Today you will head to Baños, a small vibrant city at the foot of the Tungurahua Volcano south of Quito. Nestled into the mountains where the Andes meet the Amazon, the area is a remote paradise home to sweeping views, extreme sports, and plenty of local tradition. Officially named Baños de Agua Santa, meaning baths of sacred water, the area is renowned by locals for its natural hot springs which are said to have healing properties thanks to various minerals, and visits from the Catholic Virgin Mary.
Exploring Ecuador on a Full-Day Baños Tour
Your day will begin with an early departure from Riobamba for a two-hour bus ride to Baños. Upon arrival, you will board a Chiva, which is a colorful, open-air tourist bus that will take you on the Route of the Waterfalls, La Ruta de las Cascadas. The road connects Baños to the Ecuadorian jungle city of Puyo and has spectacular views of prominent volcanoes, low valleys, and rushing waterfalls. During the trip, there will be plenty of chances to snap photos of the 19 waterfalls you visit, but a highlight will definitely be the thunderous Pailon del Diablo, the Devil’s Cauldron. Here you can climb down winding staircases and across a suspension bridge for the best view of the falls – including a peek at the devil’s face in the rock formation.
Then take a shuttle up to a precarious perch for a ride on the Swing at the End of the World, Casa del Arbol. Adventurous swingers of all ages can feel the wind rush against their face as they soar over the cliff’s edge. An optional zip lining excursion is available for an extra cost.
In the afternoon, return to Baños to explore the city. Visit some of the many churches, markets, or hot springs at leisure. Before boarding the bus back to Quito, make sure to stop and buy Melococha, Ecuadorian sugar cane taffy, to snack on during the 3-hour drive.
This tour departs from Riobamba
Average Temperature: 14° C / 57° F
Guide and transportation
Bus tour of the waterfalls surrounding Baños
Meals, tips, or personal expenses
For a comfortable trip, we recommend you bring:
- Good walking shoes
- Bathing suit
- Hat or cap
- Sunscreen (at least SPF 30), even if it is overcast