The friendly town of Baños is located 189 km south of Quito. Visiting Baños is one of the best posibilites to experience the best of the ecuadorian mountain nature. It’s easily reached by bus from Quito (but keep an open eye on your hand luggage).

Located 1800 meters above the sea, Baños has a nice climate and a vibrant vegetation. It is also the last stop before entering the rainforest. Jungle tourists are planning their trips from here.

Baños is a convivial village with a lot of entertainment for visitors. But it’s the nature that calls. In the hills around the village you can get great panoramic wievs. You will also see spectacular waterfalls and the still active vulcan “Tunguragua” ( “Little hell in indian dialects). Tunguragua woke up in 1999 and has since repeatedly frightened residents and tourists. Make sure the camera is fully charged before leaving your hotel. Local agencies organize excursions. There is also an opportunity to hire a taxi driver for one day.

In Baños and the surrounding area there are several baths with hot springs. Take therefore the opportunity to let the volcanic forces soften your mind and strengthen your body before embarking further adventures. The most famous bath is carrying the name “Piscina de la Virgen” and boasts three pools, a cold, moderate, and a warm that keeps 48 degrees Celsius. There are fewer visitors early in the day.

And why not rent a bike and roll down the 60 km  to Puyo there the rain forest starts? Take strategic stops and enjoy the changing vetegation. The bike can be sent back to Baños by bus.

For lone travellers it can be hard to find a room in Baños in the week-ends. You may be charged for a double room. (But the price shouldn’t blow your budget, anyway).

(Photo: Lars Ove Hansen)