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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Baños, Ecuador

Going to be visiting Ecuador for vacation? If so a must experience is Baños, a fun town nestled between two worlds, the highlands with their soring peaks and Quichua culture and the high jungle with their many waterfalls. Baños has many hotels and hostels for the tourist. In town alone there are many things to do. Start by taking a ride on a chiva, an open-air touring party bus. Often these are made up from old bus bodies affixed to the bed of a large truck. The chivas are there to take you on a city tour complete with guide, music and fun. You can also take a ride around town in an all terrain vehicle (ATV) or a go cart. The kids like this one at night. See the old Catholic church on the main square or stroll through along the sidewalks and stop in at sidewalk cafes, candy stores stretching taffy (called melchor) or visit one of the main restaurants. The town is full of tour agencies ready to provide you fun activities just outside of town. Go by chiva or horseback with a guide to the Chamana Waterfall, take a long horseback ride up the mountain overlooking the city or a long chiva ride to see many of the waterfalls along the Waterfall Route to the east. There is plenty to do. Sign up for hang gliding, zip lining, canyoning, bungy jumping, hiking .... the list just goes on. In the evening settle down for a canela drink made with hot passion fruit juice and cinnamon. If you are a geocacher, this sport is growing among tourist coming to Baños too. Due to the good work of jimnet2005, a resident in Riobamba who frequents the Pastaza River valley, there are a growing number of geocaches that can be found. jimnet2005 likes to place his caches in places of interest, places you will want to see. For example, visit Cruz de Runtun TB Hotel (GC28NNE) and get a great view of the city of Baños and possibly a view of Tungurahua volcano above you. Or take off down the Pastaza River valley to the east to find a series of caches up the Machay River or even further down at a spectacular overlook of the widening Pastaza River. You'll love the family fun in Baños. Come check it out!

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