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This small city located in the centre of the country sat at 1820 meters above sea level in the foothills of the Tungurahua volcano is considered the gateway to the Ecuadorian Amazon. It is surrounded by exuberant vegetation full of hot springs, waterfalls, rivers, mountains and an active volcano, enough reasons to be one of the most acclaimed destinations for tourists both for adventure and relaxation in Ecuador.
The most interesting points of the city are the Basilica of Our Lady of Holy Water, inside which there is an interesting collection of murals that describe the local miracles attributed to the Virgin and an imposing altar covered with gold leaf. Other highlights include the Basilica Museum of Holy Water located in the Convent of the Dominican Fathers, the building of the municipality with its Clock Tower in front of the Palomino Flores Park and the lively market. It offers a great gastronomic variety in its more than 80 restaurants, many of them international, and the area has a festive nighttime atmosphere.
The natural wonders of Baños are the serpentine Pastaza River with its canyon and the active volcano Tungurahua with its eternally snow-capped summit. Following the course of the river, you can follow the"Cascade Route", a circuit of about 20 km which is suitable for bikes or karts. The route showcases the fantastic natural setting of dense vegetation and high mountains. In the city itself, there is the Hair of the Virgin waterfall. Continuing along the route, the Agoyán waterfall, one of the highest in the Andes Ecuadorian, stands out. At the Manto de la Novia waterfall, you can ride in a metal basket similar to a cable car called a "tarabita" to cross the river, and appreciate the waterfall and the landscape. Following the route you come across the San Jorge and San Pedro waterfalls and not far from there is the famous Pailón del Diablo on the Verde River, one of the most impressive waterfalls on the planet, whose name is due to its shape, which resembles the face of the devil. The best way to cool off is to enjoy a refreshing swim in the pools of the Rocío waterfall.
The thermal waters of Baños are known nationally and internationally for their medicinal properties that comfort the body and state of mind. Located in the centre of the city are the Termas de la Virgen at the foot of the "Hair of the Virgin" waterfall and the Spa of Santa Clara. The Balneario Las Peñas has pools with slides like a water park. Las Termas El Salado, next to the river Bascún, have 5 hot water pools that reach up to 54 degrees and another 2 with cold water.
The outdoor sports activities that can be practised in this privileged environment are endless, from rafting, canopy climbing, kayaking, canoeing, bungee jumping and zip-lining to climbing, downhill, hiking, mountaineering, bicycle tours, horseback riding, hiking and paragliding.
A few kilometres from Baños is the ‘Tree House Swing’, loved by tourists who visit the city. It was originally built to enjoy good views of the jungle and the Tungurahua volcano at a safe distance.
Baños boasts waterfalls, rainbows, thermal springs, fleeting clouds, volcanoes of fire and snow, ecological trails, wild orchids, colourful butterflies and limpid rivers. The area overflows with nature, green, beauty and tranquillity.
“Would recommend it to anyone who asked.”
“We had a fantastic time! Our guide Julio was excellent and nothing was too much trouble. He was very informative and answered many questions from the group. He really looked after us exceptionally well. Our driver Jaime was also excellent. He drove us safely from one place to the next, covering many miles.”
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