A Travellerspoint blog

enjoying Banos to the fullest

For the first time since we began our trip here in Ecuador, we had an entire day free to ourselves and although me and Tania are the first ones to grasp this opportunity with both hands, we still allowed us to be temped with a morning bike ride from Banos to Rio Verde, which according to our tour leader Freddy was going to be a very easy ride, not that this meant a thing of course but still … because something is easy, doesn’t necessarily means this should be a bad thing!

So, all ready for yet another exciting day, the both of us arrived promptly at 8.30 AM at the reception area, where we met up with 10 other members of our group, as well as our tour leader Freddy. 

While most people of our group were going to do other exciting things like horse riding and rafting, our rather large group of 13 people walked slowly towards the bike shop where we got our essentials like a helmet and of course … a bike! 

As soon as we were all ready to go, we followed Freddy, who led us straight out of town and although he told us yesterday that the ride to Rio Verde was only going to be downhill, the moment we left the town, we got our first little hill … of course this wasn’t too big of a problem, but the last couple of days I began to notice whenever our tour leader says one thing … it turns out just the opposite … very strange!!??

We must have been riding for about 5 km’s when we suddenly had a quick stop at the Agoyan Hydroelectric dam from where we had a great view on the Pastaza river and as soon as we were all ready for another few kilometers, we were on our merry way again. Instead of going only downhill, like we were told, once in a while we also conquered a few “bumps” as well, but to be honest, that wasn’t our biggest problem, the persistent rain however, was something completely different. I can honestly say that I hate rain, especially if you have to ride in it … no fun at all!

Next stop on our ride, were the Falls of Agoyan, which we visited a few days ago as well and although we saw them last in awesome weather, even in the rain they are quite impressive, which on itself was quite interesting.

Freddy gave us all a chance to go for another canopy ride if we wanted and of course, the both of us went for it! 

We were already soaking wet, so we had nothing to loose and as soon as we were geared up again, we said our Hail Mary, got a push from the guys upstairs and before we knew it, we were flying like a bird … in the rain! 

That last part wasn’t exactly the most fun and as soon as we were flying, I noticed I couldn’t keep my eyes open coz it hurt that much, but still, once we arrived at the other side, we chose to go through the air as well, so we had to walk up a few meters, which was actually very though, but the reward of flying back, even with my eyes closed, was well worth all the sorrow we had gone through … I am so loving this!

Besides me and Tania, a few other women of our group went for a ride in the sky and as soon as they got back, we went for our second half of our morning ride. Sadly enough, it was still raining, but we made the most of it and as soon as we rode for another few more kilometers, we arrived at our third stop of the morning, where we went for a walk of about an hour and besides seeing one waterfall, we even crossed a few locals, which on itself was quite interesting … not even mentioning the muddy roads we walked on.

During our walk, we got a bit of luck as the weather changed for the better, but as soon as we arrived in Rio Verde, the pickup place for our bikes as well, we were still soaking wet and in my case even hypothermia seemed to emerge as well. I was just so glad to see that local bus which took us back to the center of Banos. 

As soon as I got out of that bus, me and Tania wanted to go back to the hotel as quickly as possible, but not before we had one stop at the yummy empanada place to fill our already hungry stomachs. With something warm and delicious in our hands, we walked all the way back to our room and a hot shower and a change of clothes later, I felt all human again and was more than ready for an afternoon of exploring the town.

By the time it was 4 PM, we had seen all there was to see in town and since we weren’t interested anymore in going from one souvenir shop to another, we decided to go for that other thing we were thinking about for the last couple of days. Although we should have visited "Casa Del Arbol" with our group, for some reason Freddy didn’t mention it, but knowing us, if it is mentioned in the program, we had to see it.

After inquiring some info at a local taxi, the driver told us it was but a half hours ride away from the centre of town. The weather had chanced for the better, we still had a few hours of daylight ahead of us, the price was more than right and we had a female driver in front of us … did we need more signs to go ahead with this … of course NOT!

Once we got seated in that yellow cab, we were on our way towards “the end of the world” and I have to admit, driving up the mountain after countless of turns, made me truly believe we were driving towards the end of the world. Although our driver told us it was going to take but half an hour, it took us almost an hour, but the reward of seeing that infamous treehouse together with the swing was well worth it. 


Sadly enough we couldn’t see the Tungurahua volcano because of the fog hanging around, but still … we had half an hour of fun on the swing and knowing you are above a canyon is more than thrilling enough to say the least!

On the way back to town, we had the company of a rainbow, which was actually really cool and as soon as we got back to our hotel, we just picked up our swimmers for our last goal of the day, which was a visit to the local thermal baths, where we arrived just after dark. Unlike the thermal baths in Papallacta, which were basically meant for tourists, these baths were more visited by the locals and less decorated. Instead of beautiful landscaped swimming pools, these were just concrete pools with brown but incredible hot water and although me and Tania were amongst the few foreigners who wanted to go for a swim, we were welcomed with a smile and interrogated as only an Ecuadorian can do.

By the time it was 8 PM, we were starving and sought out something to eat, which of course wasn’t to big of a problem. Thanks to the Lonely Planet, we found a nice establishment close to the thermal baths and about an hour later, we were happy campers once again.

Completely knackered, we slowly walked back to the hotel, where we still needed to pack all of our stuff, which we finally managed, but by the time it was 12 PM, I urgently needed to close my eyes. I was already in zombie mode while putting on some itching lotion and as soon as my head touched my pillow, I was of to dreamland.

Posted by Ils1976 05:42 Archived in Ecuador

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents


Very long but fun day I am sure. And I love the photo on the swing.

by littlesam1

Thank you so much Larry ... it was something I will never forget ... the freedom that you feel when you go on the swing, not to mention the awesome view!

by Ils1976

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.