Baños – A backpackers guide
The adventure capital of Ecuador or gateway to the Amazon, Baños a small town surrounded by waterfalls, mountains, a volcano and where pretty much every adventure sport is up for offer.
Best time to visit
High season – June-August as well as December-January
Low season – October-November
Also don't trust the weather reports you read online, they are always wrong. If they were right we would have had three days of Thunderstorms and rain which was so far from the beautiful blue sky warmth we experienced instead.
What to do
There are multiple waterfalls scattered around Baños and neighbouring towns, all beautiful in their own way. Hire a bike for $8-10 for the day and mission it out to Pailon del Diablo waterfall. This is a popular choice for many or if your feeling a bit on the lazy side there is also an $8 open bus that takes you out to all the waterfalls around the city.
Casa de arol - The swing
The famous treehouse that has the swing to nowhere, located up on the mountains edge. You can even hike 2-3 hours up to get here or catch a $1 bus up. Note the last bus back down to Baños is at 6pm.
Read all about our adventure to the swing here.
Take your pick of activities, from bungee jumping to white water rafting, ziplining and even horse riding. There is truly something for everyone. We ended up choosing white water rafting, ziplining and canyoning.
Read about our action packed adventures here.
Soak in hot mineral-rich water isn't a bad way to spend an afternoon, soaking away yesterday's aches and pains, it's even said to contain healing properties. Though not the most luxurious or the most picturesque, the basic amenities are true to itself with the water coming from a volcano nearby.
Where to eat
A small wee restaurant with multiple cuisines for offer, including Mexican and Thai food. The food is super tasty and the lady who served us was the sweetest person on the planet.
If coffee is as important to you as it is to us, then here is your place. They make a decent cup of coffee, great sandwiches and also have frappes to die for. We made multiple stops here to get our caffeine fix and were never disappointed.
Where to stay
We stayed at Kiwi hostel, obviously being drawn to the name as we are kiwis ourselves, but it was an awesome wee find, other than not being well sign posted. The staff were amazingly helpful, the beds were massive king singles with curtains for privacy and awesome social areas. The breakfast included eggs, fruit and toast with your usual coffee and tea. At one stage we got the whole hostel to ourselves which was pretty awesome, thanks low season.
How to get here
From Quito, it's a 3.5 hour bus ride away, leaving almost every 30mins, no need to book in advance just rock up to the bus terminal and book then and there. The cost is between $4-4.50.
From Guayaquil, it's a 8 hour bus ride. Costing about $10.