The location of Ecuadorian town Baños or officially Baños de Agua Santa, is phenomenal. This tourist town is surrounded by beautiful green mountains and bubbling volcanoes, unfortunately the latter sometimes cause problems for the village.
Tungurahua volcano above Baños
The Tungurahua volcano in particular is notorious. The black volcano towers 1800 meters above Baños and has been active since 1999. There have been a number of eruptions in recent years, which force people in town to evacuate.
However, overall it’s quiet in this area. Apart from the arrows printed on the streets, which show the emergency evacuation routes, the 25,000 inhabitants don’t seem to worry too much about the volcanos and its activity. The volcano is an attraction for tourists. If the clouds do not obstruct the view, you can admire the active mountain from different angles.
Baños is a tourist town
The small town itself is primarily a gathering point for resorts, hostels, restaurants, spas, massage salons and souvenir shops. You can walk anywhere within fifteen minutes. You see many Western tourists there but more of Ecuadorians. Baños gives this special vacation atmosphere, not from the town itself only but also among people who live there. In many small parks the town owns, you would see the peaceful and slow daily lives of the people, such as men reading newspapers or a group of women chatting about the latest gossip.
Nuestra Señora del Agua Santa
In the center of the town is the Church for the Virgin of the Holy Water, Nuestra Señora del Agua Santa. The story goes that the virgin had secured the church during the many volcanic eruptions. You can learn more stories about Nuestra Señora del Agua Santa in this neo Gothic building with its colorful paintings on the walls.
The steaming green forests invite you for a brisk walk or a mountain bike ride. For a few dollars you can rent a mountain bike. It is recommended to try the downhill bike ride to the village of Puyo from Baños. Puyo is 61 kilometers away and you see dozens of majestic waterfalls along the way there. Of course you hardly have to paddle on the downhill, but you certainly get numb hands from all the braking!
Pailon de Diablo
You can also go by car or bus about a half an hour to the most impressive waterfall; the Pailon de Diablo, known as “the kettle of the Devil.” A steep staircase leads you down the middle of the falls, where you have a beautiful overview of the town. This natural phenomenon owes its name too. The water swirls in the depth almost eighty meters. A narrow route through the rocks directly takes you behind the waterfall. There you are definitely going to get soaked.
Adventures and the hot springs
Looking for more adventures? Of course, Baños can offer you even more! You can try bungee jumping, rafting, quad biking, horse riding, abseiling, paragliding or zip-lining in Baños, Ecuador. Also don’t forget to experience the hot springs, which the town is known for! You can pamper yourself dipping yourself in their famous hot springs. It is great especially for the muscles from all the activities. After an hour of bathing, you are going to be ready for a new adventure again!
What to do in Baños?
- Taste melcocha. This really sweet candy cane is made fresh for you in one of the many candy stores.
- Get soaked by the impressive Pailon del Diablo waterfall. You can stand behind this 80-meter-high waterfall in a narrow tunnel in the rocks.
- Cycling, rafting, bungee jumping, abseiling, jungle treks and ATV tours. Baños is the adventurer capital of Ecuador.
- Take a relaxing massage or a hot spring bath in one of the many bath houses.
- View the mighty Tungurahua volcano. When there are no clouds, you can see the active mountain from different angles.