Baños – A Place full of Adventures
Last weekend my friends and I went to Baños, a little town in the Ecuadorian Andes about three and a half hours south of Quito. It is famous for its hot springs, the active volcano Tungurahua and the several adventure activities you can do there. Arriving there we were surprised about the good weather – it was sunny and warm. As we still had to wait to check-in at our hostel, we decided to walk through Baños’ center and book activities for the next days. It took some time to check out all the tours you could do but finally we decided on biking and rafting.
Before we started our biking adventure on Saturday morning, we went by car to the giant swing at “Casa del arbol”. Here people can swing from a mountain above a deep valley. On sunny days you have a great view and can take impressive pictures! We were lucky that the clouds disappeared. It really was a unique experience to swing with such a great view.
Back in Baños we got some mountain bikes and started for our next destination “Pailon del Diablo” (Devil’s Cauldron), a huge waterfall. Following the Pastaza River almost all the way downstream, our group passed several places where you could do canopy, canyoning, rafting or bungee jumping. Luckily my friend convinced me to do canopy and although, in the beginning, I was a bit scared, it was one of the best things I have ever done. Everybody should at least once in their life experience what it means to fly! Screaming we flew over the Pastaza canyon and enjoyed the incredible feeling of freedom.
As we continued to the waterfall, heavy rainfall made for even more of an adventure. We looked as if we had already swum in the Pastaza River when we took the hundreds of steps down to the waterfall. Luckily the leaves of the rainforest’s plants were so big that they guarded us against the rain. The Devil’s Cauldron indeed is a highly impressive waterfall. It was even possible to climb to the back of the water mass where you could get even wetter.
After this adventurous day we had dinner at the local market and tried typical Ecuadorian food: fish soup with yuca (manioc) and popcorn, and Llapingachos with avocado and fried egg. To end the day, all of us relaxed in the Jacuzzi of the hostel and went to bed early.
The next morning, rafting waited for us. With very enthusiastic guides we enjoyed the rapids and also the beautiful landscape ashore. Although we capsized several times, the team members always helped each other to get back into the boat. Once, we even got stuck on a little island of rocks and had to get out of the boat to free ourselves again. Far too soon the tour was over and we needed to get back to Baños from where we traveled back home to Quito. Very tired and late due to the heavy traffic we came back to Quito. What an adventurous weekend!!
If you like the adventure, you may get interested in a Cotopaxi Climbing Tour.