Now that the new year has begun, I’m sure many of you are thinking about what you want to accomplish this year. It might be reading more books, eating healthier, or giving more to others. For you travel lovers out there, I’m sure the “where do I want to go this year?” thought has crossed your mind!
I’ll say it bluntly, Banos needs to be on your list for 2018. “But why” you may ask? Because it’s not the typical destination.
This isn’t like eating a baguette in front of the Eiffel Tower. This isn’t boating through the Greek Islands or snowmobiling in Finland to see the Northern Lights (Though those are all amazing and popular for a reason!) This is something off the beaten path and DIFFERENT! 🙂
Banos is a little town nestled between volcanoes and mountains about 2.5 hours south of Quito. You’ll find all the beauty and adventure in the world here!
Here is why you NEED to go to Banos in 2018!
1. Swing At The Edge Of The World
For just $1, you can swing at this place we’ve seen all over Pinterest! This super cute and insta worthy tree house is too cool! There are more swings other than this one too. I suggest getting there early, before 12, before any buses come.
2. The Hot Springs
In the city center of Banos, there is a pool of hot springs at the foot of a waterfall. To be honest, I thought the water looked pretty gross and there were SO many people in them, so we passed on these.
BUT nestled up in the mountains, we stayed at the luxurious Hotel Luna Runtun, and their springs were idyllic! Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, you can pay to just spend the day at their springs. There are many different tubs at different temperatures and they all have a fantastic view of the city of Banos. If you are wanting to stay in Banos, which I highly suggest you do, Luna Runtun is the best choice! Included in your stay is entrance to the hot springs, and a gourmet buffet breakfast AND dinner. Each room is its own private villa.
3. Route Of Waterfalls
For $8 pp, we rented bikes and rode the Route Of Waterfalls! It wasn’t the easiest bike ride, some uphill but some downhill, and it was so worth it! The route had great signage so we always knew where we were supposed to be going. You would also occasionally see other bikers along the path.
As you ride this 15 mile bike ride, you’ll pass tons of waterfalls! Almost every one of them has an activity you can do for a little stopping break. We zip lined superman style across a huge valley! It was quite the rush. You could also go bungee jumping off a bridge, take cable cars across the mountains for a better look at the waterfalls, or just keep biking along.
The last stop on the route takes you to the Pailon Del Diablo, which is a nice little hike down to it and one massive and powerful waterfall! A big bonus of making it to the end is that there are trucks that will load up your bike for you and drive you back to the main town for just $1 pp. We rode in the truck with many other bikers from all over the world!
4. The Currency
Okay so not just in Banos, but Ecuador in general, uses the American dollar. Since I’m from the US, this made things so easy when I don’t have to do conversions in my head or exchange money anywhere at anytime!
5. The Affordable Prices
Ecuador is very affordable, but Banos specifically we found to be super cheap. This beautiful country has some incredible freshly made juices of all different kinds. If you’re in Ecuador, you have to order some type of funky juice for less than $1! We had a whole lunch of different juices and massive empanadas for $5.
6. Outdoor Adventures
If you’re not into just soaking in hot springs, there are SO many others things to do. Canyoning down waterfalls, zip lining, atving, horseback riding, you name it and Banos offers it!
I truly hope Banos makes your list in 2018! It has all the beauty and adventure in the world for you adrenaline lovers! 🙂