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Baños

Baños (Ecuador)

Practical information on Baños

  • Spa and massage
  • Encounters with locals
  • Viewpoint
  • Hiking / Trekking
  • Extreme Sports
  • Mountain
  • River
  • Water Sports
  • Volcano
  • Waterfall
  • Horse
4 / 5 - 3 reviews
How to get there
Three hours from Quito by bus.
When to go
From June to September
Minimum stay
1 to 2 days

Reviews of Baños

Sylvia Rambaud Seasoned Traveller
9 written opinions

If you want to mix activity and relaxation during a trip to Ecuador, surrounded by wild, subtropical countryside, then Banos thermal resort is the ideal place.

My suggestion:
You can explore Banos on foot, off-road bike or on horseback, or climb into a cable car to cross one of the resorts many rivers.
My review

Banos is a real seaside resort. Thanks to the numerous hotels and restaurants and a covered craft market, you can relax in the town and also explore the surroundings.

It's main attraction is the warm thermal springs and pools, which come directly from Tungurahua, a live volcano (5,020 m). I swam in them and then had one of the different massages available at the resort. I can also recommend a beautiful bus journey (the famous open topped bus) which puts you down at the start of the road to the waterfalls. You walk along this road for about 30 minutes before arriving at a little wooden bridge and a staircase along the rock face that brings you to "el pailon du diablo", an incredible waterfall which is one of the wonders of the world.

If you like adventuring over the countryside then there is an hour long (steep) ride through the selva where you can see lots of orchids. You can stop to take a photo of Banos between the mountains and then go back down beside the waterfalls. In the evening there are lots of western style restaurants serving good food and the nights are very lively!

David Debrincat Seasoned Traveller
459 written opinions

Lying with a volcano on one side and a river on the other, Baños is to a certain extent the place where the Andes and the Amazon meet.

My suggestion:
The hotels organise volcano observation trips each evening. However, these are a complete rip-off. When I went on one I found myself in a kind of disco-truck surrounded by revellers who were really only interested in the night club entry included in the price. It was a complete waste of time!
My review

Baños de Agua Santa, a spa resort located on the road that links two distinct environments, the Andes and the Amazon, is a well-known tourist destination in Ecuador.

Hot water pools are to be found throughout the city. I particularly recommend the La Piscina de la Virgen baths, where the four different pools are all at different temperatures. The hottest is supplied with water that emerges from the ground at a temperature of eighty degrees centigrade. But don't worry: it's "cooled" using cold water from the falls located just above. Nevertheless, fifty degrees centigrade can only be tolerated for limited periods of time. Something else interesting about Baños is that the city lives under a constant menace. The reason for this is the presence of the 5,023 metre high Tungurahua, one of the most active volcanoes in the Andes. Tungurahua is monitored constantly for activity and the local population is prepared to evacuate at short notice. I find it incredible that people can manage to live with this Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads.

When visiting Baños, I also recommend taking advantage of the opportunity to try your hand at mountain biking, white-water rafting, canyoning, horse trekking, and why not bungee jumping even?

Lorette Vinet Seasoned Traveller
59 written opinions

Banos (De Ambato) is a well known spa town in Ecuador, that sits in an stunning, mountainous landscape.

My suggestion:
Make sure you take a waterproof jacket, as it's not far from the Amazon where the climate is tropical and humid.
My review

Three noteworthy things from our visit to Banos. 

Firstly, the baths. We were the only foreigners there as we stepped into the bubbling, thermal springs known as 'Las Piscinas de la Virgen'. The water is yellowish in colour, as it comes from the sulphurous volcano that overlooks the town (and not from people relieving themselves!).

We then decided to have our fill by enjoying a delicious brunch in one of the many cafeterias. It was a yummy meal, not typical dishes but welcome all the same.

Finally, I never expected to find a ferris wheel during my trip to Ecuador. So in the evening, grinning like kids, we took a ride and saw the town from on high, without worrying about the safety of the apparatus.

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