Banos, Ecuador Day 2

I have an irrational fear of waterfalls and caves and I experienced both those things on my second day in Banos. 

We started the day off by going to one of the hot springs in town. I let the minerals infuse with my skin and prayed to the Virgin Mary that my ailments would all disappear, as one does.

  
We then visited the Basillica Reina del Rosario de Agua Santa. For such a small town, this was a big and beautiful church. My favorite aspect of it were the murals that lined the walls depicting local miracles.

  

 Our last stop in Banos was the Pailon del Diablo. This is where my fear of waterfalls and caves comes in. 

We took a public bus for $1.00 and took a hike to the falls. We dodged branches, crossed rivers and swatted mosquitos. Finally, I heard the roar of the waterfall and my heart began to pound out of my chest.

  
 This place was magical. We had to crawl through a cave to get a closer look at the waterfall, which I hesitantly did in order to stay with my companions. All the while I thought of what an adventure this has been, and what more fears I need to conquer in order to get the most out of life.

I definitely recommend a trip to Banos since there is something for everyone. Whether you like soaking in a hot spring or zip lining across canyons you are bound to have a great time.

Banos, Ecuador

I have this habit of falling in love with a picture on the Internet, then becoming obsessed with going to that destination. 

The first time this happened was with a National Geographic picture of Angkor Wat. I was lucky enough to visit the exact place where the picture was taken, and sure enough it was even more amazing in person. 

It happened again when I visited Banos. 

We took the 4 hour bus ride from Quito to Banos and checked into our hostel, the Princesa Maria. Like after every trip we were starving, and decided to eat llapingachos at a stall in the market.

Meat with a fried egg, rice, salad, beets avocado and delicious fried potato cakes all for $2.50.

After that, we took the dollar bus up the mountain to La Casa del Arbol, where I was able to “swing at the end of the world”.

  
After taking turns on the swing, we headed to get the last bus to Banos as the fog rolled in. It started to get a little chilly, and a man was sitting outside his restaurant asking us if we wanted hot chocolate. 

It was the most delicious chocolate I have had in a long time. It was so unique and had a creamy texture but without the heaviness of milk. It warmed me up before we took the ride back down the mountain.

  
I saw a picture of Banos on the Internet a few years ago, and as with any epic picture, I figured I would never get a chance to go there. 

I think what I’ve learned from my travels is that the world is a small place full of big surprises. I never thought I would go to the Great Wall of China, and I ended up climbing it twice. I never thought I would see my mother’s country, and here I am sitting in the warmth of it’s sun.

Quito, Ecuador

Ecuador is the most beautiful country I have ever visited. I’d like to now admit that I am completely biased since I am half Ecuadorian, but as the plane approached the runway, the sun illuminated the beautiful mountains and I felt at home.

We arrived at our hostel with growling stomachs, and decided to go to a restaurant two blocks away called Achiote Ecuadorian Cuisine. 

We went all out. Llapingachos, Patacones, Fritada, all washed down with a tall glass of Chicha. As we ate a man played sad love songs on on the guitar.

  
I am so honored and excited to have the privaledge to visit my mother’s country, and I can’t wait to explore more. Next up, Banos.