Baños: where all the tourists go

I don’t quite understand the draw of Baῆos. Yes it is beautiful: the town is built right below the Andes mountains. But it’s so touristy that it looks fake and made up. Like the whole town was built just to accommodate tourism. It is known for hot springs, which was nice after a freezing day rappelling down waterfalls. All over the town one will find shops and tour agencies ranging from hiking, waterfall rappelling, biking, atv rentals, horseback riding….The good thing is that these activities are so much cheaper than anywhere else I’ve been.  I rappelled down 4 waterfalls for $25 (good thing I didn’t pay the $90 for 1 waterfall in Costa Rica.) The rappelling was definitely the highlight of my stop here. I was with a group of 7 people, and a guide who refused to speak English when he found out that I know spanish. So he spoke to me in spanish, explaining the safety and proper way of rappelling, and I had to translate everything to the rest of my group!

my group hiking towards the waterfalls

my group hiking towards the waterfalls

1st waterfall. I was the first one down.

1st waterfall. I was the first one down.

rapel closeup

3rd and highest waterfall. While on top I looked down and cursed myself, it was so steep I couldn't see the bottom.

3rd and highest waterfall. While on top I looked down and cursed myself, it was so steep I couldn’t see the bottom.

4th waterfall, this one we just slid downward.

4th waterfall, this one we just slid downward.

The city of Baños:

banos

bw house

man woman

town center

town center

viewpoint of the city

viewpoint of the city