A Family RTW Travel Adventure (2008-2009)
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Chillin’ in Banos

Banos is the kind of place a person could go to disappear for a while. That’s what American expats Marshia Jackson and Jim Redd appear to have done.

The pair left Chicago in 2004 and bought the Banos B&B Posada del Arte, where we had the pleasure to stay during our visit to this picturesque adventure-filled town.

Banos, Ecuador

Jackson and Redd have created a lovely, comfortable B&B which they have filled with imaginative Ecuadorian art.  They recently took over management of Casa del Abuelo, just around the corner.  It too is being filled with local paintings, sculptures and other works of art.

Banos was the third stop on our Ecuadorian road trip.  Every Quiteno we spoke to strongly recommended visiting the place; we’re glad we did.

Banos, Ecuador

The small, compact town, surrounded by mountains, is one of Ecuador’s most popular destinations.  It is also the gateway to the jungle – Ecuador’s Amazon Basin.

There are dozens of tour operators offering mountain biking, rafting, canyoning and jungle adventures.

Banos, Ecuador

While there is plenty of adventure to be found in Banos, we were in town to relax, so we took in the attraction from which the town takes its name: the steaming thermal baths (banos) heated by the volcano Tungurahua.

After a great dinner and a relaxing night’s sleep at Casa del Abuelo, we went to town’s best known bath, La Piscina de La Virgen.

The baths have three pools of varying temperatures – one cold, another warm and one that reaches nearly 115 degrees – making it a popular spot for vacationing Ecuadorian families.

Banos, Ecuador

The murky water (containing chlorates, sulfates and magnesium) is known for its “restorative and healthful properties.”

While there, we mimicked the locals who stood under a cold shower of water diverted from a nearby waterfall, then jumped into the hot pool.

It was the perfect antidote to our bone-chilling night at Laguna Quilotoa.

In fact, the only reason to leave Banos would be another eruption of Tungurahua, the active volcano that looks over the town.

So long as Tungurahua only belches smoke and ash, it’s just another tourist attraction in a town that offers the right mix of adventure and relaxation.

August 14, 2008   4 Comments

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