The Banos thermal baths are one of the region’s biggest tourist draws, as Banos Ecuador actually got its name from the five thermal baths located in the city. This volcanically heated water has been a pleasure for local people for hundreds of years, and now visitors have discovered the secret as well. International visitors arrive not only for the thermal baths, but also for the close proximity to a variety of adventurous activities. There is no better end to a day full of hiking and mountain biking than returning to town for a soak in the thermal baths.
The baths themselves are all located walking distance from the town, and temperature varies depending on the amount of cold water that has been mixed into the bath. This is perfect for travelers who feel they might need to work their way up to the higher temperatures. This water is known for its high mineral content and healing, medicinal properties.
There are several choices for Banos thermal baths to visit. In town, the option is called Banos de la Virgen. Other options include the Santa Clara Baths, El Salado, Santa Ana, and Eduardo’s. Many visitors love the opportunity to go for a hot soak in the mineral baths and then cool off under the cold spray of the waterfall.
Expect to see both international visitors and local people when you go to the baths. Some of the water will be clearer than others, but don’t be put off if it has a slight brown color. When you step foot in the baths, it is almost difficult to comprehend that the heat is generated by the active volcano, Tungurahua. If you only have limited time in the city and must choose among the baths, ask at your Banos hotel or hostel for recommendations from locals.