Shortened from Baños de Agua Santa, meaning Baths of Sacred Water, it will come as no surprise that the town’s greatest attraction is the hydrothermal springs of the Cascada de la Virgen (The Virgin’s Waterfall). Baños is also known by the moniker ‘The Gateway to the Amazon’, for it is the only city located in the mountain region found just before the start of the Amazon jungle. This town and its surrounds are tranquil yet wild, ancient and filled with adventure.
Yet it is known for much more than the joys it offers from natural bathing. This picturesque little town in the central Andean highlands found at a reassuringly safe distance beneath the active Tungurahua Volcano, is well known for the countless adventure activities and outdoor pursuits on offer in the captivating surrounding countryside. Hiking, biking, canyoning, rappelling, white water rafting, bungee jumping and more are just some of the ways to entertain yourself here.
The main waterfalls to the east, the dramatic Devil’s Cauldron, also known as El Pailón del Diablo and Agoyán are also popular day tours where many of the above activities take place. While, for those interested in birdlife, the natural surrounds offers plenty of opportunity for sightings of a range of birds, from cuckoos to woodpeckers and even the Andean cock-of-the-rock.
What to do
- All manner of adventure activities and outdoor sports pursuits: hiking, rafting, rapelling, biking, ATVs, bungee, rock climbing and more
- Bathe in the thermal springs
- Visit the nearby waterfall and explore the surrounding jungle