When you travel to Ecuador, Baños is one of the best places to visit in Ecuador. It is located in the mountains about midway between Quito and Cuenca. And when heading east towards the Amazon it is the last large city you pass through, giving it the name “Gateway to the Amazon”.
Best Places to Visit in Ecuador
We headed out mid-morning for a tour of Baños de Aqua Santa. For only $6 bucks each we got to hop on a double-decker bus and be driven around to see and experience the gorgeous waterfalls, slot canyons, and rivers in Baños. We made four stops on the tour which allowed us to walk paths along the mountains edge next to waterfalls, provided opportunities to cable car, zipline, and swing over the river gorges, and bounce our way across suspension bridges. It was a phenomenal morning and afternoon for all of us.
Recreation fun in Baños
At our first stop I had an opportunity to zipline across the river. It was the first time I had done a zipline, so I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Beauty in Baños
At our second stop we were able to walk a single lane road, lined with paver stones, that followed the mountainside. It was beautiful walk above the river running below us and waterfalls coming down from above us.
The third stop had the best zipline of the tour. It cost $15 instead of the $10 I paid, but these zips went further and had tandem lines so two people could go at the same time. Instead of ziplining here though, we all hopped on the cable car and rode out to the top of the twin falls to take a look. Chase’s friend, Jenni, did ride the swing out over the river.
The Many Waterfalls of Baños
Our last stop was at the Devil’s Cauldron. Definitely one of the best places to visit in Ecuador! This waterfall rages down over the edge of a cliff and depending upon which side you approach it from, you can get right next to it or underneath it. We approached from the side that only let you get next to it.
When we returned to the town of Baños we did a little walking around. We passed the town square and saw the church steeples being worked on. Along the streets of shops and businesses we saw a man making taffy. Baños is a cool little town, and with lots of places to eat. We found a great restaurant to right next to our hotel to enjoy a birthday dinner for Heidi.
We were going to wrap up the evening by going to the thermal spa that was close to us, Las Piscinas de la Virgen. When we arrived there were so many people in the hot pools that the cashier wanted one of us to look first to see if we really wanted to pay the entrance fee. From what I saw I instantly thought of India with thousands of people bathing in the rivers.
There were so many people in the hot pools, and sitting around the edges of the hot pools, that everyone was touching skin to skin. It was like a pool of people with some water thrown in. It was really too much. So we headed back to our hotel and called it a night.
We also decided to stay one more day since our bus tour took longer than we planned, and we didn’t have time to “swing from the edge of the world”. That will be on tomorrows list!