February 28, 2013

Favorite Places: Baños, Ecuador

Baños, Ecuador
Happy 1st of March! Three months into 2013-- can you believe it?! Crazy.

It's a new month, so I decided to start a new segment called "Favorite Places" where I talk and give information about some of the places I've been that I've really enjoyed.

Waterfalls in Baños
I've been wanting to write the first post for a few days now. I've been trying to decide what place should be the first... which one do I choose??!

And this morning as I woke up, I was thinking about something that had happened while we were living in Ecuador-- and then the light bulb went off in my head-- Baños!!

Baños, Ecuador

Baños is a small town in Ecuador located in the Andean Highlands and is known as the adventure capital of Ecuador. It's really popular with tourists- both foreigners and Ecuadorians alike. It may be a small town, but it is packed with things to do, places to eat, and budget accommodations.

On the bus ride from Quito to Baños
J and I took  a bus from Quito to Baños. We caught a bus at Terrestre Quitumbe. This is the bus terminal located south of Quito (pretty far from the city center). The trip to Baños took roughly 3.5 hours and cost about $3.50. Once in Baños, they drop you off at the bus terminal. It's a really small terminal and is located on the north side of town. Once you get there, everything (the city center included) is within walking distance.


There is a lot to do here, especially for the adventurous, out-doorsy type! Things to do include: rafting, mountain biking, hiking, renting ATVs and dirtbikes, bungee jumping, rapelling, and jungle tours. There are many waterfalls and the Volcano Tungurahua. Baños is also famous for its hydrothermal springs- hence why Baños is named Baños (which means "baths" in Spanish).

At the top of the mountain- a view of the city
J and I took advantage of these out-doorsy activities. We rented an ATV for a couple of hours and took a trail that goes along the road and you can see waterfalls-- really cool! We also went hiking. There's a huge mountain range that butts up right against the city and we walked around until we found a trail opening and followed it up-- it was a trek but well worth it! The view from the top was breath-taking. We even went further up and found a little restaurant to drink a smoothie.  We also went to a thermal bath which cost only about $2. We went super early in the morning when all the locals go. The baths have different temperatures. We mostly stayed in the warm bath where most of the younger people and kids were. Next to it was the super hot bath where all the older people were. We tried that one out-- it took quite a while to get used to the heat, it definitely wasn't no jacuzzi! But afterwards we felt so good and refreshed!

Besides waterfalls and jungles, there are also churches to see around town. There are also many restaurants and a wide variety to choose from. We mostly ate at little local places because it was the cheapest and also really good! (Mmmm... salchipapas....)

The nightlife is quite good as well. There are many bars to choose from. Many have live bands that play and drink specials all night. Since it's a small town, everything is walking distance so it's a good chance your accommodation is near a place to go to for some nightlife scene.

There is a plethora of budget and non-budget accommodations available in this small town. Even if you don't reserve a place to stay before you go, you can most likely just show up at a place and they'll have room for you.

My reasons Baños is a favorite place:
- It's a small town, but there is a ton to do.
- Everything is walking distance
- I felt safe walking around, even at night.
- The climate was perfect- not too warm and not too cold.
- There's a lot of different people from around the world and Ecuador that come here, so there's a lot of opportunity to meet a lot of people.
- There's a lot of cheap & good places to eat (& to sleep)

Baños is a great destination if you're ever in Ecuador, especially for backpackers! I hope this wasn't the last time I get to come here.

For more travel information on Baños check out:
My husband's post on Baños

1 comment :

  1. I would love to visit Ecuador...such beautiful pictures!!!

    I nominated you for the Liebster award...read more here! http://www.epicmommyadventures.com/2013/03/third-times-charm.html


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