Hiking at High Altitude – Banos, Ecuador
Surrounded by vibrant peaks, waterfalls and thermal baths within the town and an active volcano dominating the skyline, Banos is an inviting destination for tourists.
Famous for its markets, laid back vibe, good restaurants and great biking and walking country many a back packer has stayed longer than they intended. It is also the gateway to the jungle and Amazon Basin and it is a spectacular ride down the road that drops towards the Basin.
Any ideas of a quick jaunt up the mountain pathway should be dispelled as the treks are long and hard and altitude will cause one to gasp for breath. Take it easy, go prepared and the hard work will pay off as the views are spectacular.
Stop on the way up for breath, sit quietly and you may be lucky enough to see the humming birds that live in the area. Take a circular route and treat yourself to a meal/massage/dip at the spa resort that hangs of the side of the valley above the town.
Back in town check out the roasted guniea pigs and the local ‘taffy’ that you can see being made in the main streets.
Heading out beyond the bus station walk to the valley on the other side of town. Check out the zoo – it was goodvalue and the animals are healthy and in large enclosures.
Take a bus down to Puyo and get off at the waterfalls and walk back to Banos - stop for lunch at any one of the restaurants on the way and eat a cheap but good set lunch.
Keep an eye out for the wild life you never know who may be watching you!