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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chamana Waterfalls, Baños, Ecuador

I finally got to combine geocaching with horseback riding! Along with Sumajhuarmi and Rubialoca I set out from the tourist and spa town of Baños, Ecuador on horseback to ride out to the Chamana Waterfalls, just east of town. The ride took about an hour or so as we wound down the valley beside the Pastaza River. Yes, that's a picture of a teenager addicted to her text messages, even from horseback! At Ulba we crossed the main highway and began a short climb up the Chamana valley along side the Chamana River. For most of our climb we had a spectacular view of the active volcano Tungurahua above us. The snowcapped volcano was impressive, particularly with the knowledge that it frequently sends off puffs of smoke and flowing lava out the other direction from where we were. We climbed past tourist hostels and small restaurants until we arrived at the base of the waterfalls. There was a large tour group there that was canyoning. They were roped in similar to those who rapel down the mountain except for they were doing it down the canyon stream that led off of the waterfalls. It looked interesting but not interesting enough. That water had to be cold! We dismounted and secured the horses before starting up the path that takes you to the a small pool of water at the base of the first of seven waterfalls that make up Chamana Waterfall. Here people come to relax in the water on hot days. This seemed like the perfect place for a geocache so I back tracked down the path until I found a perfect location to hide the cache. The finder can step off the trail and look for the cache without being seen if he or she takes care. If you get a chance to visit Baños I suggest that you rent horses for this trip and that you check out my cache there. It is Cascadas Chamana (GC2M45Z).
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