Banos Ecuador the City.
Banos city in Ecuador had been facing an eruptive process of the Tungurahua volcano for several years
now, the city is not directly affected however and the views are just spectacular.
The main issue happened when the volcanic activity from Tungurahua volcano forced an evacuation from
Baños during 1999 - 2000, the small city is one of the top destinations in Ecuador for tourists. Local and
foreign visitors just love it. They come to see the city old buildings like the Basilica, the city famous hot
springs or thermal waters, the wild mountains and scenery and the accessibility to the Amazon jungle via
Puyo just one hour away from Banos Ecuador. In fact the city sits in the center of the Ecuadorian territory
making it very easy for most tourists to get here and there anytime and freely move around the country.
Getting There and Around Banos:
Direct and connected flights to Ecuador are available all year around; during low season cheap flights to
Ecuador can be booked for heavily discounted prices. From to Quito the capital and other Ecuadorian
cities bus connections to Banos are available every day. Online there are many web portals where to look
for tourist services, information and more. For example the portal: BanosEcuador.com offers an
interesting amount of information about Banos and a web directory where to look for Hostels, Hotels and
even Attractions even before you reach Banos.
By Bus to Banos:
Busses to and from Baños, arrive from all over the country but manly, Ambato Tungurahua, Quito,
Guayaquil, Cuenca, Latacunga, Riobamba, Puyo, etc. The Bus station is called the Terminal Terrestre,
located to walking distance to most of the hotels and hostels.
Car rental is available in the city and it is offered by most travel agents, however due to the nature of the
activities developed in Banos the service is not so popular unless you plan to travel away from the city,
Best months to visit:
Ecuador due to its geographical location enjoys a spring-like climate the whole year, the four season are
just a myth here. The weather is changing but never for too long, it is common to have warm rain two
times per week for example, but not for over 10 to 20 minutes. Cloudy weather when present pleasant do
not interfere with tourist and local activities in Banos.
A weekend in Banos Ecuador:
Baños during the weekend tend to be crowded with people; I suggest you plan a trip during the week if
you prefer the typical peaceful atmosphere that Banos can offer.
The main Local Events in Banos are:
The city Anniversary.
From December 15 -16. Baños anniversary celebrations begin the evening before with the very famous
"verbenas" The verbenas activity is very popular, these days every neighborhood, or barrio as called
here, will organize a local party where local musicians will play local Andean music and more latin
People will drink sugar cane alcohol called puro and will dance on the street. The anniversary day is also
celebrated with parades, civic events, street fairs and sports events but mainly the election of Miss
Things to Do in Banos:
- Plan to visit the museum within the basilica and the local art galleries, some local artists have won
international awards because of their Andean paintings etc.
- The name Baños (Pronounced by some people Banios and typed: Banos) came from the hot
Springs all over the city. The baths, baños, are located just a few blocks away from the city center. Banos
water can be sometimes yellow colored by the high mineral content, and the temperature varies by the
amount of cold water mixed into the bath I suggest you go and enjoy at least once the thermal springs in
town at Baños, by the waterfall near Hotel Sangay, where one of the most popular hot springs are
located. Santa Clara baths with sauna and a gym are a good option as well. El Salado hot springs is 5
minutes away if you take a local Bus or a taxi. Some other hot springs like, Santa Ana, and Eduardo's
baths are near town so ask for directions once you are in the city.
- There is a beautiful waterfall next to Banos, la Virgen hot spring, make sure to take some pictures there.
- There is another place that you should go and visit and it is called the Manto de la Novia, hire a local
tour guide for this kind of trip prices are low and the adventure is worth it, guaranteed, a one day tour
should be organized to get there.
- Spanish schools in Banos are great way to know people, make friends and get into the local culture by
learning a new language: Espanol.
- Horse riding tour is a very interesting activity that many tourists enjoy local agencies will take you to the
Surroundings Mountains by horse where you can enoy amazng views, so do not forget to bring your
camera. Some back ache pills could also fit well in your bag if you are not used to ride horses. The trip is
very safe, helmets can be provided if requested despite almost all horses are all easy and friendly with
- Trekking or hiking in Banos is one of the main activities, walking around the mountains and the tiny
farms is a must see, they crop highland fruits like blackberries, tomatoes or sugar cane, an amazing
experience. Chances of eating some fresh organic fruits from the trees are high in some routes.
- Jungle tours to the amazon are the top activity for tourists, once you are in Banos visiting the ungle is
just impossible to miss, it is just one hour drive away from Banos so it is a must go. if you organize a trip
with a travel agent we recommend you join a group this way chances of big discounts are high. From
here you could literally hire a tour guide to take you all the way to the Amazon river or any other famous
jungle location like the Cuyabeno ecological area.
- Mountain biking is very famous in Banos, most travel agents rent bikes for tourists and organize trips
every day so they can visit Banos attractions in groups escorted by experienced local guides. Some of
the top bike riders from all over the world have come to Banos to experience the adventure of traveling
from a city in the highlands of Ecuador all the way down to the city of Puyo in the Amazon jungle in about
two or three hours. If you think, the trip is too much for you, short bike tours can be arranged, there are
dozens of bike routes to choose from.
- There is a local Zoo called "San Martin" that receives rescued animals from the jungle and the andes, a
must see if you like animals. The zoo helps endangered species or injured animals.
Some other activities in Baños are: Rafting in the Pastaza river, Waterfall rappelling, Bungee jumping,
Canopy, Canyoning, Kayaking, etc.
Local Markets and Shopping tips
* Local Markets offer fresh fruits for very low prices, vegetables and more groceries a nice way to
save if you are in a budget. Make sure to wash your fruits before you eat them every time.
Local handicrafts are famous, make sure to bargain prices but not too much. Craft stalls and
shops offering handiwork made in wood, wool and silver jewelry are popular. Bigger shops can
take credit cards in the street use cash only. Banks and ATM's are all available in the city main
street near where most of the shops are.
A sweet you must try is made of sugar cane the taffy is called Melcocha. You can even see the
taffy being prepared pulled and beated against a door frame before they sell it to you.
Traditionally this taffy is eaten with a big class of milky beverage called morocho, a no sugar
added beverage prepared with corn and milk. if you find the taffy too sweet we suggest you eat
the melcocha with a glass of milk.
Places to Stay and Eat
* There is a big number of lodging choices, from tiny old fashioned local guest houses called:
pension, or residenciales and hostels called hostales, to the upscale luxury spa included hotels, like:
Samari Spa Hotel, Sangay Adventure Spa or Hotel Luna Runtun 6 kms away from Banos.
Some Hostels like La posada del arte or transilvania hostel are all included and recommended in
several travel guides of Ecuador and South America, like Lonely Planet.
Just remember that despite the huge offer available, accommodations are tight during holidays or
weekends, so booking a room in advance or at least letting them know when you will be arriving
could guarantee a place for you during a busy season.
Banos cuisine. What and where to eat:
Restaurants and Bistros in Banos town offer various international cuisines in addition to Ecuadorian
famous dishes. From Thai, passing from italina to local: Fritada which is local plate prepared with garlic
and onion spiced deep fried pork, the meat pieces are fried in a big metal pot and served with cooked
and boiled corn pieces plus a fried plantain or potato, this kind of plates can be found all over the city any
For more information and deep insight about Banos Ecuador visit: http://BanosEcuador.com