Banos, Ecuador has long been a top destination in this exciting Andean country. This small town is situated on the flanks of Tungurahua Volcano at an elevation of 1,800 meters and has a comfortable spring-like climate. Although Tungurahua is considered to be an active volcano, the activity most experienced by tourists comes in the form of thermal hot springs. Banos is safe to visit and regular safety drills keep residents and visitors aware of the potential risks. This Ecuador hotspot also happens to be an affordable place to visit with numerous options for lodging, dining, and outdoor adventure activities.
Some of the most popular of those activities include:
- Rafting in Banos: A combination of high mountains and regular rainfall turn Banos into an excellent base for whitewater rafting. Trips are available on the Pastaza and Patate rivers and include both class III and class IV rafting opportunities. The surrounding Andean cloud forest scenery makes these trips as beautiful as they are exciting!
- Canyoning: Although this might sound like trekking through deep gorges, as adventurous as those hikes might be, “canyoning” is much more challenging. It involves a slow rappel down the slippery rocks of a waterfall and the area around Banos provides several opportunities to challenge yourself with this extreme activity.
- Climbing: There are a number of natural rock walls that provide fun climbing opportunities around Banos. Before signing up for a rock climbing trip, you can practice on an artificial rock climbing wall or two.
- Dunebuggies: Banos might not actually be blessed with sand dunes but you can still rent a dunebuggy to explore town, and nearby mountain roads with spectacular scenery. It’s a fun, beautiful way to see some of the countryside around this popular town.
- Extreme Sports: A couple of the Banos activities that could be grouped under this category include Kayaking through the white water of the Pastaza and Patate rivers, and Swing Jumping. Swing Jumping is like Bungee Jumping with a swinging motion instead of the characteristic bungee bounce and is also known as “Pendulum Jumping”. This happens because the ropes are anchored between two bridges rather than being anchored in one spot.
- Mountain biking: Biking around Banos takes two different forms. One is an extreme sport known as “Down Hill” and the other is the less extreme yet still adventurous regular old mountain biking on trails and rough roads. Down Hill is basically an unwritten pact with gravity and your bicycle to make you go down a hill as fast as possible. It’s up to you to avoid crashing or flying off the bike and there are several exciting places to try this extreme sport around Banos. Calmer mountain biking opportunities also abound and include views of waterfalls during a beautiful ride towards the Amazonian lowlands.
- Hot Springs: Of course Banos became such a popular destination in the first place due to the many hot springs in the area. The Incan leader Huayna Capac used to enjoy soaking in the hot, mineral-laden waters at Banos and you will have plenty of opportunities to do the same after long, fun days of outdoor adventure activities.
Include Banos on your Ecuador itinerary for exciting adventure activities in beautiful surroundings.