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Special Events:
Festival of Señora del Agua Santa

Town Anniversary

Length: 2 days
(or more)

Prior Trip Suggestions:
Old Town Quito & Teleferiqo

Trip Highlights: Soak in hot mineral springs

Chewing on sugar cane and melcocha, handmade taffy

This charming resort town is set in a beautiful location below the active volcano Tungurahua and above the Rio Pastaza Canyon, a major tributary of the Amazon. The main attraction in Baños, spanish for baths, is relaxation and rejuvenation in its famous thermal hotsprings. The natural hot springs flow from the impressive cliffs lining the city to the south. The bath complexes contain many pools, with individual pool temperatures ranging from hot, hot, hot to cool, clear blue.

Other activities include exploring the markets for artisan crafts and souvenirs at the boutique shops. Walking to the end of Main Street to visit the the Basilica of the Señora del Agua Santa (Virgin of the Holy Water), a beautiful church at the center of this extremely religious town. Being located at the foothills of an active volcano helps the residents keep their faith that miracles do happen! The Señora del Agua Santa has saved the little town and its people from the wrath of Tungurahua many times over the centuries. In October there is an annual festival in her honor with a procession led by the image of the Virgin, music and dancing in the streets, drinking and merrymaking.

Being the gateway to the Amazon, there is a plethora of tropical fruit and sugar cane to try including melcocha, a handmade sugarcane taffy. Other activities range from extreme adventures such as river rafting or kayaking, rock climbing, canyoning or canopy jumping (on a zip line). Or go for a hike into the Amazon jungle and view several breathtaking waterfalls, take the tarabita cable car across the Rio Pastaza gorge or just explore the diversity of the Amazonian cloud forest wildlife in the safety of a zoo setting at the San Martin Zoological Gardens.

Then in the evening warm up in the hotsprings. The night can be completed with a drive to a nice vantage point for viewing the flaming debris as it flies out of Tungurahua. And for the night owls there is ample nightlife to enjoy, there is always festive music and salsa dancing at the bars and clubs.

Special Events:
October's festival of Nuestra Señora del Agua Santa

Baños Anniversary Celebration
December 15 and 16th mark the anniversary of Baños. The celebrations begin with verbenas, where each neighborhood hires a band and residents hold street dances.

Day 1:
Drive to Baños. Explore the city's market, shops and church. In the evening we will warm up with a soak in the thermal springs. Then we drive up to a lookout to watch the activity of the nearby Tungurahua volcano or just start enjoying the active nightlife scene early.

Day 2:
You have the option to schedule:
rafting or kayaking
rock climbing
canopy jumping (on a zip line)
canyoning adventure
waterfall hike in the Amazon
visit to the San Martin zoo
tarabita cable car

Then we drive back to Quito.

Upon request, we can extend the length of this trip to fit in more activities.

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