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Travel Guide South America Ecuador Baños



banos calientes

banos calientes

© jazmine

Baños is a popular tourist destination on the eastern side of the Andes in Ecuador. What Baños is mainly known for its stunning hot springs and mountain views. Although there is much more to enjoy in Baños, such as biking, hiking and stunning cloud forests. Baños is a great place to spend a couple days relaxing and letting your bones have a rest. Just remember that there are several active volcanos nearby that make the water hot but can also cause earthquakes and eruptions.

Warning: There have been reports in the past about violent robberies in Baños, especially around the mirador (viewing point) on the mountain slopes west of town. According to the reports, a small gang robbed Western tourists of their passports, later to offer them back in return for a finders fee. The current safety situation is unknown, but it is recommended to avoid visiting the mirador in the evening or on your own.



Sights and Activities

  • Church of the Virgin of the Holy Water (Nuestra Señora del Agua Santa) - This neo-Gothic style church is named after the vision of the Virgin Mary seen near the appropriately named waterfalls and is therefore a place of pilgrimage for those who come to thank the Virgin for many miracles and to ask for her blessing. It was built with many volcanic rocks and the inside is lined with paintings depicting the Virgin's miracles, including saving the church from several volcanic eruptions.



Getting There

By Bus

The small bus terminal (terminal terrestre) is on the north edge of town and is within walking distance to the center and most hotels.

There are frequent connections to Baños from Quito's southern Quitumbe terminal (3½ hours, $4.25), Riobamba (2 hours, $2) and Guayaquil (5½ hours, $7). The closest bigger town is Ambato (1 hour, $1.10 from Terminal Mayorista, $2.20 from main terminal) and buses go frequently between the two towns.

There are reports of scams on the Amazonas bus company, whereby passengers are ditched in the southern districts of Quito. When ditched passengers then buy another ticket with another company, they are told they have to return to Quito and argue for a refund.



Getting Around

Easy, just walk. Nowhere is more than a 15-minute walk from where you start and usually even less. It is relatively flat in the city centre.

Also check out the mountain biking section should you wish to explore further afield.

There are plenty of taxis around should you need one. For most places in town a ride should cost you less than $1.

Motorcycles can be rented for $15/hr for a 250cc off-road style bike. They will not ask for a license but will hold onto your passport. The agency near Hotel Passiflora has good quality Honda bikes maintained just as well. Be sure to take photos of the bike before you drive it away.




  • Alto Caribe (back side of the block the church is on). Astonishingly good South American fusion for a low price. Healthy preparation and warm staff. $3.50-7.
  • Casa Hood, Martinez & Eloy Alfaro, ☎ +593 3-274 2668. Perhaps the most recommended restaurant in Banos, Casa Hood serves up an eclectic array of dishes that are all outstanding, including many vegetarian options. The atmosphere here is very relaxed and the many bookshelves full of books and games make it feel like a living room. Any of the books can be traded for your own and the games are open for anyone to play. $5-8.
  • Mercado Central (one block east from Parque Palomino Flores). During the day you can find affordable meals inside Baños' market. $1.50.
  • Napolitano Pizzeria Restaurante, 12 de Noviembre & Martinez. A laid-back Italian restaurant with outstanding lasagna. Also has a pool table in the back room.
  • Pancho's Snack Bar, Rocafuerte & Maldonado, ☎ +593 3-274 2395. The confusing mix of cultures inside these doors make the place a hit. Enjoy your superhamburguesa between the shrine to Che Guevara and the pictures of John Wayne.




  • Bar Cafe Jack Rock, Eloy Alfaro 541 & Ambato, ☎ +593 3-274 1329. Rock and roll bar with an always-busy foosball table.
  • Discoteca The Trebol, Av. Montalvo & 16 de Diciembre, ☎ +593 3-274 1501.
  • Leprechaun Bar, Eloy Alfaro (between Oriente and Espejo), ☎ +593 3-274 1537. This is the happening place for travellers and hip people in Baños to hang out. By the front bar there is a large dance floor with the DJ playing a variety of music. Upstairs is a smaller dance floor. But the real gem of the place is the back yard, which has another bar, a stage for occasional live music, and a large fire pit that the staff keeps roaring all night long on weekends. Be sure to try the signature "Flaming Bob Marley" shot.




  • El Marques Posada, Pasaje V. Ibarra y Av. Montalvo, ☎ +593 3 740053. At the foot of the magnificent Cascada de la Virgin, El Marques Posada is a sociable and welcoming hostel decorated with warm colours and boasting incredible views of Baños from the roof terrace.
  • Erupción Hostel, Maldonado y Eugenio Espejo (Half a block south from the south east corner of the bus terminal). An economic option if you want to pitch a tent in town. The place has a shared outdoor kitchen, hot showers, a pizza oven running on wood, and a large turtle that might walk into your tent at some point. The staff consists solely of short-term volunteers that do not care too much about the guests. (The owners also run another hostel & restaurant at the corner of Ambato and Thomas Halflants that does not offer camping.) $3 camping, $8 dorm, $24 private room.
  • Hostal El Recreo (Across the highway from the center of town, turn off the main road at the Amazonas bus stop and follow the signs). Chill family-run hostel, walking distance from the center. 3-bed dorms, Wi-Fi, kitchen, TV, clean, and the owners are very friendly. dorm $7.
  • Hostal Princesa María, Rocafuerte y Mera, ☎ +593 3 2741 035, e-mail: A bit of a walk from the main strip, but a friendly budget option with free internet and wifi, kitchen, DVD player and good hot showers. dorm $8.
  • Hostel Transilvania, 16 de Diciembre y Oriente, ☎ +593 32742281. Big bright rooms and a great, relaxed atmosphere. Run by two backpackers who know exactly what budget travelers need and want. Tons of free amenities, gorgeous views and a their own fantastic restaurant next door.
  • Illuchi Camping (across Puente San Francisco (where the bungee is) after 100 m (300 ft) go through a gate on your left and follow the trail up.). Camping area with a great view and great vibe just outside of Baños. Has a fully equipped kitchen and hot showers. No WiFi. $2 camping.
  • La Chimenea, Luis A Martinez & Rafael Vieira (Coming from the bus station, continue 4 blocks along Calle Maldonado and turn left onto Calle Martinez. From there, you'll find La Chimenea around six blocks along and on your right.), ☎ +593 3 274 2725. Check-out: 12:00. Really nice place, very good value. Lovely roof-top terrace and cafe. Friendly, relaxed, and helpful staff. Every room is clean and modern, with hot water and balcony. No TVs. Internet computers in lobby (free). Swimming pool and jacuzzi. Steam baths available for rent. Information about the area. $7.50-8.50 per person.
  • Plantas y Blanco, Martinez y 12 de Noviembre, ☎ +593 3 274 0044. Opened by French owner Michel Leseigneur, this is one of the old favourites in Baños with it's great location in the centre of town. $6-9 dorm, $10-12 per person for a private room.
  • Flat Share Baños, Calle Oriente 905 y 12 de Noviembre, ☎ +593 87 947038, e-mail: A Spanish teacher rents out several rooms in his centrally located apartment. There is a communal kitchen, bathroom with hot water, a living area and free Wi-Fi in this well-lit, clean apartment. $12 per person.
  • Hostería Miramelindo, Via Baños-Puyo Km. 15 Parroquia Rio Verde, ☎ +593 3 249 3004. $30.
  • La Floresta Hospedaje, Montalvo y Thomas Halflants, Banos, ☎ +593 32741824. Hotel with large airy rooms, spotlessly clean, helpful English speaking staff, a pleasant garden and excellent breakfast. $72-119 for a room.
  • Luna Runtun, Caserio Runtun Km. 6, ☎ +593 3 274 0882. This adventure spa is located on a ridge high above the city and features swimming pools filled with volcanically heated water.
  • Samari, Av. de las Amazonas Vía a Puyo Km. 1, ☎ +593-3 - 2741 855. This all-inclusive spa resort is the most expensive accommodation in the city.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)



Keep Connected


Internet cafes can be found nearly everywhere in the major cities and in many of the smaller ones. Cost is from $1 to $2 per hour in the large cities, and the better places have high-speed access. In some cafes, restaurants, and hotels you can find free wifi access, most of them protected by passwords; in most cases, you just have to ask for the password.


See also International Telephone Calls

The international telephone code for Ecuador is 593. The general emergency number is 911, but there are special ones of police (101) and fire (102).

The centre of most towns, cities and villages have telephone 'shops', advertised in the street as 'cabinas'. Go in, ask for a free phone booth and call. There is usually a digital display giving the cost (per second) of your call, whether local, national or international. You can call the United States for about $0.10 per minute and Europe for a bit more. Avoid making a phone call through an operator; the cost for an international call can be $3 or more per minute. For calls within Ecuador, it is possible to use a telephone cabin.

Some mobile phone SIM cards of various networks have problems working in Ecuador - you can purchase a local network SIM (for an unlocked phone) for a few dollars in local mobile phone shops. The costs of calling are higher though at around $0.45 an hour.


Correos del Ecuador is the national postal service of Ecuador. It's fairly reliable to send postcards and letters to other countries, though count on at least 5 days up to weeks for it to arrive. In general, postal services to North America are much faster than to other western countries. Prices start at around $1 (up to 20 grams), but rise steeply after that. You can get stamps at post offices or small shops/kiosks. Post offices generally are open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays, although there are slight variations throughout the country. If you are going to send heavier post or post which has more value, it might be better to contact private courier companies like DHL, TNT, UPS or FedEx, which are generally about the same price and much faster!


Quick Facts


  • Latitude: -2.226925
  • Longitude: -80.702568

Accommodation in Baños

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as well as Lavafalls (3%), Peter (1%), dr.pepper (1%), bentivogli (1%)

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This is version 24. Last edited at 8:42 on Feb 16, 18 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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