What To Do In Baños De Agua Santa, Ecuador
by Laura Lopez
If you love adventures, life outdoors, extreme sports, thermal waters and nature, this is a must-go place for you.
Located at the foot of Tungurahua volcano in the Tungurahua Province, Baños de Agua Santa will enchant you form the very first moment with its breathtaking scenery of waterfalls, mountains and beautiful skies.
This city is an important tourism center for Ecuador and it’s also known as “Little Piece of Heaven”, not only because it’s located at 1800 meters above sea level but also because of the natural beauty of the landscape which attracts thousands of tourists every year.
I had the opportunity to visit this wonderful place for a week while I was travelling around Ecuador and totally fell in love with it.
The city of Baños is well known for its thermal waters with curative properties, and personally, this is one of my favourite activities. There are many pools with hot spring water available at different temperatures as well as saunas and Turkish baths.
Santa Clara Swimming Pool Complex consists of one semi-olympic swimming pool, a warm water pool, a heated pool with hydromassage, a sauna and a Turkish bath. You can enjoy a warm and relaxing swim while admiring the beauty of the mountains and the sound of the waterfalls.
Another important and more modern pool complex is Las Peñas, which not only has a greater variety of pools but also has three amazing waterslides and a fantastic wave pool, trust me, it’s just perfect.
As regards adventures and extreme sports, you’ll never get bored in Baños, since the offer is wide and varied. You can try canopy, rock climbing, white water rafting, bungee jumping and, my favourite, canyoning, which is basically rappelling down waterfalls, what a perfect combination! Believe me, if you’re an adrenaline addict who loves trying new things, you will not want to miss this unique experience.
Waterfalls, And More Waterfalls
For those who love hiking and visiting waterfalls, I have great news! Baños is full of waterfalls, there ‘s even the famous “Ruta de las Cascadas” (Waterfalls Route) where you can visit over fifteen different waterfalls. So, if you come to Baños, don’t forget to bring your swimsuit, and if you do, don’t worry, there are many stores where you can buy one. I highly recommend you visit at least Rio Verde waterfall, better known in Spanish as El Pailon del Diablo and Machay Waterfall, seriously, those places are a piece of heaven.
What is the best time to come to Baños?
That’s a good question. On average, the temperatures tend to be always high, but if you don’t like too much rain, you should avoid coming between April and August. From my point of view, the best time to come to Baños is between September and February, That doesn’t mean it will not rain if you come in October, remember that Baños is located near the Amazon jungle, so light rainfalls are frequent even during the dry season.
Baños, A piece of Heaven for Foodies
If you are wondering about the best places to eat in Baños, let me tell you, you can find places for all tastes and budgets. From very fancy and expensive “five stars” restaurants to street food stalls offering local cuisine, Baños has a wide variety of places where you can try national and international, vegetarian/vegan cuisine, and if you are in the mood to go for a drink, there are many bars that will be open from 5 pm on.
Where to Eat in Baños
My recommendation list according to my personal experience.
Casa Hood Restaurant
An excellent place with excellent food, they offer various kinds of food from all over the world and many vegan/vegetarian options, which is greats since there are very little places in Ecuador where you can find vegetarian food, I especially recommend the vegetarian sandwich and the hummus with pita bread, just wonderful! The atmosphere here is very relaxing accompanied with very good music.
Cherusker (artisanal German brewery)
If you’re into craft beer, this is the place for you, here you will try the best quality and variety of beer on tap accompanied by delicious appetizers and haute cuisine dishes (mostly German). The place is nicely decorated, with very good service and great music.
Honey Coffee & Tea
One of the best options for sweet teeth and coffee lovers. Here you can enjoy the best coffee in all its forms (black coffee, macchiato, mochaccino, cappuccino, latte, etc). They make the best frappés you’ll ever try, there are three versions and they are all simply delicious: Caramel, Chocolate and Nutella flavour.
They also offer a wide variety of exquisite cakes, pastries and desserts, and the wonderful muffins and cookies deserve special mention, tasty, tasty, tasty!
Kawsay Native Restaurant
It’s a small restaurant in front of the main square, the customer attention service is excellent as well as the menu, which is full of options as regards meat, fish and traditional dished. If you are looking for a vegetarian dish, you should try the vegetable lasagna, it’s remarkable!
In case you want to prepare your own food, there is a local market full of fresh fruits and vegetables of all kinds, you can also find, legumes, meat and dairy products, actually, you can find almost anything you want at a very good price.
If you are thinking to come to Baños, I recommend that you search and book your accommodation online, where you will find a wide range of lodging possibilities according to your budget, preferences and time frame. There are many hostels and hotels in the area and the prices are fair and reasonable.
Now you know what to do, where to eat and where to sleep in Baños, you are more than ready to come and enjoy this marvellous place, and if you still have a doubt, don’t worry, there are many travel agencies in Baños. What is more, travel agencies tend to work with hotels and hostels, so probably you won’t even need to look for one, they will offer different trips and activities the moment you do the check-in.
The Perfect Getaway
Baños is the perfect destination for people of all ages and types, no matter the occasion, you will always find interesting things to do and enjoy, and believe me, once you get to know this place, you will not want to leave.