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Things to Do in Banos Ecuador: Adventure, Food, Waterfalls, Active Volcano

This is a post by Magali Ipina – a Canadian expat living in Quito, Ecuador. Baños is by far one of our favorite destinations here in Ecuador due to its spectacular setting and amazing natural beauty.

canyoning-banos-ecuador

Best Things to Do in Baños

Gateway to the Amazon rain-forest, it is home to 70 waterfalls, and hundreds of acres of unspoiled forest.

Located at the flank of the active Tungurahua volcano, it offers a wide array of adventure sports by day, and a spectacular show of fire and lava by night.

We like to consider ourselves thrill seekers, and this place is just heaven for us. Trekking, biking, white water rafting, canyoning, and bridge jumping are only some of the reasons that make us keep coming back!

It is now our third time going to Baños, and, while we usually go on a tight budget, this time we decided to treat ourselves to luxury.

Banos Ecuador

Luna Volcán Adventure Spa in Baños, Ecuador

We chose to book a room at Luna Volcán, a romantic spa/ hotel on the oriental flank of the active Tungurahua Volcano, and we did not regret it!

Located 400 meters above Baños, its pools, and jacuzzis of hot volcanic water offer a great view of the city by day, and of the volcano by night.

Rooms and suites range from $220 to $439 and offer nice honeymoon options. Rose petals decoration, sparkling wine, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and aphrodisiac exfoliation are only some of the options offered.

The rooms, which are thematically decorated according to their names:

  • Heart Chocolate
  • Red Apple
  • My Sky
  • The Tree of Love
  • The Volcanic Kiss, etc,

They create unique atmospheres for that special moment that will be your stay. But, don’t be scared to go if you’re not traveling as a couple: friends and families are welcome, and rooms like “Inseparable friends” are also available.

Only note that kids under the age of 6 are not aloud in the pools and Jacuzzi because of safety reasons due to its location.

In order to fully experience the Luna Volcán, we decided to give the spa treatments a try.

Roberto personally opted for a full body massage that left him so relaxed he fell asleep! I was tempted to go for a volcanic ash exfoliation, but finally chose the coffee husk one because I just loved the smell so much! The application was done through a massage and left my skin incredibly smooth.

Looking for other Andean adventures? Check out these other things to do in Ecuador’s Andes.

Banos Ecuador Pool
If you are feeling hungry, the Luna Vulcan has two restaurants on-site: the Café del Cielo and the Runtun Restaurant.

The Café del Cielo offers lighter options, such as sandwiches, crepes (we especially enjoyed the thyme beef crepe), and coffees (beautiful layered ones at that!) with prices running from $2 – $7.

If you are hungrier, The Runtun Restaurant offers nice dinner options with plates ranging between $4 – $19, such as veal, beef, prawns, shrimps, fish, and many vegetarian options.

La ruta de las cascadas is probably the most known attraction of Baños. La Cascada de la Virgen, El Manto de la Novia, and El Pailón del Diablo are only a few of the waterfalls you can see here. You can book a tour, rent some buggies or even bicycles to visit them!

Many options are offered to you on the way: bridge jumping ($15), canopy ($10), and tarabitas ($1), which are cable cars taking you from one end of the river to the other.

pailon del diablo ecuador
Banos Ecuador bridge jumping

La Casa del Árbol, Banos Ecuador

La Casa del Árbol is a small treehouse at the edge of a canyon.

Its swing, which leaves you hanging over a precipice, offers a great photography opportunity. If it’s cloudy, the moment looks taken out of an eerie movie. If the sky is clear, you will be able to enjoy some of the greatest views of Baños. When I first saw a picture of this place I doubted I would dare to do it.

However, even if pictures might make it look like you swing in the void, there is actually a comforting slope below the swing with small bushes and grass, just in case.

Whether you find this venture risky or not, the spectacular views on their own are worth the trip. There is no set fee to visit the place, but a small donation is appreciated!

La Casa del Arbol swing Banos Ecuador

Canyoning in Baños Ecuador

Of all the activities available in Baños, canyoning has been by far the highlight of our trips here.

René, the owner of MTS Adventure is a specialist in that field, and his top priorities are that you are safe, and that you’re having the best time you can!

For about $20, we spent half a day with his team going down multiple waterfalls in the jungle, photos included!

This activity is fun and full of adrenaline, but they make sure it is accessible for any inexperienced climber. I would highly recommend it to anyone!

Thinking about visiting Baños? Check out our guide to Weather in Baños Ecuador.

 

Typical Souvenirs from Banos Ecuador

The town is known for its production of Melcocha, a taffy made from sugar cane that comes in flavors such as blackberry, passion fruit, and guanábana.

It is nice to see the artisans make this local specialty, boiling the raw cane syrup, and then pulling it, stretching it, and beating it to obtain the final result. If you feel like bringing a little something back from Baños, you can buy them just about everywhere in the city!

Baños is definitely a destination I would recommend to anyone passing by Ecuador, all ages and wallets alike. It offers great options for backpackers in seek of extreme sensations as well as couples looking for a new relaxing spa destination.

This is a post by Magali Ipina – a Canadian expat living in Quito, Ecuador. 


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Jennifer

Wednesday 12th of November 2014

Do you know of a cheaper and safe place to stay in Banos?

Susan T. Dufrene

Wednesday 8th of April 2015

I live here now and we love it. Hostel Timara, 10.00 a day per person. Clean and to us we feel very safe in Banos.

Hacienda Rumiloma: Peaceful Hotel Overlooking Quito Ecuador | InsideEcuador

Friday 7th of November 2014

[…] post by Magali Ipina – a Canadian expat living in Quito, Ecuador. She has also written about her trip to Baños. Read her french blog about Ecuador and follow her on […]

Alvaro

Saturday 18th of October 2014

Baños is a beautiful little scape from the noise town, aside from all the extreme sports and awesome night life, I think is good to mention the spas, the Woden box baths, massages, the yoga, the afternoon empanadas with hot chocolate, the springs, ah and make sure you have your license with you, cause you can rent from a scooter to a small suzuki jeep stile automobile, and you are into art, there is a small teather company created by a combination of expats and locals . There is plenty to do, and also it was forgot to mention in the article one of the most popular souvenirs is the sugar cane itself, sure brings back childhood memories, take care and hope you guys enjoy Baños de Agua Santa

Terry Doyle

Monday 29th of September 2014

Great article as we've come to expect from you Bryan! Very, very nice pictures as well. Like others I am likewise astounded by the prices but apparently they can be gotten by Luna Runtun - not from me however. Hope to see volcano pictures sometime soon.

Magali Ipina

Monday 6th of October 2014

Hi Terry! I'm glad you enjoyed my first guest post for InsideEcuador :) I absolutely looove photography and I am looking forward taking a satisfying picture of a volcano but the tip always seems to be cloudy when I'm around one! Soon I hope...

Larry Hughes

Monday 29th of September 2014

Yes i to was taken back by the price of the rooms, but i must say they are beautiful, hoping to visit Ecuador soon.

Magali Ipina

Monday 6th of October 2014

If you ever wish to visit Baños, the town offers lot of budget-friendly options for you! I usually spend 12$ a night for a basic room to stay :)