Aside from the Galápagos Islands, I was looking forward to spending three days in Baños; the adventure capital of Ecuador. Remember Pedro? Well, he escorted us to Quito bus station and gave us safety tips before departing. After brushing the very pushy bus vendors off, purchasing tickets for a whopping $5/each, we boarded the bus to Baños. I have a great talent for falling asleep anywhere and at any time, but the ride to Baños was just breathtaking. I was snap, snapping away throughout the 4hr scenic drive…
We arrived in rainy Banos 4 hours later. Th Great Hostels Backpackers was a bit out of the city centre – we chose to walk instead of catching a cab. This gave us an opportunity to see the town. We couldn’t’ have asked for a better place. Our room was clean, and the view was to die for.
After settling in, we took off in search of the indoor food market we had passed earlier. To our demise, it was closed. We decided to opt for our second option that a fellow traveler had recommended. An organic, vegetarian-friendly restaurant in Baños? Yes, please! Cafe Hood offers a variety of international cuisines (including Ecuadorian). We had the place to ourselves, which gave us a chance to meet the owner who was friendly and took good care of us girls. I settled for corn patties, with eggs, cheese, small salad and fresh-baked corn. It was heavenly, all three of us were in a food coma.
After our lovely dinner, we strolled up to Las Piscinas de la Virgen; a popular hot spring spot built-in 1928. It opens at 7:00 pm for everyone to enjoy but we decided to skip out on it and roam around the town instead.
During our stroll, we struck up a conversation with passing by local. He spoke broken English but was delighted to tell us about Baños. We told him of our plan to rent Go-Carts and going down to Pailon del Diablo (Devil’s Cauldron) – upon hearing that; he highly recommended that we continue the trail past the main waterfall in that park. Apparently, there is a hidden spot that takes you right behind the waterfall. We were intrigued and promised him we absolutely would. After twenty minutes of chatting, we bid farewell and went back to our hostel for the night.
Back in our hostel, we had few beers and played round of pool with fellow hostellers. By midnight, it was time to call it a night as we were to go chase waterfalls the next day…