Baños, Ecuador: a Guide for Adventurers

 

Adventure Baños Guide

There are some towns out there that are just calling for adventurers. Searching for the people who live for adrenaline and for those who love to push the limits both physically and mentally. There is a small town in the Tungurahua province in Ecuador, often recognized as the ‘Gateway to the Northern Amazon’. It sits amidst mountains and explosive volcanoes and is the perfect place for all things bungee, white water, and canyon. If you’re looking for an adventure…try out Baños, Ecuador.

 

What to do in Baños, Ecuador for the Adventurer

 

Swing off the end of the World, Casa de Arbol

Swing at the end of the world, Baños

You know that cool picture of people swinging far out above the mountains, well that’s in Baños! Situated high up on a valleys edge about a 45 min drive from the city is the one and only Casa de Arbol swing. Sit down and hold your breath as you swing out above the clouds on an everyday swing attached to an old tree house. Originally this space was used to monitor the volcanic activity in the area but is now a top tourist attraction. You can take a tour up here but it is better to take the public bus for $1.  It leaves 3 times a day; 6am, 11am, and 2pm and takes you to the swing where it costs another $1 to enter. The bus returns to town 2 hours later at 8am, 1pm and 4pm.  If you are feeling more active it is possible to walk to the swing from town taking 3 hours each way (one way up, one way down).

 

Try the famous Bridge Swing

Bungee Jump Baños

Bridge swinging is special and is one reason many people come to Baños. Where else can you just walk up to a 100 meter bridge, give a guy 20 bucks, be harnessed in, and take the plunge. Remember this is not a bungee jump, you fall forwards and flip and swing under the bridge. You can also get your photos taken for an additional $5USD. If the big bridge, called San Francisco, is too much for you, they do the same activity 15 minutes’ drive out of town on a smaller bridge. When I stayed in Baños, leaping from the bridge was part of my morning regime…and I loved every minute of it.

Bungee Jump Baños  Bungee Jump Baños

 

White Water Rafting

White water rafting in Baños

The nearby Pastaza River has rapids which range from class 2-5, and the water is only a little bit cold. There are a number of tour companies in the city that will take you white water rafting for about $25. If you are lucky, you will get a guide who really likes swimming and they can make the journey just that much better.

 

Try Canyoning

White water rafting in Baños

In Baños, there are dozens of tour operators offering canyoning tours. If you are into an adventure that gets you down and dirty with nature then this is for you.  Canyoning involves activities like rappelling down waterfalls, cliff jumping, and falling, swimming, and walking through rapids. These tours can cost about $30 for a half day and $60 for a full day.

 

Fly across the Sky on a Zip-line (Canopy tour)

Canopying in Baños

You won’t have trouble finding locations for canopying (zip-lining) here in the mountains. These lines can cost between $10 and $15 per ride and some even have you in the superman position!

 

Go Hiking

Hiking in Baños, Ecuador  Hiking in Baños, Ecuador

There are a number of trails accessible from the city for trekkers to hike up the mountain side. Grab a map of the trails at the tourist office or from your hotel/hostel and give one a try. These treks are all half-day distance and provide amazing views of the city. One of the more popular and easier walks even has stairs leading to the Virgin on the mountain side.


Go Paragliding

City of Baños, Ecuador

The city of Baños is blessed with good winds for flying. For $60 you can grab a tour from any agency in town (who all book with the same main pilot, Edgar), be taken to the launch site outside of town and then have a solid 25 minutes flying in the clouds. A perfect adrenaline rush for the adrenaline junkie in you. Do you trust the wind?

 

Enjoy natural Hot Springs

Las Piscinas de la Virgen hot springs, Baños

The full name for the city of Baños is “Baños de Agua Santa” because of its healing mineral hot springs flowing from nearby volcanic activity. There are 2 locations for thermal bathes in Baños. ‘Las Piscinas de la Virgen’ are thermal pools located about 5 minutes’ walk from the Church and right next to the Virgin’s Hair waterfall. ‘El Salado Hot Springs’, which are slightly less busy are 1.5km from town. These hot springs tend to get a little crowded, so be prepared to have a fun time interacting with locals…and their kids. Get the idea of a spa relaxation experience out of your head and you will enjoy.

 

Take the Waterfall Tour

Baños Waterfall tour
The ‘Ruta de las Cascadas’ is something one can take as by bus, by bicycle, or by rented ATV and includes visiting many of the waterfalls surrounding the town of Baños. Stop at a zip-line along the way, or just enjoy the ride/drive and see some of the large, small, and sometimes double waterfalls of this mountainous area.

 

Banos Adventure Guide

29 thoughts on “Baños, Ecuador: a Guide for Adventurers

  1. Looks like you wrest every bit of adventure out of your destination possible. It’s vicarious excitement for the rest of us.

  2. mark says:

    Seems like this is the adventure capital of the world. Some amazing activities and sights to see here

  3. Erica says:

    Swooning over your photo from the end of the world swing!! Definitely on my wish list. That, and the rest of Ecuador 🙂

  4. Fransiskus says:

    Great lovely travel adventure place. I love it.

  5. Rhonda Albom says:

    That swing out over the mountains is gorgeous. So many adrenaline rushes in once place, I am impressed.

  6. Criz says:

    I didn’t know that those cool pictures of swinging is in Baños. Wow, I would love to try that too hehe.. Awesome adventures you got there, white water rafting is really fun! I did it in the Philippines.. 😉

  7. Amazing tips, it sounds wonderful! How long did you stay here for?

    1. Kimberly Erin says:

      It is an awesome location. I went there for 4 days the first time and because I loved it so much I popped back for another 2 weeks 😛

  8. Heather Cole says:

    That swing keeps popping up everywhere, I’m so going to have to go someday! Kudos to you for doing that bridge swing, far braver than me, though I’d definitely be up for the canyoning!

  9. Wohooo, you are an adventure seeker, aren’t you? The swing looks so divine, but scary too. Ouch!

    So many things to do in Baños, Kim! How long did you stay to try everything?

    1. Kimberly Erin says:

      My family expat in nearby (6 hours…but actually 10) Salinas…the first time I went to Baños was for only 4 days, but I went back again and spent about 2 weeks there ….A week in Baños really would be more than fine to get lots done though

  10. Pinned your image above. That is a fantastic pin, of course you in the swing is just cool!

  11. Alana Gidycz says:

    The edge of the world swing looks amazing! The bridge jump might be too adventurous for me though.

  12. I’ve been dreaming about the “edge of the world swing” for months now! It looks so peaceful. I love you list. Does the bridge swing bounce back as a bungy jump as well? I’ve never heard about it before.

    1. Kimberly Erin says:

      Hey there,

      It actually is a very peaceful place and a great location to relax and enjoy the day or a picnic (the swing that is).
      As for the bridge swing, no it does not bounce back like a bungee…it has no give. the key to the swing as that you start facing the jump and basically fall forwards into a flip as you jump…They bridge guy times is so that you rotate at the perfect time making for a super pendulum like swing from one side to the next. its very unique to Ecuador 🙂

  13. marie says:

    Action woman! Great article

  14. Lana says:

    Sounds very adventurous

  15. Great post! You clearly need a good head for heights for some of these! I would love to do the canopy tour.

  16. Karin says:

    It looks awesome! I didn´t get the chance to visit Ecuador when I was living in Colombia but I´ll hopefully get back there at some point! I did paragliding elsewhere and totally loved it 🙂

  17. Loved this post! I’ve seen photos of the edge of the world swing, but great to read more about accessing it!

  18. This sounds…. like somewhere I need to be! It’s so great to have so many cool options in one area. I don’t know if I would be brave enough to try the bridge swing, but zip lining, rafting, and hot springs are definitely on my favorites list! Thanks for the great info!!

  19. Swing off the end of the World is not only cool on the picture but in life… another story 🙂

  20. Mimi says:

    This seems like an adventure-seeker’s paradise!! I’ve never been, but I’ve always wanted to do the swing on the edge of the world! Nice post!!

  21. Polina says:

    You are really living life to the fullest, you must always say “Why NOT!?”

    1. Kimberly Erin says:

      always 🙂

  22. Julie kern says:

    wow looks like there are lots of adrenaline pumping activities to do – can’t wait to go!!

  23. Lisa Martin says:

    Wow! I know so little about South America, but the more I learn, the more I want to go! This sounds like such a great little town – and bridge swinging every morning? Does it get any better than that! I’m also loving the name of your blog!

  24. Hung Thai says:

    This trip looks just like my trip to costa rica, which can only mean one thing: it’ll be awesome when I go to ecuador!

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