The city of Baños boasts more than 500 years of civilization. Much of the city's long history has been marked by eruptions of the volcano "Tungurahua", which has gone through 16 eruptive periods since the founding of Baños. Tungurahua means "fire tongue" in the indigenous Quichua language.
Since the date of its most recent reactivation, in September 1999, Tungurahua, has become the most beautiful and impressive tourist attraction in Ecuador and, perhaps, all of Latin America.
From Luna Runtun, Adventure SPA, we can watch Tungurahua erupt. We are located 180 degrees away from the crater opening, which faces west towards Riobamba and Ambato, allowing us to view, in complete safety, the volcano's fiery show.
Currently, the crater measures more than 400 meters in diameter - that's five times larger than when it began to erupt in 1999.
The wind blows from east to west, from the Amazon region towards Riobamba. This is why ash does not fall on Baños and Luna Runtun but it does fall in and around Riobamba.
Tungurahua's eruptions are called "stromboliano" eruptions. During this type of eruption, the volcano almost constantly emits gas and vapor. This steady release of energy avoids highly explosive buildups. The volcanoes Arenal, in Costa Rica, and Stromboli, in Italy, are of the same class as Tungurahua. The former has also become a major tourist attraction.