Baños - Ecuador
"Many thanks for an excellent stay. This place is something special"
Lener & Helpa Flenus
Jamaica - Germany
Pailón del Diablo
Situated in a valley of waterfalls and hotsprings, Baños has become a mecca for international travelers seeking year-round temperate weather, a small town atmosphere, and a base for exploring the great Ecuadorian outdoors. Located 2,5 hours drive from Quito, Baños offers hotsprings, trekking, rafting, climbing and mountain biking. It also offers easy access to Riobamba, the starting point of the exhilarating train journey down the Devil's Nose to the coast, and to Puyo, one of the gateways to the Amazon. Baños also serves as a popular site for studying Spanish -- a mellower and cheaper alternative to Quito.
Midweek, Baños is a sanctuary of peace and tranquillity. The big events are the occasional performance of a traditional Andean band, the nightly English language movie at the Hood Cinema, or beers with friends at one of the local bars. However, on the weekends and during holidays, Baños explodes with carnival-like festivities. Children straggle behind their parents with neon balloons and sticky sweets; photographers position themselves on street corners offering instant snapshots; a cartoonish caterpillar train on wheels toots through town; and women in pastel painted stalls sell everything from hand-woven sweaters to imitation barbie dolls. Tables spilling out of cafes onto sidewalks provide the ideal location to watch the lively scene of Baños go by while enjoying a papaya or sugar cane juice.
Baños is one of the most popular travel destinations in the Ecuadorian Sierra. Apart from food and a small but boisterous nightlife, you have to go outside of the town limits to find incredible outdoor activities. With plenty of hiking, bike paths, nearby spas, and tours this is not hard to do.
Spend the day biking mostly downhill through spectacular scenery and past several waterfalls, some of which splash onto your path towards Puyo. This can be a half-day trip or an all-day trip depending on how fast you go and how far you take the path. To go all the way to Puyo is 62 km. Most travelers stop 17 km down the road at the beautiful Pailón del Diablo waterfall.
Trips to the Amazon Basin are also popular.
Basílica de la Virgen de Agua Santa
Route of the waterfalls