Banos Ecuador | Must know information
For information about Banos in German click here.
Banos city in Ecuador had been facing an eruotive process of the 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 oe of the top destinatios in Ecuador for tourists. 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 accessability to the Amazon jungle via Puyo just one hour away from Banos Ecuador. In fact the city sits in the center of the Ecuadorian territory making it very easy for most tourists to get here and there anytime and freely move around the country.
Getting There and Around Banos:
Direct and connected flights to Ecuador are available all year around, during low season cheap flights to Ecuador can be booked for heavly discounted prices. from to Quito the capital, and other Ecuadorian cities bus connections to Banos are available every day. Online there are lots of web portals where to look for tourist services, information and more. For example the portal: BanosEcuador.com offers an interesting amount of information about Banos and a web directory where to look for Hostels, Hotels and even Attractions even before you reach Banos.
By Bus to Banos:
Busses to and from Baños, arrive from all over the country but manly, Ambato Tungurahua, 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 agencies, however due to the nature of the activities developed in Banos the service is not so popular unless you plan to travel away from the city, etc.
Best months to visit:
Ecuador due to its geographical location enjoys a spring-like climate the whole year, the four season are just a myth here. The weather is changing but never for too long, it is common to have warm rain two times per week for example, but not for over 10 to 20 minutes. Cloudy weather when present pleasant do not interfere with tourist and local activities in Banos.
A weekend in Banos Ecuador:
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 Banos can offer.
The main Local Events in Banos are:
The city Anniversary.
From December 15 -16. Baños anniversary 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 mrore latin rythms.
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 in Banos:
– Plan to visit the museum within the basilica and the local art galleries, soome local artist have won international awards because of their andean paitings etc.
– The name Baños (Promounced by some people Banios and typed: Banos) came from the hot
springs all over the city. The baths, baños, are located jus a few blocks away from the city center. Banos water is sometimes yellow colored by the high mineral content, and the temperature varies by the amount of cold water mixed into the bath I suggest you go and enjoy at least once the thermal springs in town at Baños, by the waterfall near Hotel Sangay, one of the most popular hot springs is located and 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 Banos, 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 lnaguage: Espanol.
– Horse riding tour is a very interesting activity that many tourists enjoy local agencies will take you to the surroudnings mountains by horse where you can enoy amazng 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 ride horses. The trip is very safe, helmets can be privided if requested despite almost all horses are all easy and freindly with people.
– Trekking or hiking in Banos is one of the main activities, walking around the mountains and the tiny farms croping blackberrys, 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 in Banos visiting the ungle 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 recommed you join a group this way chances of big discounts are high. From here you could literally hire a tour guide to take you all the way to the amazon river or any other famous jungle location like the Cuyabeno ecological area.
– Mountain biking is very famous in Banos, most travel agents rent nikes for tourists and organize trips every day so the can visit Banos attractions in groups escroted by experienced local guides. Some of the top bike riders from all over the world have come to Banos to experince 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 small nike 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. The zoo helps endangered species or injured animals.
Some other activities in Baños are: Rafting in the Pastaza river, Waterfall rappeling, Bungee jumping, Canopy, Canyoning, Kayaking, etc.
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 famoous, make sur to bargain prices but not too much. 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 beated 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 eat the melcocha with a glass of milk.
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 are all included and recommended in several travel gides of Ecuador and South america, like 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.
Banos cuisine. What and where to eat:
Restaurants and Bistros in Banos town offer various international cuisines in addition to Ecuadorian famous dishes. From Thai, passing from italina to local: 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.