Banos Ecuador the City.
Thank you for passing by our website, feel free to explore our website and get as much information as possible from Banos city in Ecuador. If you stayed at one of our partners hotels or if you ate at one of our featured restaurants or even used any other tourist related services, then please look for their listings here and leave them your honest rating and comment. Google+
Banos had been facing an eruptive process of volcano Tungurahua for several years now, the city is not directly affected however the views are just spectacular.
The main issue happened when the volcanic activity from Tungurahua volcano forced an evacuation from Baños during 1999 – 2000, the small city is one of the top destinations. Local and foreign visitors just love it. They come to see the city old buildings like the Basilica, the city famous hot springs or thermal waters, the wild mountains and scenery and the accessibility to the Amazon jungle via Puyo just one hour away from Banos Ecuador. In fact the city sits in the middle of the Ecuadorian territory making it very easy for most tourists to get here and there anytime and freely move around the country while still using the city as its main base to explore the country up and down, east to west.
Getting There and Around.
Direct and connected flights toEcuador are available all year around, during low season cheap flights can be booked for heavily discounted prices. from to Quito the capital, and other cities bus connections to Banos Ecuador are available every day. Online there are lots of web portals where to look for tourist services, information and more. We offer an interesting amount of information and a web directory where to look for Hostels, Hotels and even Attractions even before you reach this place.
- Getting here by By Bus:
Buses arrive from all over the country but mainly, Ambato, Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Latacunga, Riobamba, Puyo, etc. The Bus station is called the Terminal Terrestre, located to walking distance to most of the hotels and hostels.
Car rental is available in the city and it is offered by most travel agents, however due to the nature of the activities developed in Banos the service is not so popular unless you plan to travel a lot, etc.
- Best months to visit:
Due to its geographical location the city enjoys a spring-like climate the whole year, the four season are just a myth here. The weather changes but never for long, it is common to have warm rain one or two times per week for example, but for 10 to 20 minutes only. Cloudy weather when present do not interfere with tourist and local activities.
- A week or weekend?
Baños during the weekend tend to be crowded with people, I suggest you plan a trip during the week if you prefer the typical peaceful atmosphere that the city can offer.
- Local Events:
The city Anniversary. – From December 15 -16. Celebrations begin the evening before with the very famous “verbenas” The verbenas activity is very popular, these days every neighborhood, or barrio as called here, will organize a local party where local musicians will play local Andean music and more latin rhythms.
People will drink sugar cane alcohol called “puro” and will dance on the street. The anniversary day is also celebrated with parades, civic events, street fairs and sports events but mainly the election of Miss Banos.
- Things to Do:
- – Plan to visit the museum within the basilica and the local art galleries, some local artist have won important international awards because of their Andean paintings etc.
- The name Baños (Pronounced by some people Banios and typed: Banos) came from the hot springs all over the city. The baths, baños, are located just a few blocks away from the city center.
Water here tastes different and sometimes appear a little yellow colored by the high mineral content.
Temperature varies by the amount of cold water mixed. I suggest you go and enjoy at least once the thermal springs in town, one is located near Hotel Sangay, one of the most popular hot springs called, Santa Clara baths with sauna and a gym as well. El Salado hot springs is 5 minutes way if you take a local Bus or a taxi. Some other hot springs like, Santa Ana, and Eduardo’s baths are near town so ask for directions once you are in the city.
– There is a beautiful waterfall next to the city closest hill it is called, la Virgen hot spring, make sure to take some pictures there.
– There is another place that you should go and visit and it is called the Manto de la Novia, hire a local tour guide for this kind of trip, prices are low and the adventure is worth it, guaranteed, a one day tour should be organized to get there.
– Spanish schools in Banos are great way to know people, make friends and get into the local culture by learning a new language: Espanol.
– Horse riding tour is a very interesting activity that many tourists enjoy local agencies will take you to the surroundings mountains by horse where you can enjoy amazing views, so do not forget to bring your camera. Some back ache pills could also fit well in your bag if you are not used to riding horses. The trip is very safe, helmets can be provided if requested despite almost all horses are all easy and friendly with people.
– Trekking or hiking is one of the main activities, walking around the mountains and the tiny farms cropping blackberries, tomatoes or sugar cane is an amazing experience. Chances of eating some fresh organic fruits from the trees are high in some routes.
– Jungle tours to the amazon are the top activity for tourists, once you are here, visiting the Amazon jungle is just impossible to miss, it is just one hour drive away from Banos so it is a must go. if you organize a trip with a travel agent we recommend you join a group of tourists, this way chances of big group discounts are higher. From here you could literally hire a tour guide to take you all the way to the Amazon river even, or any other famous jungle location like the Cuyabeno ecological area and national reserve.
– Mountain biking is popular here, most travel agents rent bikes for tourists and organize trips every day so the can visit some attractions, they usually go in groups escorted by experienced local guides. Some of the top bike riders from all over the world have come to Banos to experience the adventure of traveling from a city in the highlands of Ecuador all the way down to the city of Puyo in the amazon jungle in about two or three hours. If you think the trip is too much for you, shorter biking tours can be arranged, there are dozens of bike routes to choose from.
– There is a local Zoo called “San Martin” that receives rescued animals from the jungle and the Andes, a must see if you like animals, specially the local species, some are even endemic to Ecuador.. The animal rescue place and zoo helps endangered species or injured animals, volunteering can sometimes be arranged as well.
Some other activities: Rafting in the Pastaza river, Waterfall rappelling, Bungee jumping, Canopy, Canyoning, Kayaking, etc. Extreme Sports is a top activity all year around here.
- Local Markets and Shopping tips:
* Local Markets offer fresh fruits for very low prices, vegetables and more groceries a nice way to save if you are in a budget. Make sure to wash your fruits before you eat them every time.
* Local handicrafts are famous, make sure to bargain prices every time, that’s part of the cultural experience but do it with a smile and do not expect a heavy discount anyway, but worth the try and the fun trading experience for sure.
* Craft stalls and shops offering handiwork made in wood, wool and silver jewelry are popular. Bigger shops can take credit cards in the street use cash only. Banks and ATM’s are all available in the city main street near where most of the shops are.
* A sweet you must try is made of sugar cane the taffy is called Melcocha. You can even see the taffy being prepared pulled and bitten against a door frame before they sell it to you. Traditionally this taffy is eaten with a big class of milky beverage called Morocho, a no sugar added beverage prepared with corn and milk. if you find the taffy too sweet we suggest you have the melcocha with a glass of milk, really tasty.
- Best Places to Stay and Eat:
* There is a big number of lodging choices, from tiny old fashioned local guest houses called: pension, or residenciales and hostels called hostales, to the upscale luxury spa included hotels, like: Samari Spa Hotel, Sangay Adventure Spa or Hotel Luna Runtun 6 kms away from Banos.
* Some Hostels like La Posada del arte or Transilvania hostel or La Casa Verde, are all included and recommended in several travel guides of Ecuador and South America, like TripAdvisor.com and Lonely Planet.
* Just remember that despite the huge offer available, accommodations are tight during holidays or weekends, so booking a room in advance or at least letting them know when you will be arriving could guarantee a place for you during a busy season.
- Local Cuisine. What and where to eat:
Restaurants and Bistros offer various international cuisines in addition to Ecuadorian famous dishes. From Sushi, Mexican and Thai, passing from Italian to Local and typical local food like: Fritada which is local plate prepared with garlic and onion spiced deep fried pork, the meat pieces are fried in a big metal pot and served with cooked and boiled corn pieces plus a fried plantain or potato, this kind of plates can be found all over the city any day.