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danilbruce Banos - A travel report by Daniel
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Banos,  Ecuador - flag Ecuador -  Tungurahua
8043 readers

danilbruce's travel reports

Tourist Town Extraordinaire

  10 votes
Page: 1 2 3
Banos is a long established tourist town attracting people from all over the world for hot thermal springs, hiking, and numerous adventure tours. It also has horseback trips, and scooter, go-kart, and bike rentals.

A Banos Spa
A Banos Spa
Banos is a unique place with hand-made taffy being stretched on a post and sugar cane stalks being ground into cane drinks at many store fronts along the streets. There is a lovely waterfall that can be seen from most of the town and a impressive canyon overlooking the Rio Pastaza on the north edge of town. Steep mountains surround the town and hiking opportunities abound. The climate is ideal usually warm days with a cool breeze and chilly but not cold at night year around.

Favourite spots:
Manto de la Virgen and the Spa in town are great spots to relax and enjoy the day. There are three pools at the spa, one very hot, one very warm, and one cold. The entrance fee was $1.60 April 2008. You can walk up the waterfall for free, enjoy a light mist, and a nice view beneath the falls. The canyon overlook is also nice as well as the short hike into the canyon and over a wooden foot bridge.

What's really great:
Waterfall, and footbridge
Waterfall, and footbridge
There are waterfalls tours leaving twice everyday for $3 or $4. They usually take about 3 hours and visit many waterfalls along the Rio Pastaza on its way to the jungle. Along the tour is offered a bridge jump called a swing for $10, a terabita ride for a $1, and a waterfall hike for 50c extra.

Waterfall in town
Waterfall in town
There are tours leaving every night to see the erupting Volcan Tungurahua which is very close to town, but cannot be seen from town. The volcano usually is enveloped in ash and clouds. So often tourists only see a red glow at the top of the mountain on these tours. During the day, if it is not cloudy there are viewpoints outside of town where it is possible to see ashy smoke arising from the volcano.

View from Hostal Carolina
View from Hostal Carolina
I stayed in two different places while in Banos. The standout was Hostal Carolina. I had a nice room with private bath, cable tv, free internet, and kitchen access for $4 a night (April 2008). Most hotels in town include some free internet which is good because the internet cafes in charge more than twice the going rate found throughout the rest of Ecuador.

Guinea pigs being cooked at the market
Guinea pigs being cooked at the market
For a tourist town, Banos is a great place to eat. I like restaurants to have a menu with fixed prices. Many places in Ecuador do not have this, but many most restaurants in Banos do. There are restaurants in every price range. There are numerous cafes, even some with book exchanges, and at least one with wi-fi. There are cheap fast food places serving the ubiquitous Ecuador meal of rotisserie chicken with rice and salad. I especially enjoyed the churrasco at Pollo Pin for $3.50, and the fish of the house at Ross restaurant across from the bus station for $2. At the market, it is possible to get a Andean traditional meal of roasted guinea pig.

Other recommendations:
Canyon Overlook
Canyon Overlook
There are also many agencies offering rainforest and whitewater rafting trips from Banos.

Published on Thursday May 29th, 2008

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Sat, Jun 07 2008 - 12:38 PM rating by jorgesanchez

good you visited lovely banos. i hope you learnt spanish there.

Sun, Jun 01 2008 - 08:42 AM rating by marianne

love the photos

Sat, May 31 2008 - 10:06 AM rating by rangutan

Exciting activities but a bit short (my reports too).

Fri, May 30 2008 - 02:50 PM rating by davidx

Very informative and interesting. Great pics.

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