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Baños, Ecuador: a tourist trap?

Updated: May 26, 2023

Swings in the clouds, walks under waterfalls, picturesque landscapes, cable cars over canyons, parties in ''Chivas buses''... it sounds too good to be true! Were we going to get caught in a nice trap?

Baños, Équateur, province du Tungurahua
Baños, Ecuador, Tungurahua Province

A swing in the clouds

Victim of its famous swing above the void, Baños is a very popular destination for backpackers in Ecuador. And with good reason, it's tempting, the marketing of this place has been done very well, I'll let you type on Google ''Swing Banos Ecuador''... The photos and the titles are captivating! ''Terrifying swing'', ''Scariest swing'', ''A swing at the end of the world''... Who wouldn't want it? Especially in our way of life which tends us to have the best Instagram photo, we tell ourselves that we will have a lot of likes on that one. Well I won't hide it from you, that's kind of what I thought, but for my part, it was more for my film. I said to myself, ''this is an essential plan!'' So that's mainly why we found ourselves in Banos. What a great way to end the filming of the season before returning to Quebec, we supposed. As I mentioned in the transport section in the stats, the Chivas buses really do not go unnoticed in Baños. Firstly because the music is so loud that it's hard to ignore them, and, by their beautiful colors and light effects!

Chiva Bus, Banos, Équateur
Chiva Bus, Banos, Ecuador
Chiva Bus, Banos, Équateur
Chiva Bus, Banos, Ecuador, in the evening

Just getting on one of these buses is an experience in itself, I highly recommend it. In all the agencies that you will come across in the street, you can book a ticket for the day, which includes the most popular activities, and you do not need to take care of anything, we will take you wherever it is worth the penalty! The swing in the clouds (or also called Casa del Arbol / House of the tree) is located very high in altitude (2600m), the way to get there is absolutely dreamy and literally, we have the impression of rolling in the edge of a precipice in the clouds. The vegetation is sublime and despite the bad weather that we had been given, we appreciate the road. The cost of entry to Casa del Arbol is not included in the Chivas tour, which really only acts as a carrier, but that is not outrageous either ($1 per person).

At this point, we realize that we have been a little deceived by the beautiful photos on the Internet, like the panoply of people waiting in line for their chance to shine on Instagram! Besides, it's bad luck because obviously we couldn't see anything at all because of the weather. It still gave an interesting effect to the plans! I don't know if it's always like that over there, or maybe very early in the morning as usually in the mountainous regions that it's a little clearer... try your luck all the same, I would tell you, go there for the opening! It's not too much wasted money, at least.

Casa del Arbol, Équateur, fin de la file d'attente
Casa del Arbol, Ecuador, queue
Casa del Arbol, l'effet vide était là tout de même!
Casa del Arbol, the empty effect was there all the same!
Casa del Arbol, se balançer littéralement dans les nuages!
Casa del Arbol, was literally swinging in the clouds!

But hey, if you like extreme things like us, this definitely isn't the "scariest" swing around! I let you watch this short video (10 sec.) to give you an overview of what you can experience on the same road as Casa Del Arbol (the Chiva bus will take you there whether you want to experience it or not) and who, paying the price ($20) requires much more courage!

The Cascades route... extreme route!

We actually started our day with the other most popular activity, the waterfall route (ruta de las cascadas). I had read on the internet that it is possible to do this activity by bike, I have not experienced it as you now know, but it seems to me that it is not something that I would have done! The bikes we met on the road had little room to move around, cars and Chivas buses constantly passed by them. It seemed much less enchanting to me than the descriptions I had read on the internet, in any case. By far the Chiva bus is the option to take, believe me! Because in addition to dancing as if we were at a bachelorette party all day, we pass under mini-waterfalls and we put our arms in them, we can take pictures galore, it's great! The tour stops wherever it's worth it once again, and you have the choice to do the activities or not (which are paid extra, but honestly, not very expensive ($15 to $20, it's worth it). The extreme activities offered on the road are also very well thought out, in the sense that your Chiva bus will simply pick you up at the other end when you get there (don't worry, they have a memory of giants, these audantes…) You can experience suspended bridges over canyons, cable cars, ziplines, etc. This is really the most trippy part of Baños, and funny, I hadn't seen anything it on the Internet, so I'm sharing it with you! It's really worth going to Baños, we really had fun on this last day of filming!

Pont suspendu sur la route des cascades, Baños, Équateur
Suspension bridge on the road to the waterfalls, Baños, Ecuador

Téléphérique sur la route des cascades, Baños, Équateur
Cable car on the route of the waterfalls, Baños, Ecuador
Sous une mini cascade, route des cascades, Baños, Équateur
Under a mini waterfall, route of the waterfalls, Baños, Ecuador

Vue typique de la route des Cascades, à Baños, en Équateur
Typical view of the Cascades route, in Baños, Ecuador

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