Banos, at the foot of Tungurahua volcano

Trip Start Apr 12, 2011
Trip End Apr 01, 2012

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Where I stayed

Flag of Ecuador  ,
Monday, August 22, 2011

We decide to visit the volcanic region of Ecuador, as it's only 4 hours south of Quito and we’re pretty much done with long bus journeys! Banos is a small town at the base of a large and rather active volcano, Volcano T (recent large eruptions and currently closed to climbers – shame).  The draw to Banos for us, are the natural hot pools and some time in the countryside.  We stay at Hostel Chimenea which turns out to be more like a family run hotel with a pool and roof terrace – very good value for $9 per person!  As usual, our trip turns out to be quite food focussed, I especially love my pancakes and fruit for breakfast while Jonny enjoys trying out a few steaks.  Other activities included, walking out of the town up to some viewpoints over the town and of the volcano – unfortunately that view was obscured by cloud, and during our stay we never managed to actually see the volcano but that was a common story from other travellers as well.  Although we did find a good cafe at the viewpoint – surprise, surprise.  In the evening we went to the hot pools which seemed to be the time all the locals went with their families and so the pools were very full and personal space was limited, people would be leaning/sitting on you.  At the same time there was a good buzz to the place.  There were two pools, one that was comfortably warm where we spent most our time.  The second was very hot and only old timers managed any decent time in that pool.  Jonny managed to ease himself into the hot pool slowly while I went for the dunk myself in the cold pool and then run into the hot pool approach.

Our remaining day in Banos was spent in the surrounding areas – walking around the waterfalls.  The waterfalls were not massive but it was a nice walk. We also got quite a few blatant stares from South American tourists – I think we are still quite a novelty here, but everyone still gives us a smile.

Our final night we went to a Swiss restaurant which was probably one of our best meals yet and most like to what you would find in the UK – so we clearly ate well in Banos!

We then head back to Quito for a day to organise ourselves to fly to Colombia the next day.
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