Relaxing in Beautiful Banos Ecuador

We have returned from our two-week trip to the Galapagos, flying back to Quito.  From Quito, we decided to spend Saturday in an indigenous market in Otavalo, Ecuador.   This is where all the indigenous people come each week to sell their wares.  Otavalo is located about 2 hours north of Quito. We took a bus there for $2 each — it was a nice bus with a flat screen TV showing the movie Mission Impossible.

Otavalo, Ecuador

To see a slide show of pictures for our Banos trip, click here.

We enjoyed our day at Otavalo and decided we wanted to have a few days of rest and relaxation. Banos is a city about 3 hours bus ride south of Quito. So on Sunday, we jumped on a bus ($3.50 per person each way) and made our way to Banos. Banos is well-known for its hot springs and massage shops (legitimate massage). It is set in a beautiful setting, about 8,000 feet above sea level surrounded by incredible huge green mountains.

One of the big attractions of Banos is its massive number of waterfalls.  We enlisted a local taxi driver to give us a 4 hour tour of the waterfalls and a tour of the city — all of this cost us about $35 (he wanted $22 but we tipped well).  The first stop of the tour was a huge canyon (about 2,000 feet deep) that had a waterfall driving into the canyon.

Waterfalls of Banos

As you can see, they have a cable car that you can take over the canyon.  But even more fun, they have a zipline that you can take over it.  When ziplining, you can elect to zipline normally or Superman style.  Of course, I elected to go Superman style!   The zipline is very long and about halfway through the zipline, it starts bouncing like crazy!   Then when you enter the end of the route, you come in very fast and it looks like you are going to hit a rock wall but a 14-year-old boy snags the zipline just feet from you crashing into the wall.  Quite exhilarating!

Steve ziplining Superman style

Once we finished the zipline, we journeyed on to another 8 or 10 waterfalls until we ended up at a waterfall that is only visible by hiking about 20 minutes down a canyon.  On the way to the waterfalls, we stopped by a vendor that had huge snake you could take a picture with.  I hate snakes (as most of you know), but Lynn was brave and put the snake around her neck.  You go girl!

Lynn being brave

As we trekked down the canyon for 20 minutes, we knew it was going to be a bear to trek back up.   But the view from the bottom was definitely worth it.  The waterfall gushes down a 240 foot wall and is very surreal to visit.

Gushing waterfall

We ended the day by having a wonderful dinner, Skyped with our boys at college and both had a massage.  We stayed at this wonderful B&B called Casa Verde.  It cost us only $40 per night with breakfast included and it was in a wonderful setting.  Outside of our window were beautiful green mountains that allowed you to just relax and take it all in.  And the massage was incredible.  The massage therapist came to our B&B at 8:30 at night to do it — what great service!  And the massage was only $25 for an hour!

View from our B&B window

To see a slide show of pictures for our Banos trip, click here.

So our next adventure is moving south to Cuenca, Ecuador.  We plan to enroll in a Spanish immersion school where we will take Spanish classes 5 days a week for 4 hours a day.  We will probably stay there for 4 weeks so that we can improve our Spanish.  Hasta Luego!

6 thoughts on “Relaxing in Beautiful Banos Ecuador

  1. Anonymous

    Wow…….that looks awesome….glad you guy are having the time of your lives. Your pictures are breath taking……still miss you. Liz and Tom

    1. smiller257 Post author

      Hi Liz and Tom!

      Great to hear from you. Enjoying Ecuador and looking forward to Machu Pichhu and the Bahamas in a couple of weeks. How are you guys? Have you met our housesitters?

      Steve and Lynn


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