Banos is a favorite destination for Ecuadoran 20 & 30 somethings. The draw: affordable alcohol. Modern Ecuadorans shun indigenous fermentations as much as the tourists. But if you are not drinking Pilsner, imported alcohol is very expensive. For reasons that could never be explained to me, alcohol is substantially less expensive in Banos than Quito.
For Ecuadorans (and Peruvians) whiskey means Chivas Regal. A 750 ml bottle in Quito costs ~$85; in Banos, ~$45.
Dress Code: Unless you are going to Mass, I cannot think of a place in Banos where a coat and tie would be appropriate. At the other extreme, nobody wears T-shirts after dark. Jeans or even shorts are OK at night. Nights are nippy, so bring a sweater.
The nightlife scene in Banos is centred around a strip of a dozen bars or so on Alfaro. There are other places dotted around though that aren't on this street such as the Stray Dog Brew pub (run by the American people who run Hostal Posada del Arte).
Its subject to the same peaks and troughs through the week as pretty much anywhere else in the Western world. Fridays and Saturdays are packed I am told. Sundays, hardly anywhere is open as the only places allowed to serve booze are those that serve food. I was out on a Monday night and it was very quiet.
Most of the bars on Alfaro seemed to be playing the same sort of music as per what you'd expect. An exception to this is the rock bar called something like Jack Rock. There's also a pool table in there if you want to shoot some stick.
Every things closes by 2 am.
Because I had my daughter with me we didnt go into any bars but there are tons of them. There are also many people walking around in the streets of Banos at night. Most are tourist just checking out the town. I felt very safe here and the atmosphere at night is very festive. There are many vendors outside seeling food, hand crafts, clothes...everything.
The restaurants are open til late and there are so many restaurants everywhere.
You will definitley not be bored here.
While the inside of this bar is a typical dark, disco-ball lit, two-story dance floor with blasting music and lots of drinks and young dumb travelers, it is unique for having a fabulous back patio that is alight with a big bonfire, bar and plenty of spaces for chilling with a drink away from the drawl of the big music. You can dance, chat and just chill.
Unfortunately, I was a bit under the weather while in Baños so we didn't get to take advantage of all the pubs and restaurants the town has to offer. It's certainly a high point for many travelers who raved about all there was to do at night to us. Hopefully, we'll get to return to get some first hand experience of it.
This little atmospheric wine bar really caught our attention. It was also a bed and breakfast. It was located on Ibarra street and we happened upon it while walking near the La Piscina de la Virgen in the evening and coming back via a less busy street. Though likely a bit upscale for Ecuador it's surely a great deal by western standards.
We originally planned on bar hopping in Banos but ended up staying all night at the Leprechaun Bar, it was just so good. It was a week night and pretty slow so we spent most of the night chatting with bartender/owner who was definitely one of the coolest people I met down there. My friend even kept up correspondence with him for a while after.
The music was cool, the drinks were delicious (menu in english), and the whole place smelled of incense. The walls were covered in whimsical murals, which I'm pretty sure the bartender painted himself, and the whole vibe was just really comfortable.
I think the place gets pretty crazy on the weekends and alot of people are out there hitting the dance floor for some salsa, but when I was there it was incredibly chill.
Dress Code: The dress code was definitely casual, we wore tank tops and jeans.
There are plenty of bars or discos in Banos, so that it won't be a problem for you to enjoy nights down there...
Il y a plein de bars et de discotheques a Banos, ce ne sera pas trop difficile d'occuper vos nuits la-bas...
Dress Code: With a glass in your hand !
Avec un verre dans la main !