swing over a cliff in Banos ecuador

15 Exciting Things to do in Baños, Ecuador

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To say that Baños, Ecuador is a beautiful place is a massive understatement. Some would go so far as to say that it is the most beautiful place on earth. 

Undoubtedly, Baños de Agua Santa is a place that is filled with hidden treasures. I have visited Baños over a dozen times, and I still feel that there is a lot left to explore!

In this guide, I have compiled many travel tips to make your trip to Baños easy.

We will cover how to get to Baños, where to stay, what you can eat and what to do. Let’s go!

Baños Tip: Read this whole guide for some hidden secrets that most travelers don’t know about Baños!

Flights to Ecuador

Prices are constantly changing for flights to Ecuador. Whether you are planning on flying to Cuenca, Guayaquil or Quito, you can find the best prices here on Expedia.

How to Get to Baños, Ecuador

Getting to Baños is much easier than you may think. In fact, you can get to virtually anywhere in the country by bus and taxi. On top of that, just about any bus station can get you to Baños.

I’ll show you a couple of ways of getting there.

Getting to Baños by Taxi

This is the easiest method by far. Head to the nearest place that has available taxis and simply ask for a taxi straight to Baños. This method, although simple, is not very cheap. 

Let’s say for example that you need a taxi from Quito. Expect to pay at least $25; sometimes even more depending on the driver.

Or let’s say that you are traveling from Cuenca, then expect this fee to be much higher; at least $50.

A taxi is definitely convenient, without many interruptions. But if you need a more budget-friendly option, then read on.

Getting to Baños by Bus

Bus is definitely the cheapest transportation option available. In many cases, you are only going to be paying $10 for both ways! 

You can save that extra cash to buy some chocolate once you get there!

But of course, the final price depends on which bus station that you are coming from and how far you are traveling. 

But how do the buses work?

First, you’ll need to take a bus that is headed to your central bus station. To do this, you will have to walk to the main road nearest to you. Buses should be passing back and forth on all of the main roads. Most buses have a sign on the window that says which terminal that they are headed to. 

To skip this step, just spend a few dollars on a taxi that will take you straight to the terminal.

Next, ask around for the bust that is headed to Baños. But if you can’t find a bus that is heading directly to Baños, then just take one to the city of Ambato. From there you will find several buses heading to Baños.

And lastly, just take a bus that is headed to the bus terminal in Baños! 

One disadvantage with the bus, however, is that they stop quite frequently. So just keep this in mind when deciding which option is best for you.

Where to Stay in Baños, Ecuador

There are countless hotels and hostels in Baños, Ecuador. Let’s take a look at a few options for every budget!

P.S: If you want to see more options for hotels in Banos, Ecuador, then read this guide here!

Best High-End Option

Samari Spa Resort is a meticulously maintained hotel with a full service spa and indoor pool. This resort has two restaurants on site, as well as a health club. Some other ammenities include: free wifi, bicycle rentals, laundry and a sauna. You will be able to enjoy spacious rooms in a quiet atmosphere. Check out prices and availability on Google.

Book your stay at the Samari Spa Resort here on Expedia.

Best Option on a Budget

Hostal Inti Luna is a clean, modest hostel that includes breakfast. Some other services include free wifi, laundry and a coffee shop. This hostel is a great option for the budget-conscious traveler. Book your stay at the Hostal Inti Luna here on Expedia.

Baños Tip: There are many other accommodations online. Check out other hotels in Baños on Expedia.

Things To Do In Baños, Ecuador

1.) Visit the Mighty Pailón del Diablo

This waterfall is one of the most popular in all of Ecuador. Also known as the “Devil’s Cauldron”, this waterfall towers at an incredible 80+ meters (265 feet) high! [Cascada el Pailón] Not to mention, the hike up to the waterfall is a marvelous sight in itself. 

On this trail, you will be welcomed with a large variety of tropical plants, butterflies and birds! 

Also, be sure to take plenty of photos as this waterfall is overwhelmingly photogenic. The spectacular views make it obvious as to why the Pailón del Diablo is one of the most popular places in all of Baños! 

Pailón del Diablo Pricing

The entrance to the Pailón del Diablo is only $1.50; although the price might fluctuate depending on when you go. Also, keep in mind that this waterfall has two hiking trails. One trail is only 5 minutes long, while the other is about half an hour long. 

How to Get to the Pailón del Diablo:

There are two ways of getting to this waterfall. One way is by simply taking a bus that is headed toward Puyo. Be sure to tell the bus driver that you are headed to the waterfall, that way they can make a special stop for you.

The second method is by taking a tour by chiva. We recommend this option as it is cheap, and you get to see a lot of Baños in a short amount of time. Keep on reading to find out about the chiva tours!

2.) Get Lost in the Beauty at the Manto de la Novia

If you had to choose just a couple of waterfalls to visit in Baños, the Manto de la Novia would be one of them. 

This waterfall is located right along La Ruta de las Cascadas and is clearly seen off the highway. You can either hike down right next to the waterfall, or take a cable car to view it from above!

This incredible waterfall stands at about 40 meters (131 feet) tall! [Cascada el Manto de la Novia]

Baños Tip: If you have the spare time, be sure to make the hike to the lower part of the waterfall. There is a hidden coffee shop that greets visitors who make the trek. This coffee shop has a breathtaking view of the waterfall alongside it! Most tourists don’t get to see this waterfall as guided tours do not go to the bottom.

3.) Take a Baños Tour by Chiva!

Baños has no shortage of adventure activities. With that being said, it can be overwhelming to decide what you have time for and what you will have to skip.

That is why I recommend taking a chiva bus tour. These tours will bring you to some of the amazing places of Baños… in just 2-3 hours!

I would also recommend that you take one chiva tour in the morning and another in the afternoon. That way you can get a better experience on a tight schedule.

Chivas are also great since they have no windows in the back; so you can enjoy firsthand the breathtaking landscape of Baños!

Baños Tip:  If you are an avid hiker, then you may want to skip out on this as the chivas have specific schedules and routes to follow. 

4.) Jump off of a Waterfall! (yeah, seriously)

Baños satisfies the craving of the extreme adventurer. You can’t get the full experience without trying out at least one of these extreme activities! (They’re awesome, we promise).

With that being said, there are plenty of opportunities to slide and jump off of waterfalls! This is an activity that is known as canyoning. 

There are several tour companies that offer canyoning. You will be given a wetsuit and a pair of slip-resistant shoes. After that, you and your party will be driven up to a nearby waterfall. The tour guide will explain to you exactly what you need to do, and when. 

Booking ahead of time isn’t necessary as there are many tour companies located near the bus terminal. Speak to someone and negotiate rates; you might even be able to do multiple activities with one guide!

Baños Tip: Bring a GoPro! Some tour companies offer helmets with action camera mounts. I strongly recommend this GoPro for high quality video.

5.) Fly Over the Rainforest Canopy

The beauty of Baños can be explored from above and beyond… literally. This is possible by taking a zip line that makes you feel like you are really flying. On top of that, you can take one of these unique zip lines with your friends and family! 

Be sure to ask your tour guide if this option is available.

Don’t have a tour guide booked ahead of time? Don’t worry, you can visit all of these activities at the last moment by talking to an experienced tour guide near the bus terminal. There are many different companies that offer different rates. Dont stress!

6.) The Extreme Swings of Baños, Ecuador

Extreme swings over cliffs and waterfalls are scattered throughout Baños. The most popular being located at La Casa del Arbol. This beautiful swing is also known as “The Swing at the End of the World”!

I recommend that you visit the swing located at the Pailon del Diablo. You can only access this swing if you venture without a tour guide, as most guides just go straight to the waterfall.

The swing at the Pailon del Diablo will cost a small premium of $10 per person, but I promise you that it is completely worth it!

7.) Lots of Coffee and Chocolate

There are many coffee and chocolate options all throughout Baños. You simply cannot visit the rainforest without trying them!. One great option to consider is the popular Aromi Coffee & Chocolate Gourmet shop/café. Check out their website here.

Most of the beans in Baños are grown right from the rainforest itself. With that being said, you can enjoy these delicacies close to the source!

If you are a coffee drinker then you will have plenty of options at your disposal. One popular way of drinking coffee in Ecuador is drinking it with steamed milk. Don’t want milk in your coffee? Ask for it black or for a non-dairy alternative. Many places in Baños will give you this option as they are used to the tourists.

Also, you should not leave Baños without bringing home some chocolate! You can either buy some gourmet bars at the Aromi Coffee & Chocolate Gourmet shop/cafe or you can buy them at almost any grocery store in Baños.

Important Note: Check with your airline before bringing coffee and/or chocolate back to your country. Some airlines have specific requirements on what you can bring back from the rainforest. They may even ask you to pack them a specific way. Better safe than sorry!

8.) Take a Picture at Los Manos de Dios

Want to view all of Baños, Ecuador from the clouds? Los Manos de Dios or “The Hands of God” allow you to do just that.

You can take incredible pictures in front of the beautiful horizon that is Baños de Agua Santa. And as an added bonus, you can also access a daring swing that hovers over a cliff (it sounds scarier than it actually is, I promise). 

The admission for Los Manos de Dios will be about $1-$2 a person, so make sure you have some cash on hand!

There is a similar experience called Las Manos Divinas that we will talk about a little bit later.

9.) No Experience Needed for Whitewater Rafting!

I told you that Baños is filled with extreme sports, but the best part about most of them is that you don’t need any prior experience!

Whitewater rafting involves an inflatable raft that carries multiple people through the rapids of a river. Because of this, whitewater river rafting is a great way to experience the ecological beauty of Baños, Ecuador!

Much like the other activities mentioned on this list, you can either find reservations online or book a tour last minute near the bus terminal. 

10.) Visit the Geothermal Pools

In English, Baños de Agua Santa translates to “Baths of Sacred Water”. [Baños, Ecuador] This is because of the volcanic hot springs throughout the region. And the best part is, you can go swimming in these thermal pools!

One of these hot springs is located less than 10 minutes from the bus station. Keep in mind that these hot springs will be called “aguas termales” most of the time.

11.) Spend Time at the Manos Divinas

Las Manos Divinas is one of Baños newest attractions. You can take an incredible photo up in the clouds sitting on “The Hands of God”. On top of that, you will have a stunning view of the mountains of Baños!

This is one of many attractions accessible by a chiva bus.

Baños Secret: At one of the chiva tour offices, you can find a photo of my fiance and I on the advertisements. We came right when the attraction barely opened, so we were able to get our picture taken for the ad!

12.) Explore the Beautiful Llanganates National Park

This beautiful park is a great way to see the natural landscape of Baños, Ecuador. Here you will have a chance to hike one of the most biodiverse landscapes on the planet [Baños, Ecuador]. 

On top of this charming landscape, you will also see a large variety of birds, butterflies, flowers, insects and much more!

Baños Tip: I strongly recommend a good pair of hiking shoes. These Columbia shoes for both men and women are super comfy for long hikes.

13.) Adventure Awaits at the Aventura San Martin Park

Want to do multiple adventure activities in the same area? The Aventura San Martin Park offers ziplining, rock climbing and a walk across a Tibetan bridge.

This adventure park is a great way to conquer your fears! Experienced guides will accompany you the entire time. Also, you will be using certified equipment to ensure your safety.

This would be a great option if you want to do many activities without having to travel to each individual activity.

14.) Go Hike the Cerro Hermoso

The Cerro Hermoso is a part of Llanganates National Park [Cerro Hermoso]. This trail makes for a great hike for the valiant explorer. 

Cerro Hermoso actually means “Beautiful Hill” in English, and the sights on the trail back this name up. Just be sure to bring a lightweight jacket on this hike because the temperature can drop down to 20 degrees celsius (68 degrees fahrenheit), making it a chilly hike for some people.

This magnificent mountain rises 4,571 meters (14,997 feet) above sea level, making it higher than the tallest mountain in Colorado!

Baños Tip: Don’t hike unprepared! A good backpack allows you to carry plenty of supplies without the extra strain on your back. Check out our guide on the best hiking backpack before you travel!

15.) Go Horseback Riding

Horseback riding in Baños, Ecuador makes for a great activity for just about anyone. The horses walk at a moderate pace, making it a relaxing experience.

This activity allows you to see the attractive Ecuadorian countryside without too much effort.  

Baños Tip: There are several guides that will take you directly to these ranches. Be sure to price around as there are many options.

16.) BONUS- A Secret Waterfall

Baños is known for its spectacular waterfalls. Among them is a hidden gem that is my favorite. Check out my article on my “Top 3 Favorite Waterfalls in Baños, Ecuador” to find out what it is!

Baños, Ecuador- A Paradise on Earth

Baños, Ecuador is a place filled with adventure. Whether you decide to jump off a waterfall or take a relaxing horseback ride, you are guaranteed a memorable experience in Baños.

Want more information on Baños, Ecuador? Check out my guide on “10 Secrets of Baños, Ecuador”.


1. “Cascada el Pailón”. Tripadvisor

Retrieved From: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g312857-d314428-Reviews-CASCADA_EL_PAILON-Banos_Tungurahua_Province.html 

Accessed (19/08/2022)

2. “Cascada el Manto de la Novia”. Tripadvisor, 2022

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3. “Baños, Ecuador”. Pachamama Alliance, 2022

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Accessed (22/08/2022)

4. “Cerro Hermoso”. Tungurahua Tourism, 2022

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