husband is pretty introverted so a long drive with someone unfamiliar is one of his dislikes but he had a wonderful time!
The hot spring spa staff spoke English very well so it's possible to do a day trip like this yourself but booking through a trusted tour company was great for us because of the convivence of having someone pick you up at your hotel, speak with the local community members was great, and most importantly, we felt incredible safe the whole time.