Known for its naturally-heated thermal baths and picturesque waterfalls, Banos is situated at the base of the active Tungurahua volcano. Gateway to the Amazon, the city offers access to outdoor adventures in deep canyons, dramatic ravines and subtropical terrain.
Things to do in Banos
Stroll around the city centre to admire the Basilica Reina del Rosario de Agua Santa, a 16th-century ornate church. Admire the murals that line its interior, then step outside to explore its streets lined with stalls selling handicrafts and artisanal souvenirs.
One of the biggest lures to Banos is Casa del Arbol with its famous “swing at the end of the world”, a white-knuckle ride where you can fly over the edge of the canyon. Stretching over a sweeping valley, you can take a surreal photo with the 5,181-metre-tall volcano in the background.
Banos’ region boasts more than 60 waterfalls, including the famous Cascade del Virgin, believed to have been blessed by Virgin Mary. Ruta del Cascades offers a series of pristine waterfalls, including the Pailon del Diablo waterfall park with an enormous suspension bridge.
For a day of adventure, go white-water rafting on Rio Pastaza or kayak the Quilotoa volcanic lake. Soak your weary muscles in one of the many hot springs around Banos, said to have a variety of medicinal properties.
Getting around Banos
You can reach Banos by flying into Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito and taking a 45-minute taxi. The best way to get around is by foot, while buses and taxis are available.