One of the most popular activities in Baños is to Chase Waterfalls down the Ruta de las Cascadas to Rio Verde. While researching, renting a bicycle is the favored mode of transportation for this fun-tivity ( fun + activity :P). Being an out-of-shape, unathletic, can’t run 500ft without wanting to die – I dug deeper for an alternate option (to bicycle, motorcycle, bus, taxi, etc.). What I discovered had Corine fearing for her life a little bit, while my adventurous soul roared. I was going to follow up with “anyone care to guess?” but I think my title already gave it away…Go-Karting!
The family owned rental company was tough to negotiate with, but we were not willing to pay $50 per go-kart for 4-hours. It took us 15minutes to bargain the rental price, but in the end, we rented two Go-Karts for $35/each. They provided basic training, gave us maps, and an emergency contact number should anything were to happen. As soon as they gave us the green light, we were off Chasing Waterfalls. Did I mention it had rained cats and dogs from the moment we left our hostel? No? Well, to our luck, it did not stop until we returned.
Thank the shoe gods that we were carrying sunglasses with us. The downpour made it hard to see, especially when larger vehicles were passing by at 50mph. Regardless of that, as we drove on, the views around continued to awe us. I wanted to stop at every turn. After a few miles on the main road, we came across the paved/cobblestone road that led us down and around the cascades.
Due to the rental time limit, we opted to drive straight to Pialon de Diablo. As soon as we found the proper parking lot for our Karts, we were off. The trail is about 2.5km RT and very well-marked. In case I had forgotten to mention in my previous posts, it had rained nonstop prior to our arrival.
At the end of the trail, we came across the entrance to a suspended bridge. I am not usually afraid of heights, however, the raging river below had me a little worried – secure or not, suspended bridges are a little scary…The views, however, were worth the risk. After taking mandatory selfies and group photos, we were ready to chase the devil’s waterfall.
The closer we got to the falls, the windier and mistier it got. By the time we reached the main lookout point, we were drenched from head to toe – all over again. We decided not to descend any further – the fall was just too powerful.
Check out the video below to see how raging the waterfall was…
In order to get behind the fall, we continued on the trail ahead. Thanks to GoPro, I was able to capture two minutes of the hike to the little cave. WARNING! My language isn’t very ladylike in parts of this video… 🙈
Crazy, right?! It was impossible not to love every SECOND of this adventure. We were grateful to have run into the local the night before – without his suggestion, we probably would have missed out on it. Our little trek to the falls and back to the real world took about two hours.
Along the Ruta de las Cascadas, we had spotted a dozen zipline adventures – it seemed to be the 2nd most popular activity in Baños. We settled on the one looking across at the Cascada Agoya. For three different zip-route, we paid $15 each. I was beyond excited, until, I saw the equipment. While the straps, hard-hats, and the gloves felt secure – the zipline itself was questionable. But it was Baños, and we had couldn’t help but to chase the waterfalls.
The two guys running the show couldn’t have been older than 15, so I was not at all afraid for my life. Their instructions were pretty clear even though Corine and I didn’t understand a word of it. Luckily, Brittany was able to translate parts of it. Once we were strapped, it was show time.
From the lack of proper GoPro straps, I was unable to capture any photos/videos of our first zipline route. However, once across, I was able to take my phone out to capture the breathtaking views in front of us…
Off to spot number 2!
There was a bit of hiking involved to get to the last zipline route. It was a muddy uphill battle for a minute or two. Once again, our draws were dropped as we took in the view. At that point, I was ready to call it quits and settled down for life. Ha!
I couldn’t’ have asked for a more beautiful place to zipline for the very first time. I do regretting not doing it again given that it was only $15. On our way back to Baños, the sun decided to make an appearance, which, made the drive so dramatically beautiful.
Cost & Tips:
- $35 for each Go-Kart rental for 4hours. Bargain the price!
- Make sure to carry: waterbottle, sunglasses (rain or shine), waterproof backpack, snacks, and your will to live. The trail gets extremely narrow in certain parts of the hike – if you are cluastraphobic, you may want to stay behind.
- $15 for zipline. Double check the equipment you are provided! And HAVE FUN!
- $20 for lunch, souvenirs, and miscellaneous things.
Go-Karting for 13miles in pouring rain in one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been to, PRICELESS.
While TLC advised not to go Chasing Waterfalls – I, however, will HIGHLY recommend chasing waterfalls in Baños (and around the world)!