Baños de Agua Santa

Photo by: Eddyl, Creative Commons

Despite the volcanic activity ten years ago that forced an evacuation from Baños, Ecuador; the town remains a popular tourist attraction to both Ecuadorian & foreign visitors. Pilgrims, volcanologists and tourists come to Baños, Ecuador for many reasons.

Most of them come for the Basilica, the famed hot springs and scenery you can access via Puyo and Misahualli. The village is near the Tungurahua volcano, also known as ‘The Black Giant’. It is the largest volcano in Ecuador.

A popular time to go there is during October, or during the festival of the Virgin of the Holy Waters. It attracts pilgrims with its religious processions, music, dances and fireworks.

Another popular feast is during December 15 or 15 where the Baños Anniversary is celebrated. Each barrio hires a band and the Baños residents hold street dances. The Baños anniversary is complete with parades, sports events and street fairs.

Ecuador enjoys a spring like climate during most of the year. The climate is often misty and cloudy, but doesn’t interfere with Baños activities.

Busses to and from Baños, Ecuador arrive to Ecuadorian cities such as Ambato, Quito, Riobamba, Puya, Cuenca, Latacunga and Misahualli. The bus station is located at Terminal Terreste, within walking distance to most hotels.
You can also rent jeeps or you can travel by mule.
Things to Do while in Baños:

• Church of the Virgin of the Holy Water

Baños actually got its name from the Church of the Virgin of the Holy Water or Nuestra Senora del Agua Santa. It is a place for pilgrimage to those who want to thank the Virgin Mary for the miracles and to ask for her blessings. The church is of Gothic architectural style from volcanic rock during the 1100s. Inside the church are depictions of the volcanic eruption and the miracles.

• Hot Springs

The baths, or Baños, are within walking distance of the center of Baños. The waters are colored with high mineral content. Enjoy the Thermal Springs near Hotel Sangay and the Santa Clara baths with a sauna and gym. Other baths El Salado, Santa Ana and Eduardos are also near town.

Shopping tips

• Baños has some really high quality crafts, handiwork and silver jewelry. Check them out at local craft stalls and shops.
• Buy and try out the local sugar cane taffy ‘Melcocha’.
• The Baños market also has some fine local produce at a low, low price.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *