Bangin: An adjective used to describe something that is impressive, enjoyable, or just basically good.
Baños is a small town in the Andean highlands of Ecuador, It is primarily famous for it’s thermal hot springs, jungle tours and the many outdoor sports you can take part in.
Located in a valley surrounded by rolling green hills and a waterfall on one side of town Banos was one of those places that really took my heart as soon as I arrived. I had planned on only spending a few days here but ended up staying there for two weeks. With activities like the one’s listed below you can see why Banos truly is a bangin place.
The word Baños mean’s baths, Most of these thermal springs are heated from the active volcano Tungurahua. Don’t let the murky water put you off, this is only because of the mineral content in the water. It is believed to have restorative and healthful effects.
There are four mincipal bath’s in town and they are open during the day and the evenings. The most popular thermal bath is La Piscina de La Virgen which is the one I went to, cost $1-3 USD
In the hills surrounding Banos there are many simple hiking trails. Maps showing these path’s can usually be obtained from your hostel or the tourist office in town.
White Water Rafting
There are many companies in Banos where you can organize a rafting trip to the nearby rapids, Ranging from class 2 to 4 depending on how much rain there is. I got a half day rafting tour for $20 and it even included a coffee and a piece of cake. SCORE!
Bridge Jump (Puenting)
Do some Puenting (Bridge jumping). There are a couple of places in banos where you can do some bridge jumping. It only costs $15-20 USD and can either be organized from a your company in town or by simply turning up to the bridge on the side of town. (Which is the highest)
For more info check out my awesome post on the Banos Bridge Jump
If strapping yourself to a cable and soaring across a canyon sound like your cup of tea you should give Zip lining a go. there are numerous locations between Banos and Puyo where you can Zip line, These can be organized in town from various tour operators or by simply rockin up to one of the many locations.
What better way to see all that Banos has to offer and get a glimpse of the nearby volcano Tungurahua. Paragliding tours can be organized from numerous tour operators in town and price is around $40 USD
For the more extreme, In town there are many tour operators that offer half day rappelling tours where you rappel down canyons and waterfalls. I wasn’t brave enough to do this myself but I talked to numerous travellers in Banos who did and they said it was well worth it and that they had a blast.
Rent a bike or ATV
If your tired of walking everywhere why not rent an all terrain vehicle, pushbike or motorbike and explore the surrounding town’s. you can even drive down to the nearby town of Puyo instead of catching the local bus.
Explore the city centre and try some taffy.
Banos is a pretty small city and you can easilly walk around to anywhere you want to go. So why not take a walk around visit the main square and see the Church of the Virgin of the Holy Water. There are also numerous shops where people make and sell taffy candy called Melcocha which can be seen being made by pulling and beating it against door frames.
Take a day trip to Puyo to see the monkeys
If you want to take a break from the adrenalin pumping activities for a day why not do a day trip to the monkey sanctuary of Paseo Los Monos and check out some monkey’s and various forest walks. Just be careful you don’t get robbed like I did by the one handed monkey that resides there. For more info on Paseo Los Monos check out their website or my post about the monkey sanctuary in Puyo
Enjoy the nightlife
Banos has a pretty gringo friendly night life. with numerous bars on the main strip. My favorite two bar’s were Cafe Jack rock, with a rock and roll theme, Foosball and pool table, This was a great place to start your night at. As the night progressed we usually always ended up at Leprecahaun bar, the front of the bar has a dj and dance music where you can dance the night away, Or if your looking for a more relaxed scene continue through to the open air garden bar with fire pit where you can sit and chat. Be sure to check out their signature shot the Flaming Bob Marley.
The other awesome thing about Leprechaun bar is there are friendly cats that will come up and sit on you 😀
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What other cool thing’s did you enjoy doing in Banos?