Baños de Agua Santa, more often referred to as Baños, is a tourist centre in central Ecuador surrounded by towering mountains and volcanos. When venturing out to Baños keep in mind that one doesn’t go there for the town itself but rather the beautiful and exciting activities. These include hiking, rafting, Casa de Arbol, viewing active volcanoes and stunning waterfalls.
One first needs to descend along a well marked path before ascending again towards the waterfall. The vegetation is beautiful but this is the sight you are required to sweat for – work your gluteus for those empanadas later. As you climb the last step and Pailon comes into view it all becomes worthwhile. The noise and spray of the 80m whirlwind of water crashing beside you is rather humbling.
One of the most well known waterfalls in Ecuador Pailon del Diablo, ‘Cauldron of the Devil’, is made special by the way it may be experienced. After gawping at it from the initial viewing platform I got on my hands and knees and climbed through a tunnel, pushing myself closer towards the waterfall. Once on that viewing platform, climb closer still through a hole in the. Rock above you, eventually placing yourself behind the water curtain.
Standing behind the torrent of water is terrifying, tempting a body so powerful… The feeling of playing with fire, rather than water, comes to mind.
Go early. I arrived around 8.30. As I was leaving there were tour buses arriving – large numbers of people are not ideal when negotiating stairs and narrow paths. My other piece of advice would definitely be to wear waterproof or quick drying clothing – I have a one piece bathing suit under my Lululemons – and obviously not heels, as one woman was trying to do!
Another tick on the bucket list!
I’m Just Not That Way,