Baños Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by MalenaN
  • Rio Pastaza, Baños
    Rio Pastaza, Baños
    by MalenaN
  • Things to Do
    by MalenaN

Best Rated Things to Do in Baños

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    Chiva night tour

    by MalenaN Written Sep 1, 2011

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    View over Ba��os at nightime
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    The Chiva night tours up to Bellavista are advertised as volcano tours, but you will probably not see any lava on Tungurahua. When the volcano was erupting and it was clear you could.

    A chiva is a kind of colourful bus open at the sides. When it takes tourists around loud music is often played.

    The chivas leave Baños at nine o’clock in the evening and go up to Bellavista viewpoint. If it is a clear day, as it was when I visited, you can see the lights of Baños below. At Bellavista you will get a canelazo, with or without alcohol and there are some artists performing around a fire. After taking some photos of the view I felt ready to go back to Baños, but it was not jet time for that. At 22.45 we were back in Baños.

    I paid $3 (July 2011) for the tour and bought the ticket at one of the travel agencies in the corner of Martinez and 12 de Noviembre. It is cold in the evening so it is good to bring a jacket or thicker sweater.

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    Canopy tour - zip line

    by MalenaN Updated Jul 25, 2013

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    Uppside down
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    One afternoon in Baños I went on a canopy tour with Geotours. We went to a place by Rio Ulba, above Cascadas Chamana. The cable system here is 2km long, divided in six zip-lines. The landscape was beautiful, especially when we went on the zip-lines over the river gorge. Besides going down the cable in a normal way I tried three different ways; the bat where you hang upside down like a bat, Superman where you go horizontally with your head first and the mariposa where you go upside down. It was a great feeling to see everything pass by upside down.

    There were three guides and we were six tourists in the group, so we didn’t have to wait too long for other people. Between the different platforms there were some walking to do.

    It was a fun tour and the weather was nice! We left Baños at three o’clock and returned three hours later. The price of the tour was $20 (July 2011).
    _______________________________________________________________
    Update July 2013: I did the same tour once again and also this time we were six people in the group, and we did the bat, Superman and mariposa. However it was a colder day with some drizzle. The price for the tour was still $20.

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    La Piscina de La Virgen

    by MalenaN Written Sep 15, 2011

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    La Piscina de La Virgen
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    Baños is known for its many thermal baths. The thermal baths in Baños are rich in minerals like chlorates, magnesium and sulphates and the water it is said to be healthy to swim in.

    There are several baths in Baños but the bath in the picture is Las Piscinas de La Virgen and it is situated just below a waterfall. There are several pools with different water temperatures and the warmest pool has a water temperature of 42 degrees C. The main photo is taken on a Sunday afternoon from the viewpoint by the waterfall. As you can see it is very crowded at this time of the week. Other days, and in the mornings, it is less crowded. In the photos it looks like the water in the pools is dirty, but it is only the high mineral content that gives the water that colour.

    Unfortunately I never visited one of the baths in Baños, even if I was here for many days, but there were so many other things to do . Next time I will go though!

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    Avenue of the Waterfalls

    by richiecdisc Written Feb 18, 2008

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    Pail��n del Diablo, Ecuador's biggest waterfall
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    One of Baños’ top attractions is the “Avenue of the Waterfalls” which runs along the road from the city to Puyo, a gateway town into the jungle. Most people either do this on bike or take an open air tour bus, both of which are surely good fun if you are in the mood for it. We saw lots of people on the tours and they seemed like a good time. We were in a more relaxed mode and not feeling overly energetic so we jumped on a local bus and got off in a couple of choice spots. One is Machay where we did a five kilometer walk through a lush forest teeming with butterflies which passes a series of waterfalls. We eventually turned around as there was a cow on the path and it seemed we’d already seen enough waterfalls for the day. The small restaurant where the bus left us off was very friendly and we went in for something to eat mostly because the owner went out of her way to show us the trail head. We had a soup and fruit drink before jumping on the bus back towards Baños. On the way back we stopped at Rio Verde to see the biggest waterfall in Ecuador, Pailón del Diablo (Devil’s Cauldron).

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    Museo Fray Enrique Mideros

    by MalenaN Written Aug 31, 2011

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    Walking around the patio
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    Just next to the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Agua Santa, in an old Dominican convent, there is a museum. This museum has a big variety of artefacts. There are religious paintings and sculptures, taxidermic animals, handicraft from nearby regions, dresses for the Virgen de la Agua Santa and many items donated by people to la Virgen de Agua Santa.

    The museum is open in the afternoon. The first time I came I thought it was closed as I couldn’t see any open doors while walking around the patio. The second time I realised the museum is on the second floor.
    The admission was 1 USD (July 2011).

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    Mirador de la Virgen

    by MalenaN Written Sep 23, 2011

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    Virgen de Agua Santa, Ba��os

    From Baños you can see the statue of Virgen de Agua Santa above the town. You can easily hike here by taking a path beginning near Montalvo and Mera. It is not a very hard hike, but there are altogether just over 600 steps to climb. When you reach the statue you will have beautiful views over Baños. From the statue you can take another path to continue your hike, or take the steps down again.

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    Town Hall Clock Tower

    by richiecdisc Updated Feb 18, 2008

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    tourist information next door

    The Town Hall Clock Tower is another interesting building in Baños and good for orientation since it is right on the Parque Central. It's also right next to a very helpful tourist information which hands out free maps of the town that also gives you an idea of where everything is including the surrounding area. They also provide basic hiking information.

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    Rent a Bicycle

    by calcaf38 Updated Sep 16, 2007

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    The pause that refreshes
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    The driver who was contracted for me by the Hacienda Manteles in Patate recommended this outfit to rent a mountain bike. The bike was old but in fine condition. The cost for the day, with a helmet and a lock, was $7. The assistant supplied me with a photocopy of a map to the cascades, which was useful for the fist few blocks. Once you're out of town, there's only one way to go: down.

    If the idea of sharing a vertiginous road - including a tunnel - with trucks barreling down does not appeal to you, there are open-sided buses doing the same itinerary.

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    La Piscina de La Virgen

    by richiecdisc Updated Feb 18, 2008

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    a scenic setting, the warm pool
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    Baños is primarily noted for its thermal baths and La Piscina de La Virgen is the most famous and easily accessible as it’s the only one actually in town. The three pools vary greatly with one ice cold, one very warm and the other scalding hot. Many people complain that it’s less than sterile but we went and didn’t get sick or any kind of infection so I guess it’s not too bad. It has a nice setting, right next to a big waterfall and it’s certainly an authentic Ecuadorian experience. When we were there we were two of only a handful of gringos. We didn’t venture into the cold pool as it was overcast and not too hot out but we did do a few circuits between the warm pool and very hot one (and it IS VERY hot) with a rinse off under the icy waterfall in between. It was about $2 to get in per person and you can rent towels for a nominal fee as well. It’s cheap entertainment when you consider we were there for a good couple of hours. It wasn’t too crowded but it was an off time, not early morning but before lunch. From what we saw it gets very busy in the evenings and I believe it’s a bit more expensive then too. We found it very relaxing and glad we went when we did.

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    Hiking around Baños

    by MalenaN Written Sep 7, 2011

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    Ba��os seen from El Mirador de La Virgen
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    One day I went hiking for four hours above Baños. The weather was nice and the landscape beautiful. I met some people, but was most of the time all alone. It was a very pleasant walk. I started the walk by taking the stairs up to La Virgen . First I couldn’t find the starting point of the path towards Runtun, but a jogger coming up to the statue pointed it out for me, and he also said that if I walked the narrow path strait up I would come to Mirador del Vulcán. I took the path towards the village Runtun and from there I continued to Mirador del Vulcán. It was much longer, but not as steep and I didn’t want to make the walk as short as possible. At Mirador del Vulcán you will have a great view of Vulcán Tungurahua, when it is clear, but on this day the summit was covered in clouds, as it is most days. Then I walked back down to Runtun and from there I walked along the road to Bellavista, until I found a path, also going to Bellavista. From Bellavista it is easy to walk down to Baños.

    There are more photos from the hike in two of the travelogues below.

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    Pailón del Diablo

    by MalenaN Written Sep 29, 2011

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    Pailón del Diablo is probably the most spectacular waterfall along Ruta de las Cascadas. They are were Río Verde meets Río Pastaza. Pailón del Diablo is situated about 1km from the parking place in the village Río Verde, 18 km from Baños. From the parking place there is a nice walk to the falls on a path passing through green and lush vegetation. Were the path begins there are a few souvenir stalls and a stall selling fresh orange juice for $1 (July 2011).

    There is a suspension bridge from where you can get a very good view of the waterfalls, but unfortunately it was closed for reparation when I visited. By the restaurant I paid the admission of $1.50 and took the path up to a closer view point. Here it is very moist in the air and a rain jacket can be good to have. You can take a narrow passage to get further up and see the roaring waterfall from behind. The altitude of Pailón del Diablo is about 80 metres.

    Pailón del Diablo means Devil’s Cauldron. I have read that this is because when you look at the falls from the suspension bridge (which I couldn’t do) there is a rock shaped like the devil’s face, and there is another rock formation looking like a pan.

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    Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Agua

    by richiecdisc Updated Feb 18, 2008

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    Ba��os: not too shabby with the architecture
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    Though most people come to Baños for the thermal baths and nature that surrounds it, there are a few man made sights to take in and the best one has to be the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Agua Santa. Built in the neo-Gothic style from volcanic rock courtesy of nearby Tungurahua, it is obviously a place of pilgrimage for those so inclined looking for forgiveness from the “Lady of the Holy Water,” after which it is named. It was packed every time we went by the place and we never got a good look at the impressive looking interior. It certainly took us by surprise from the exterior and we spent lots of time in the park in front of it admiring its exterior.

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    Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Agua San

    by MalenaN Written Sep 1, 2011

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    Bas��lica de Nuestra Se��ora de Agua Santa
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    In the centre of Baños, on the north side of Parque de la Basílica, is Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Agua Santa. Construction of the church was completed in 1929 and it was built in a neo-gothic style using volcanic rock from the nearby Volcán Tungurahua.

    The church is dedicated to the Virgin of the Holy Water and it is visited by many pilgrims every year. Inside the church there are many big paintings describing miracles that has occurred. I could not have a closer look at those paintings as the church floor was being repaired and visitors could only look inside the church through the doors when I visited.

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    La Ruta de las Cascadas

    by MalenaN Written Sep 30, 2011

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    Manto de La Novia
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    La Ruta de las Cascadas (The Highway of the Waterfalls) is what the road between Baños and Puyo is called. The road follows Río Pastaza in a green lush valley. The views are spectacular and there are 19 waterfalls along the road. Most waterfalls are along the first half of the road (coming from Baños). Between Baños and the biggest waterfall Pailón del Diablo there are several viewpoints from where you can see the waterfalls, which are on the other side of the river. At some of them you take a tarabita across the river to get a closer look.
    From Baños you can take a tour along La Ruta de las Cascadas with a bus or a chiva. It is also popular to go by bike, and that is what I did.

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    Bicycle tour from Baños to Puyo

    by MalenaN Written Oct 1, 2011

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    Cycling above R��o Pastaza
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    I rented my bike from Aventure Equatorland and they had bikes for rent for $5, $7 or $10 per day (July 2011). I chose one for $10 dollars because they were best and I was going to be away for the whole day. Before deciding I tried the bike, going back and forth on the street in front of the agency, and then I noticed I didn’t understand how the gears worked, so it was good I asked before leaving. From the agency they will give you a simple map, a helmet, a locker for the bike, a bicycle pump and an inner tube for the tire.

    When I started my bicycle tour I didn’t know if I was going to make it all the way to Puyo in one day, as I wanted to stop by some waterfalls and it was already 9.30. I thought I would go on as long as I could and then take a bus back from somewhere along the road. To Puyo it is 61km and to Pailón del Diablo it is 18km.

    The road follows the beautiful Río Pastaza valley and it is very lush and green. As you descend from Baños at 1800 metres to Puyo at 950 metres the vegetation will change. From Puyo to Río Verde, where Pailón del Diablo is, there is mostly downhill, and many people only go this far on their bicycle tour. I stopped at a few waterfalls, did a bridge jump at Río Blanco and had lunch at Pailón del Diablo.

    You must remember that you travel by a trafficked road and there will be cars and trucks passing you. There are several tunnels along the road, but only one tunnel you have to go through with the bike (and it is a one way tunnel), by the other tunnels there are trails for the bikes on the outside (see main photo).

    When I left Pailón del Diablo it was already 14.00 and I had more than 2/3 left to go. Soon after I left Río Verde the rain started to pour down, and it probably went on for an hour. I almost gave up, but wanted to see if I could make it to Puyo. From Río Verde to Puyo there is no longer only downhill, but some steep climbs as well. At two points I had to get off the bike to lead it uphill. Besides that I only stopped to take some photos and to buy bread and something to drink when I reached Puyo. I was at the terminal in Puyo at 17.00. It was a great bicycle tour and I would gladly do it again!

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