Baños Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by MalenaN
  • Things to Do
    by MalenaN
  • Things to Do
    by MalenaN

Best Rated Things to Do in Baños

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    Canopy tour - zip line

    by MalenaN Updated Jul 25, 2013

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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.

    Uppside down Superman Walking between the zip-lines The first zip-line
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    Avenue of the Waterfalls

    by richiecdisc Written Feb 18, 2008

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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).

    Pail��n del Diablo, Ecuador's biggest waterfall looking back from the falls to the bridge the 2.5 K walk near Machay lots of flowers a huge fern
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    Chiva night tour

    by MalenaN Written Sep 1, 2011

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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.

    View over Ba��os at nightime

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    Town Hall Clock Tower

    by richiecdisc Updated Feb 18, 2008

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    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.

    tourist information next door
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    Rent a Bicycle

    by calcaf38 Updated Sep 16, 2007

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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.

    The pause that refreshes Ivagatours
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    La Piscina de La Virgen

    by richiecdisc Updated Feb 18, 2008

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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.

    a scenic setting, the warm pool head this way to find it
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    Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Agua

    by richiecdisc Updated Feb 18, 2008

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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.

    Ba��os: not too shabby with the architecture intricate carved wooden doors of the Basilica
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    Museo Fray Enrique Mideros

    by MalenaN Written Aug 31, 2011

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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).

    Walking around the patio Museo Fray Enrique Mideros Museo Fray Enrique Mideros Museo Fray Enrique Mideros The patio
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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.

    Path to Pail��n del Diablo Pail��n del Diablo seen from a distance Roaring waterfall Narrow passage
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    La Ruta de las Cascadas

    by MalenaN Written Sep 30, 2011

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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.

    Manto de La Novia Agoyan R��o Pastaza Pail��n del Diablo Pail��n del Diablo
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    The Bride's Veil - The Cablecar

    by calcaf38 Written Sep 16, 2007

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    I passed one cable car which I had read about on line "La Tarabita." It was closed, and the restaurant near the site looked abandoned.

    A little later, I arrived at the famous Bride's Veil waterfall: El Manto de la Novia. It is a beautiful, thin but very high waterfall.

    Although you have a perfect view of the waterfall from the road, you need to use a small cablecar to reach it, as it is on the other side of the Pastaza river. Of course there are bike racks at the entrance.

    The crossing is inexpensive, and thrilling. The gondola starts by sliding to the halfway point on its own weight, quite fast, then the motor kicks in.

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    Bicycle tour from Baños to Puyo

    by MalenaN Written Oct 1, 2011

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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!

    Cycling above R��o Pastaza The road outside Ba��os The tunnel you have to go through Rain! R��o Pastaza
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    Canyoning - Cascadas Chamana

    by MalenaN Written Sep 14, 2011

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    I think the company I went canyoning with was called Expeditiones Amazonicas. Anyway they have an office by Parque Central, and another one on Oriente. I came to the office before 9am to get the equipment and to get changed. There were five more people going canyoning, but they had booked through the agency nearby and were changing there. Not until 9.30 we left Baños. We were not going far though, as we were canyoning at Cascadas Chamana just outside Baños.

    We started with practising and first the guide showed us how to rappel down the rocks before we did it. Then we rappelled down a waterfall, around 15m high. In the end of the fall there was a pool and the guide made a sign to us when it was time to let go and just fall backwards into the water. As I was the first one this felt a bit scary, I didn’t know how far it was down to the pool and had not seen myself that it was free of rocks below, but it was fine. The second waterfall was around 10m and hear we slid down sitting up. The third waterfall was as high as 45 metres and this part of Chamana is called Silencio. The guide didn’t tell us in advance that we were not rappelling down rocks all the way, but only in the beginning , than we were just going down the rope. I noticed this when I was leaning out from the rocks having my picture taken. I put my camera on video and the guide filmed me when I went down (the video is here on my Baños page). Going down Silencio was the best part of this tour and it was great fun. Before the others came down my camera came down in a waterproof bag.
    Around 13.00 we were back in Baños and it had been a great tour!

    There are many companies in Baños offering Canyoning, some go to Cascadas Chamana and some to other waterfalls further away. I paid $25 for the tour (July 2011).

    Rappelling down waterfalls Practicing
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    La Piscina de La Virgen

    by MalenaN Updated Sep 11, 2014

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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!
    _________________________________________________________________________
    Update 2014: This time I visited the baths one evening while in Baños. It was a Tuesday night, around 20.00, in July and it was very crowded.

    After paying the admission, which is $3 in the evening (and $2 during the day), I picked up a box for my things and went to a changing room to change. Then I left the box over a counter and got a number to put round my wrist. I had been told that it is safe to leave the things with the staff there. While you are in the baths you need to wear a bathing cap and I had borrowed one at Posada del Arte before going to the baths. There are also bathing caps at the baths. I can see in the photo of this tip that people are not wearing bathing caps, but that photo is from my visit in 2011.

    I didn't go into the cold pools but only the warmer ones. It was very crowded and it was not easy to find an empty spot. It was too many people for my liking and if I ever go again I will do so another hour when there is less people.

    La Piscina de La Virgen La Piscina de La Virgen La Piscina de La Virgen La Piscina de La Virgen Waterfall above La Piscina de La Virgen

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    Mirador de la Virgen

    by MalenaN Updated Sep 9, 2014

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    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.

    Update 2014: I was going to climb up to the statue again but could not see it. I asked someone if it still is there and it is, but it is now hidden behind the trees. You still have a great view over Baños from the statue, it is just from the town that you can't see it.

    Virgen de Agua Santa, Ba��os View over Ba��os View over Banos
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