Hola! My name is Kellie Paxian and welcome to my travel guide on the best things to do in Banos, Ecuador! I’m originally from Vancouver, Canada and I currently live abroad as a digital nomad. I work as a travel writer, editor and content creator, and I own a travel business called Adventurelust.
The purpose of Adventurelust is to inspire, empower and invite others to have adventures and see the world like I am so lucky to be able to do. I do this through offerings such as my Epic Adventure Meet-Ups (including a tour that brought me here to Ecuador), Trip Planning & On-Call Travel Buddy service and Travel Content Creation Courses & Coaching.
I feel like I am living the dream! It has taken a lot of drive, hard work and not giving up to get to this point but I am so grateful to be able to live this life and visit new countries with amazing people from around the world.
My Incredible Journey to Ecuador
I came to Ecuador on a collaboration with Enchanted Expeditions, an amazing company that arranges tours in Galapagos and on the mainland of Ecuador. Through this partnership I was able to host a cruise in the Galapagos Islands, as well as experience some of the mainland including the Andes Mountains and the enchanting Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador.
Banos – A Magical Adventure Town
Banos was a spontaneous visit for me. I had some time to kill before my tour, so I had heard it was a great backpacker and adventure destination not far from Quito. I’m so glad I went and would definitely go back again!
This town is incredible. It’s the gateway to the Amazon, so it’s super lush and green with mountains that tower high into the sky and more waterfalls than any other place I have ever seen. The cloud magic there is out of this world too. It’s a quaint town with amazing scenery and adventures for days.
One of my favorite spots in the Banos area was on the grounds of Casa del Arbol, the famous swing at the end of the world. Being there when golden hour was setting in was awesome. It was magical to watch the clouds swirl around the mountains and start to tint in color as the sun was setting.
More places that took my breath away in Banos were Pailon del Diablo (an amazing waterfall), the lush valleys where you could go zip-lining, the various hot springs of the area and the Ruta de las Cascadas with its awesome biking trails. There is something in Banos for everyone to enjoy.
Accommodation & Food Options
I stayed at Selina in Banos, which is a hostel chain that I stay in quite often when I travel in Latin America – and so of course I loved it! The staff were awesome and super welcoming, and I especially loved the wellness space where I was able to do waterfall-view yoga everyday. Highly recommended!
When it comes to places to eat, since my visit was quite short, I didn’t get much opportunity to taste a whole lot of different food in Banos. But I did love the waterfall from Casa Hood in Banos town! It was a great place to get a bite to eat and to get some work done on my laptop which was nice.
Travel Tips for Visiting Banos
I felt super safe in Banos – so as long as you are mindful of your belongings and use your common sense, you won’t need to stress about safety. The weather is wild and unpredictable in this town. Therefore, it’s a good idea to pack warm or buy an alpaca sweater from one of the many local shops.
If you have time, learn Spanish before you go. This way you will be able to converse with the locals. No doubt this will enhance your trip. I would like to finish with my favorite memory of Banos – it was golden hour at Casa del Arbol. My favorite place in the world is Cape Town and the clouds here reminded me of the “tablecloth” of clouds that caress Table Mountain.
Enjoy Banos, Ecuador everyone! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about traveling to Ecuador or you would like to join me on one of my Epic Adventure Meet-Ups or my small group Galapagos tour in 2022.