For a nice, truly 'off the beaten path' hiking experience, travel the 20 minutes from Banos to the Patate Valley for a hike above the tree lines.
Carlos Restrepo, at the Hacienda Leito, will organize horseback or hiking trips into the farmland of the valley, all of which he owns. You will pass through cow pastures, past the houses of the many people who work on the farm, eventually crossing above the tree line where there are alpaca or llama. From the highest points on the hike, you would have an unbeatable view of the volcano Tungerahua - where you can get a great picture of steam and ash billowing from its caldera.
Carlos uses indigenous guides who live in the community. They are an incredible resource - don't forget to tip for good service!!
To get the information on Hacienda Leito, go to my Banos Hotels tips.
You can access the Amazon jungle at Banos. Down this valley , about a 4 hour bus ride, is Le Puyo which lies within the jungle. Since this is a full day excursion and since we did not have the appropriate vaccinations we did not go .
They live in Banos, they love doing nothing (maybe because they have no opportunity to to something for real) and they are so nice !!
Ils vivent a Banos, ils adorent ne rien faire (peut-etre aussi parce qu'ils n'ont pas d'autre choix) et ils sont si sympas !!