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Baños: The Amazon Gate


Hemmed in by luxuriant green peaks, blessed with steaming thermal baths and adorned by beautiful waterfalls, Baños is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations.

Ecuadorians and foreigners like flock to this idyllically set town to hike, soak in the baths, ride mountain bikes, zip around on rented quad-runners, volcano-watch, party and taste food and town’s famous “melcocha” (sugar cane taffy). Baños is also the gateway town into the jungle via Puyo and Misahuallí. East of Baños, the road drops spectacularly, and exceptional views of the upper Amazon Basin stretch out below, also available over the handlebars of a mountain bike, which you can rent in town for the downhill ride.

Getting Around

Baños is famous for some of them are fed by thermal springs from the base of the active Tungurahua volcano. Baños’ elevation gives it an agreeable climate, and the surroundings are green and attractive. For a while there, the attraction of watching the erupting Tungurahua practically dwarfed the baths.

“Baños” is also the gateway town into the jungle via Puyo and Misahualli. East of Baños, the road drops spectacularly, and there are exceptional views of the upper Amazon Basin stretching before you. In the town itself, there are more attractions: an interesting Basilica, a small museum, a little nightlife and restaurants with local cuisine.

History & Culture

Early History

The city is also a Roman Catholic religious center, as some Catholic believers say that the Virgin Mary appeared nearby a waterfall. So a sculpture of the virgin, called Virgen de Agua Santa was placed in the cathedral. The history of the town is intimately linked with the highly active Tungurahua volcano. In October 1999, all 17,000 residents were forced to evacuate the city for weeks.


Basílica de La Reina Del Rosario de Agua Santa

Those who visit Baños de Agua Santa, cannot leave without visiting the Basilica de la Reina del Rosario de Agua Santa, no doubt for all the inhabitants of Baños, is the most important architectural infrastructure of the county, this artistic work defied time and history and it was in 1944 when construction was finally completed. The Virgen de Agua Santa is attributed many miracles, his devotees have witnessed through hundreds of offerings found inside the Sanctuary.


El Pailón del Diablo Waterfall

The Pailón Del Diablo is a huge waterfall, located 30 minutes from the town of Baños, on the road to Puyo (Pastaza), in Rio Verde. Considered one of the biggest attractions in the area, his name is similar to the formation of a pan and also when viewed from the suspension bridge can be seen in the rock face of the devil.



Manto de la Novia Waterfall

In the Manto de la Novia will find the harmonious sound of nature, lush vegetation and crystal clear water that gives this beautiful waterfall. Located 12 km from Baños, before Green River is the ideal place to take a break and get away from the routine of the city. It is the only waterfall in the country located in the urban area and can be seen from anywhere in the city, next to this are the thermas of the Virgin.


Machay Waterfall

The Machay is the most remote waterfall of the route of the cascades and it can be reach by bus or bicycle that you can rent in town. The Cascade, 45 meters high, is reached by descending some stairs and following a path with a diverse flora and fauna.



Tungurahua Volcano

With an elevation of 5016m, Tungurahua is Ecuador’s 10th-hihest peak. It was a beautiful, cone-shaped volcano with a small cap of snow perched jauntily atop its lush, green slopes. Since the many eruptions beginning in late 1999, much of the snow has melted, and the cone and crater have changed in shape.