24 In Ecuador/ Travel/ Travel hacks

WHAT TO DO IN BAÑOS, ECUADOR

Baños, Ecuador, is quite possibly the most magical place I’ve ever visited. Located in the foothills of the Tungurahua volcano, this small village reminded me of Aguas Calientes in Peru. There’s something in the air in Baños that makes it seem otherworldly. Known as the “Gateway to the Amazon”, the town is almost always surrounded by a light layer of fog. No matter the direction you look, you’ll see greenery and possibly even a waterfall or two. So, now that I’ve enticed you to add Baños to your bucket list, here’s what to do in Baños, Ecuador.

A guide on what to do in Baños, Ecuador featuring how to swing at the famous tree house, see the waterfalls, and what you should pack!How to get there

Traveling from Quito to Baños is quite common for tourists. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, take a bus from the Quito terminal. The trip takes about 4 hours one way and costs only $3.50 (remember, the U.S. dollar is the currency in Ecuador). Buses from Quito to Baños leave approximately every 15-20 minutes, so you won’t need to worry about getting these tickets ahead of time.

 


If you’re traveling with a bigger group, I recommend getting a private transport. It’s more expensive per person; however, in my opinion, it’s worth it for the comfort! You can ask your hostel/hotel to put you in contact with a company that can take you to Baños and back for a fair price. Some of these vans even offer wifi during your ride.

La Casa del Árbol

A guide on what to do in Baños, Ecuador featuring how to swing at the famous tree house, see the waterfalls, and what you should pack!Yes, this is the place that you always see on Instagram! The so-called “swing at the end of the world” is both picturesque and extremely affordable. It’s best to go to the treehouse on a clear day. Unfortunately, it was very cloudy during my stay in Baños. That’s okay, though, and it’s still fun even if you get a hazy photo! 

The good thing about Baños is that it has a large number of tourist agencies and they will take you everywhere there is to go. If you want to go to the Casa del Árbol, stop by one of the agencies on the main city roads. They will typically have vans running at different times during the day to take you up to the treehouse and back. It’s only a 30-minute ride from the center of Baños to the Casa del Árbol. There’s also an option to hike for 3 hours, but literally, who wants to do that.

Once you reach the area where the van will park, you’ll walk up a hill to the entrance. There is a USD 1 entry fee per person. Depending on the time, you may have to wait in line before swinging “at the end of the world”. No worries! There are two swings, so the line moves quickly and consistently.

A guide on what to do in Baños, Ecuador featuring how to swing at the famous tree house, see the waterfalls, and what you should pack!Ruta de Las Cascadas

A guide on what to do in Baños, Ecuador featuring how to swing at the famous tree house, see the waterfalls, and what you should pack!Appropriately named the “Route of the Waterfalls”, this bike ride is around 13 miles (21 km). I was a bit worried about the level of physical exertion because I’m not a huge bike rider. Nonetheless, I did not find the trail to be difficult, and there are plenty of places to stop along the way. The bike path begins in Baños and ends at Pailón del Diablo. While you can find your way along the trail relatively easy on your own, I was traveling with a large group, so we hired a guide for a fair price.

A guide on what to do in Baños, Ecuador featuring how to swing at the famous tree house, see the waterfalls, and what you should pack!One of the main attractions along Ruta de Las Cascadas is the Manto de La Novia waterfall. We stopped here for around 20 minutes to rest and to take a cable car ride to see this beautiful waterfall up close. For only $1, it’s definitely worth the fun break to have a bit of a thrill ride!

A guide on what to do in Baños, Ecuador featuring how to swing at the famous tree house, see the waterfalls, and what you should pack!Pailón del Diablo (Devil’s Cauldron) waterfall is pictured below. In my opinion, this is the number one thing to see in Baños. Once you reach the entrance on your bicycle, you will have to pay around $0.50 to enter. There are snacks and drinks available as well. You will then take a short hike until reaching bridges like the one pictured above. A short walk across these bridges will bring you to the stunning waterfalls. By climbing down the stairs, you can even stand under the waterfall! Make sure you have either a rain jacket or umbrella with you if you plan to get up close to this waterfall.

A guide on what to do in Baños, Ecuador featuring how to swing at the famous tree house, see the waterfalls, and what you should pack!What to pack

  • Rain jacket/umbrella: The weather in Ecuador is exceptionally unpredictable, and Baños experiences a high amount of rainfall.
  • Swimsuit: You’ll definitely want to pack swimwear so you can visit the famous thermal baths in Baños!
  • Snacks: Most of the activities to do in Baños are very physical, so I recommend bringing a snack along just in case.
  • Water: Once again, many of the activities you do in Baños will involve physical exertion. Make sure to carry and drink plenty of water!
  • Comfy waterproof shoes: Even if it’s not raining in the city, it’s incredibly humid. It’s always best to bring weather-resistant shoes that you’ll be comfortable wearing for long periods.
  • Sunscreen: Although it may not be very sunny in Baños, that doesn’t mean you should wear sunblock!

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A guide on what to do in Baños, Ecuador featuring how to swing at the famous tree house, see the waterfalls, and what you should pack!

 

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Marcella ~ WhatAWonderfulWorld
    October 25, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    You are doing an amazing job of promoting Ecuador! This place really does sound amazing 🙂 Just how scary is that swing? I think my heart skips a beat every time I see it on Insta! Ha.

  • Reply
    LarryR
    October 26, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Another great blog about Ecuador. Makes me miss it even more.

  • Reply
    Kelly
    October 26, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    This is my FAVORITE type of scenery! I love seeing all of the rolling green hills from town like that. It’s funny, I always REALLY liked Aguas Calientes but I feel like no one ever talks about it except in reference to visiting Machu Picchu…but I actually really enjoyed the town itself haha guess I’d like this town too!

  • Reply
    Van @ Snow in Tromso
    October 26, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Oh my god, these spots are incredible!! I’d totally love to visit!

  • Reply
    Allison
    October 26, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    I loved Banos. I lived in Ecuador for three months in 2008 and absolutely fell in love. I haven’t been able to make it back yet but I’m itching to. My husband and I are planning a trip for sometime in 2018. #wanderfulwednesday

  • Reply
    Monica Houghton
    November 1, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    LOVED LOVED LOVED Banos! I went there a few years ago with my best friend for her 30th birthday and I had on my list the tree swing, so much fun 🙂 Love these types of adventure towns. Great post!

  • Reply
    Bidisha
    November 5, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Wonderful! Loved the post and those stairs look amazing. I so wanna sit on that swing too!

  • Reply
    Stace
    November 5, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Wow I’ve seen so many pictures of that swig and have heard about Banos but never really knew much else about it. I loved this post and that bike ride looks stunning!

  • Reply
    Taylor
    November 5, 2016 at 10:08 am

    This is such a wonderful post!

  • Reply
    Rosi C.
    November 5, 2016 at 10:31 am

    great post. I have not heard of Banos, only Quito. Definitely added to the list, so want to try the swing. lol and of course the waterfalls.

  • Reply
    Allison
    November 5, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Wow this place looks incredible! I was in Quito in 2008 but I didn’t get out of the city much. I’m hoping to go back to Ecuador soon and see more, including Baños!

  • Reply
    Eva | Travel The Whole Wide World
    November 5, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    I really want to go now! Such lovely pictures, it has to be a wonderful place!

  • Reply
    melbtravel
    November 10, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Firstly, all I am going to say is Wow Wow Wow Baños, Ecuador looks beautiful and I can’t believe how cheap it is. I love the fact you can catch a cable car for only a $1 across a waterfall that would be a scary fun experience at the same time. Thanks for the tips about getting there too, it is good to know that information up front.

  • Reply
    Kari (Happy Coconuts Travel Blog)
    November 10, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Wow Ecuador was not at the top of my bucket list but sure is now! Spectacular! It reminds me a bit of Costa Rica, where I currently live. The cable car out to the waterfall, and only for $1, is something I would absolutely love to experience! I’m not a big biker either so it’s good to know that trail isn’t too difficult. Happy Travels 🙂

  • Reply
    Aleks F.
    November 10, 2016 at 11:11 am

    This was awesome to read and so informative! I will definitely pin for later and add to our long list of locations to visit. I LOVED Peru and especially Aguas Calientes was so magical that hearing you compare them makes me want to go even more. And that swing looks like my dream come true!

  • Reply
    Rashmi and Chalukya
    November 10, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    The first picture caught me awe-struck. Pailón del Diablo looks something straight out of fantasy book story. The “swing at the end of the world” sounds fun and interesting. We will definitely consider your suggestions whenever we visit Ecuador.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    November 10, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    I didn’t realize there was so much to do in Baños and everything is so inexpensive! That picture of the waterfalls and the stairs is great – it must be exhilarating standing so close to the waterfalls!

  • Reply
    Faith Coates
    November 11, 2016 at 5:12 am

    I have read about Banos for years and at one point thought we might retire to Ecuador so it was lovely to see such beautiful pictures as we have a few friends there. That rope bridge gave me the heeby jeebies though. It truly is an undiscovered gem of a place.

  • Reply
    Jimmy and Tina
    November 11, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Oh my gosh the views are incredible. Thanks for sharing and would love to check this place out for sure! The pricing is excellent as well!

  • Reply
    Jan Michael De Guzman
    November 12, 2016 at 5:00 am

    It is surely a lovely place. I never heard and read much about Ecuador but I am really keen to visit this country and this post just made me more excited.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Ben Zweber
    October 24, 2018 at 12:25 am

    I’d love to try and swing “at the end of the world”, too! Would it be okay to keep going back in line to swing a second and a third time? Haha. Is the swinging time limited, though?

  • Reply
    Sandra
    February 1, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    Ouh I’m getting ready to head to Ecuador in June and definitely want to go to Baños and see Pailon del Diablo, had no idea you can bike there! So cool! Thanks for the tip!

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