Baños, Ecuador is by far the coolest place in Ecuador of all time. This place is not only gorgeous, but also full of activities to keep you busy for days. It is like a melting pot of awesomeness.

Destination: Baños, Ecuador / Tourist Package: $35 / Transportation: Included / CD of photos: $5

This was the best $35 I ever spent. It included three ziplines (I'm talking LONG ziplines HIGH above the jungle and across a gigantic river); repelling three waterfalls and one rock wall; hiking through the jungle; a guided tour with lessons about all kinds of plants that either resemble reproductive organs, illegal substances or el diablo himself (it's true, super hilarious); a beautiful mountain drive and if he likes you free lunch made by the cutest lil lady on this side of la selva.

Hi, my name is Kylie (triplet #1) and I'm terrified of heights. Repelling waterfalls was a BIG deal for me. I was so scared on the first wall that I about died of a heart attack and wasn't sure I'd be able to do it.  I tried to be real brave and I am so glad I did - because this was sooo worth it. I couldn't believe the incredible amount of adrenaline that rushed through my body when I'd finish a repel. SUPER RAD. Things got real slippery when the water would pound on me as I made the descend, but I put all my trust in the ropes and my right hand to keep me secure.

I don't know if I've told you this before, but I'm a super clutz. I have a tendency to slip, fall, trip, and you-name-it on things from cracks in the sidewalks to moss on rocks to nothing at all. Here I am making my debut after our dip into that little water hole. You had to hold your body just right because if you stuck your arms out you'd hit a bunch of rocks. I had to be reeeeeal careful. Then this happened.

One waterfall down, two to go! This is what it looked like til you hit the bottom. How radical is that? It really feels rewarding to look up the waterfall and see what you just conquered. Fears were trumped! Adventures were had! Contaminated water was swallowed!

Oh, and lest not forget, me - slipping and falling (again) in the middle of a repel. You can't really tell but this was smack in the middle of a waterfall. I had quite the traumatic moment there, for a few minutes. I just sat on the waterfall and tried to remember that my hand is my gas/brake and that this rope won't let me die. The guide was cheering me on at the bottom. Boy, that sure helps!

On top of the repel, jungle hike and all the other fun hoob-a-joob I got some face paint. This was just the beginning. After he used a leaf with orange paint in the stem, just as the indigenas did, he painted a tribal masterpiece on my face that I wore proudly the rest of the day.

Whoza. Totally worth facing your fears, dudes. I was shaking like a leaf at first, with a pit in my tummy. After I did all this crazy adventuring, I went home with a smile so huge and a confidence boost enough to make the sun come out. Whatever. I'm not that poetic. I just remember to try not to be a wuss, because humans have a tendency to look back and regret.
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7 comments on BAÑOS - NOT THE BATHROOM

  1. Very interesting your review and nice photo of Banos. I visited the city as well, summer 2010 and I loved the relaxing atmosphere the city offers, but also all the activities available for active tourists like me.

    Well done writing your article and nice project you guys have put up together.

    I am dying to go back to Banos Ecuador again but maybe this time Argentina sounds like a new project for me..


    Is this the agency you hired for the canopy adventure? loved the pics..

  2. we went with a group called finca tres cascadas. they were amazing! thanks for asking (good question). the guide's name was nacho and he was the coolest dude ever.

  3. amazing! I would love to do that, but I know I'd be scared out of my mind! What tour group were you with?

  4. Haha. I'm not even going to lie. When I saw the word "baños" as your title, I thought you were going to talk about a variety of bathrooms/washrooms... Silly me. Zip lining looks absolutely terrifying, but also really fun! I think I would try it. :-)

  5. I just found your blog and spent several days reading through the whole thing. It was fun! I am LDS as well, and at the age of 32 I have never left the U.S.! (Well, I went to Tijuana when I was 14, but big deal. ;) ) I grew up impoverished, then developed some chronic (expensive) health conditions. Now my husband of 11 years and I have a beautiful 6-month-old micropreemie daughter, and I want nothing more than for her to see the world. I vow to make it happen! Thanks for sharing your stories, pictures and tips.


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