Banos - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Banos


The small town of Banos, a holiday favourite for its hot springs, is framed by majestic mountains and volcanoes and is the gateway to the Amazon rainforest. Dangerously situated on the slopes of the active Tungurahua volcano, however, Banos is also on constant alert for signs of activity from 'the Black Giant'.

The town is popular with Ecuadorian and international travellers alike, as a place to relax in unspoilt, peaceful surroundings. The best known of Banos' therapeutic hot baths is the Piscina de La Virgin, which is next to a waterfall. For the traveller looking for more holiday action, there are numerous activities, including horse riding, hiking and mountain biking. It is also possible to organise trips to the Oriente, the forests of the Amazon Basin, where one can see wildlife, visit indigenous communities deep in the jungle, and experience life in the isolated far reaches of the country.

There are many bars and restaurants throughout the town, often with live folk music. Banos is also home to Ecuador's most famous candy, taffy, which is made from sugarcane; hanging from hooks in the doorframes of almost every shop, it is an integral part of the Banos landscape.

Information & Facts

Spanish is the official language, but Quechua is the main language spoken among the indigenous people.

The US Dollar (USD) is the official currency in Ecuador. In 2000 the sucre was replaced by the dollar as the legal currency, but despite dollarization, the sucre will likely persist in rural areas for a while longer. It is recommended that travellers bring both US dollar notes and travellers cheques as other foreign currencies are difficult to exchange outside of Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca. Small denominations in good condition are the easiest to exchange outside of the main cities. In the main centres most currencies can be exchanged at banks and exchange houses ( casas de cambio) at variable commission rates. ATMs are available in the cities, and major credit cards are accepted in tourist areas and large hotels although a commission of 6-8% is often charged.

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