From Riobamba we headed onwards to Baños.
With white water rafting, canyoning, bungee jumping, paragliding and more on offer from every second store, Baños is one of the adventure capitals of South America.
As we've done many of these activities before and I was still a little under the weather, we opted for a more chilled couple of days.
On our first afternoon there we explored the town, got a cheap lunch, bought some rock candy and walked to one of the waterfalls and thermal baths close to town.
For most of the time in Baños we stayed at Hostal Princessa Maria which was awesome. This had light and spacious rooms with a comfy bed and access to the best kitchen we have had to date on the trip. It is also literally across the street from the local markets that run 3 times a week where you can get plenty of awesome and ridiculously cheap local fruit and veg.
The next day we headed up to the famous Casa del Arbol (Tree House) with swings out over the edge of the canyon. Spoiler alert! The swing is nowhere near as life threatening as it looks in the photos... you don't swing out too far and you're even strapped in. But nonetheless, it's a beautiful view, and worth the trek even if it's just for a photo op.
The next day we hired a couple of bikes ($7 each for the whole day) and rode from Baños to Rio Verde, a 40 odd kilometre cycle. The best part? It was all down hill.
It's a very easy ride and you just follow the main road that goes from Baños to Puyo. You can ride the whole way to Puyo but by Rio Verde my butt was starting to ache a little. The road goes via heaps of different waterfalls which are cool to check out. The best of the falls by far is the Pailon del Diablo, located in Rio Verde. After being to Iguazu falls in January we weren't sure if any other waterfalls would ever cut it, but this one is pretty darn powerful and really impressive. There was even a real cool crawl through to get to the top of it and you can scramble into a little cove in the rock behind the falls. Needless to say, we were glad to have brought a plastic bag for our camera.
Heading back up to Baños was easy as there are plenty of trucks waiting around the falls at Rio Verde. We chucked our bikes in the back and clambered aboard for the easy cruise back. Most drivers will do the trip for about $10-15 US in total, so you can split the cost of the truck with other cyclists at the bottom - there is certainly no lack of them there.
The scenery of the whole ride was absolutely beautiful following the edge of canyon and riverbed way below for the most part. Considering how traffic is in most of South America, we were initially a little stressed about riding on the shoulder of the main road. In the end we found this to be completely unwarranted with all Ecuadorian drivers giving us plenty of space and respect - even more so than drivers do back home!
With our little packed lunch of tasty home made sandwiches, this ended up being an awesome and really cheap day out.
Next up we're headed to Latacunga to meet up with a friend from him, (Hi Ness!) and visit the Quilotoa Loop and Cotopaxi Volcano!
G'day I'm Bec
I'm an Aussie who loves travelling, hiking, trail running and pretty much any activity you can do outdoors.
This blog may contain several affiliate links to products and services that I use and love. By clicking on these links, I might get a teeny tiny contribution towards my travel fund, at no extra cost to you!
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