Banos (or properly, Baños) lies in the heart of Ecuador, close to the rainforest and surrounded by majestic mountains. On the three-hour drive from Quito, you can admire the magnificent and famous Avenue of the Volcanoes, with Cotopaxi, a perfect cone of eternal snow. Chimborazo, the furthest peak away from the earth’s center and Tungurahua, probably the easiest volcano to climb in Ecuador.
Baños is a place for relaxing while enjoying the therapeutic hot springs, unspoiled green surroundings and breathtaking waterfalls. The town’s exceptional location offers a combination of colors and light that has inspired painters and poets alike. It is with good reason that artists such as Montalvo, Leon Vieira and Oscar Efren Reyes have been living in this pretty resort town for years. Today, several galleries offer painting and sculptures by talented local artists.
Baños’ night life is among Ecuador’s most exciting: cinema, cafe theater, bars, clubs, street music, etc…
Melcocha, Ecuador’s most famous candy, also originates in Baños. Made from sugar cane, hung from a hook and beaten against the door frame, this taffy is an integral part of the Baños landscape, and something of which the locals are proud.
Baños’s basilica Santuario de Baños, dominating the main square, was built with volcanic rock in the 1920s. It was constructed in the gothic style and contains illustrations of the miracles of the Virgin – a reflection of popular art. Since the Pope canonized the Virgin of the Holy Water in 1959, Baños has attracted visitors from all over Ecuador.
Below is a list of some of the best day trips from Guayaquil, Ecuador.
The Botanical Garden of Guayaqil is located at the foot of the Cerro Colorado hill at Avenida Francisco de Orellana. Here you can find three thousand varieties of vegetable species including hundred and fifty varieties of orchids.
Another great short trip is to Cerro Blanco. Situated at Km. 15 on the coast road it is a representative sample of a tropical dry forest and constitutes an important refuge for more than hundred and ninety species of land birds and six species of sea birds.
Puerto Hondo, 17 kilometers away on the road to the coast, is a large reserve of mangrove trees. Also here is an archeological site called Palombamba where fairly well preserved archeological finds have been made, and which correspond to the Huancavilca culture.
All are easily accessible by car or hitchhiking – normal larger buses aren’t always easy to find this far out of the city. However by asking locals you may be able to find a small minibus.
Sightseeing in South Guayaquil reveals some of the city’s best monuments.
Parque Espana is located facing the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
In its center stands the statue of Sebastian de Benalcazar, the founder of San Francisco de Quito
In the Parque de la Armada lies the Calderon, a gunboat which played an outstanding role in the naval battle of Jambeli in 1941.
It now contains a historical museum.
Also nearby are the Centro Civico Theater, the planetarium of the Navy.
Finally you come to the Puerto Maritimo, Guayaquil’s main port and in fact one of the most important ports of South America on the Pacific side.
It is considered that 80% of the country’s exports and 50% of its imports pass through it.