The basilic is located in the city center, close to the palm-garnished main square. Inside the church is an entertaining collection of murals which describe local miracles attributed to the local Virgin (I don't remember the exact name).
Wandering and partying in Banos
Banos is a very pleaceful and lovely little town 4/5 hours of bus away from Quito. Even if you're there only for one day, you will not resist and will stay longer.
At night, it is not calm at all, though since the town is also famous for partying.
The baths ! Les bains !
Cheap (1 USD), full of people (Virgen) or empty (Santa Ana, outside the city), hot but often full of germs (be careful !)...
Pas cher (1 USD), plein (Virgen) ou pas plein (Santa Ana, en dehors de la ville), chaud mais souvent plein de saloperies (attention !)...
Tungurahua by night - Le Tungurahua by night
You may take this truck riding in the center of Banos, around 20.30-21.00, to go up to Bellavista and attend the never-happening eruption (if it was to happen, there would be no truck in town !). But, up there, two "chicos" juggle with sticks in fire (really impressive !), you have a great view over a lit Banos and you may drink as much sugar cane alcohol as you want !! 3 USD
Vous pouvez prendre ce truck qui se balade dans le centre de Banos, vers 20.30-21.00, pour monter sur le point de vue de Bellavista, soi-disant pour voir une eruption (s'il y en avait, il n'y aurait pas de truck en ville !). Mais, une fois en haut, deux "chicos" jonglent superbement avec le feu, vous avez une belle vue sur un Banos illumine, etvous pouvez boire autant d'alcool de camme que vous souhaitez ! 3 USD
Bike trip down the Altiplano and into the Jungle
As I mentioned, the scenery in the sourounding area is amazing. I rented a bike one day for $5 and rode it for 30 kilometers through this beautiful gorge. The road is paved most of the way so it's not too bad, except for the cars and buses using the road. Be careful! On the way down to the jungle, I saw many beautiful waterfalls. I will try to post a few more tips in the future with pictures, desctiptions, and names for the falls.
Explore the town
Wander the streets, check out the main plazas (there are two- one with a cathedral, one with a park) and do some shopping!
The square next to the Basilica is always buzzing with people. It's a nice spot to people watch, so have a helado and relax for a while.
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Walk Around Town
Banos makes for nice walking. The town is compact and you can get everywhere on foot. There are nice little parks, plenty of shops, cafes, and such.
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Baños - The Wash House
Next to the Piscina de la Virgen, you will find an old Wash House. It was very cleverly built, with no faucets and no pumps. Gravity brings the water to each individual basin.
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When you`re lucky with the weather, it`s possible to have a perfect look at the (at the moment still active) Tungurahua....
Try a Cuy
Cuy....just possible to eat in the south sierra of Ecuador...
It`s not too tasty, but just try it once...:-)
Hot springs and swiming pools
Don't miss the hot springs and the various natural water swiming pools available close to the city center.
This is one of my fondest memory in Banos.
The lavoritory - Le lavoir
Next to the main public baths, you may also wash your clothes in the old way !!
Pas loin des principaux bains publics, vous pouvez egalement laver votre linge a l'ancienne !!
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