Baños, Ecuador: A natural paradise for relax and adventure
January 1, 1970
Baños de Agua Santa is a town in Ecuador known for its wonderful landscapes and several adventure possibilities and as a place to seek inner peace and relaxation. Its name, translated as “Baths of Sacred Water”, came from the several hot springs situated around the town. It is located in a valley at the base of the currently active, Tungurahua Volcano and around 4 hours by bus from Ecuador’s capital: Quito. The town is know as the adventure capital of Ecuador, because it is the perfect place to practice outdoor activities such as: Kayaking, Rafting, Canyoning, Rock Climbing, Trekking, Biking, Bungee Jumping, and so much more. Here you will find some of the most important activities to do in your next visit to Baños.
Columpio del Fin del Mundo “The Swing At The End Of The World”
One of the most popular activities is to visit the famous “Swing At The End Of The World”. As its name suggest, it is a artisanal swing hanging from a tree house at a 2600 meters cliff in the middle of the ecuadorian wilderness. The tree house served as a monitoring station for the Tungurahua Volcano located only 2.5km across from the tree house. It is possible to reach this amazing place by car, bus, or quad bike and it takes about 30 to 40 minutes to arrive there from Baños main square. This experience is completely one of a kind because of the amazing surrounding views, the rush of adrenaline and a complete feeling of freedom.
Vuelo del Condor “The Condor’s flight”
If flying was one of your dreams, and, the “Swing At The End Of The World” did not bring you enough adrenaline, you can try the “The Condor’s flight”. Its is another swing located only 15 minutes away from the tree house in which you will be able to experience maximum adrenaline and feel the experience of flying. The feel of the wind in your face and the possibility of letting your hands loose will give you the amazing experience, full of adrenaline and joy. This is something I definitely recommend if you are seeking for something a bit more extreme and adventurous.
El Pailón del Diablo “The Devil’s Cauldron”
One of my favorite places around Baños is the “Devil’s Cauldron”, an amazing 80 meters waterfall located 30 minutes away from Baños city center. Once you arrive, it takes only 10 to 15 minutes to walk down and be able to see the waterfall. A first stop will be a restaurant where you will have to pay a small entrance fee and in 5 more minutes you will be able to see the waterfall. It is important that you bring and an extra pair of clothing or waterproof clothing because you will be able to step behind the waterfall and get close enough to touch it and get completely wet. Definitely this place is something you can not miss in your visit to Baños.
La Ruta de las 7 Cascadas “The Seven Waterfalls Tour”
If you have a particular interest in nature, I definitely recommend this tour. This tour will take you to some of the most popular waterfalls along the road from Baños to Puyo. The first stop will be in the Agoyán Waterfall, where you will have to opportunity to cross to the other side of the river, either by canopy or a cable car. This is a really cool experience! The sight is amazing, you will be able to admire the beautiful landscape of the Pastaza River Canyon. Other waterfalls that are included in this tour is the beautiful “Manto de la Novia” translated to “Bride Veil Waterfall” due to its particular veil shape, and the amazing “Devil’s Cauldron Waterfall” discussed before. In addition, you will be able to choose if you want to take part of additional activities throughout the way such as: Bungee Jumping, visit an orchid garden, fishing, among other activities.
Baños de Agua Santa Hot Springs
During the week Baños is a sanctuary of peace and tranquility. So, if what you are looking is to relax and take a time off, Baños offers a variety of hot springs. One of the most popular hot spring is: “Termas de la Virgen” located in the city center. The water is generally yellow colored due to the high mineral content and originates in the Tungurahua volcano with a temperature of 54 ºC. Termas de la virgen operates from monday to sunday from 04:00 to 17:00 and from 18:00 a 22:00. Another popular hot spring is “Termas de El Salado” located only 2 km from Baños city center. Same as the “Termas de la Virgen”, “Termas de El Salado” are yellow colored with a water temperature ranging from 52 ºC to 54 ºC. Other popular hot spring include: Balneario de Santa Clara, Balneario las Peñas o Modernas and Termas de Santa Ana.
Other Popular Outdoor Activities
Baños is the perfect place to practice extreme outdoor activities such as Kayaking, Canyoning, Rafting, Bungee Jumping etc. Along the town main square you will find several tour operators that will take you to any of these activities. We decided to take a Canyoning day tour. Canyoning means to head down into a canyon/waterfall to explore. It requires hiking, rappelling, sliding, etc. We started by a small hike up into a te top of a hill, after a short rest and explanation of the equipment, we started to prepare for the waterfall descent. It was a wonderful experience and the ending could not being better by jumping from a 50 meters waterfall. If you love adventure, this tour is something I definitely recommend!
Baños de Agua Santa is a town that has many activities to offer, beautiful places, landscapes, outdoor activities, bars, nightlife, Spas etc. and it is very popular among Ecuadorian citizens and tourists. It is important that you take the time to visit the town, visit its artisanal markets and local artisans, try the local cuisine and sweets such as “Melcocha candy” which is very good or simply relax on a SPA day. What ever your are seeking you will find it in this amazing town.