Banos, Ecuador is 190 kilometers south of the country’s capital, Quito. Banos is in Ecuador’s Tungurahua province and is a gateway to the nearby Amazon Basin. It is known for it’s mineral rich hot springs, trails on the active Tungurahua volcano, and it’s adrenaline junky adventure sports and activities. People come to Banos to view the stunning waterfalls, hike through lush forests, relax in thermal hot springs and enjoy the local cuisine. Banos is an excellent getaway from the very busy city of Quito. It was by far our favorite city in Ecuador and we only wish we had more than 3 days to relax in this quaint town.
Banos has everything for everyone which is why it needs to be on your bucket list right now. For people who like jam-packed activities, Banos is for you. For people who like to relax, Banos is for you. For people who like nature, waterfalls, and forests, Banos is for you. So how do you get to this magical place with waterfalls and rainbows?! I’ll tell you!
Getting to Banos from Quito:
The best way to get to Banos from Quito is hopping onto a bus at Terminal Terrestre Quitumbe. Purchase a direct bus to Quito which only sets you back $4 USD one way. Buses leave the station daily all throughout the day so you should be good to head to the bus station anytime between 8am to 3pm. It’s about a 3.5 hour bus ride and then you arrive at the bus station right downtown Quito. From there, you can take a taxi to your hotel or walk depending on the distance (it isn’t a very large town).
What to do in Banos:
– Indulge in many of the adventure sports/activities such as canyoning, bungee jumping, white water rafting, ATV tours, and more. We chose to go canyoning as it was a great way to see more waterfalls and be in the nature.
– Rest in the mineral hot springs. There are many hot springs in Banos but the one we went back to time and time again was Virgin….. It overlooks a beautiful waterfall and there’s many temperature options to choose from.
– Eat some guinea pig. We were not brave enough to taste the guinea pig in Ecuador but we hear it’s really quite tasty in Banos!
– Drink the best hot chocolate of your life (and you might as well do a chocolate tasting while you’re there) at Aromi Cafe y Chocolate. It is seriously life changing!
– Hike through the lush forests.
– Bike down the trails to hit up the best waterfall viewing points.
Banos is a great stop for anyone looking to escape city life and enjoy the natural beauty that Ecuador has to offer!