Family of World Travelers Visit to Baños, Ecuador
This guest post comes to us from the amazing family travel blog Goodie Goodie Gumdrop. This family of four lives travel. The husband and wife Jessica and Will and their two kids Avalon and Largo, change locations about every year to live and learn in a brand new culture. What started as occasional family trips to exotic locations, soon became a full-time traveler lifestyle when they moved to Costa Rica for an extended stay followed by Ecuador. They currently reside in Southern France.
Their passion and travel ideology is an inspiration for many families and individuals who seek the adventure life. If you ever thought to yourself “I love to travel, but don’t know where to start? What about the kids, where will they go to school? How will we afford it? Where will we live?” We recommend you start following Jessica and her family’s travels throughout the world. You may realize that the ONLY thing holding you back from taking the leap into the world of adventure, is your own personal doubts.
The following is Jessica’s guide to the family outdoor activities available in Baños, Ecuador. Although, she admits that the trip wasn’t her favorite location in Ecuador, she offers good advice for those that may find themselves here. Find the original post HERE.
Canyoning: Ok, this was the highlight of our trip. We wanted to rappel down waterfalls in Costa Rica, but between zip lining, white water rafting, waterfall jumping, horse back riding, 4-wheeling and many other adventures we were unable to fit it in. It was harder than it looked and colder than it looked (and we were in wetsuits), but it was an experience I highly recommend. Take the kids! Our kids were champions. They laughed, they joked, they pushed themselves hard and in the end they wanted more (in warmer water of course). We took our tour with Geo Expeditions. The guides were fantastic with the kids!
Massage: Massages are very affordable in Baños. We are big fans of massages, especially if we are doing very physical adventures. I believe we paid $25 per person at Yerba Linda. They were fairly good. I would not say they were the best, but definitely not the worse, that award goes to Costa Rica. For $25 I say go for it.
Waterfall: We saw A LOT of waterfalls in Costa Rica. Honestly I thought we were burned out, but I am so glad we went to see Pailon del Diablo. It was impressive and our first time under a waterfall. We were on a tour that stopped at the waterfall for about an hour. I was a bit disappointed that the tour did not take us in the entrance that yields the most impressive view and would have allowed us to get even further under the waterfall, but at least we got to see it upclose.
Cable Car: Another first for us. We have never taken an open air cable car across a gorge. I was a bit disappointed by how fast they loaded us in and got us across the gorge. I would have like a little more time to enjoy the journey, but I am glad we got to do it regardless.
Santa Clara Piscina: Blah! Everyone says to go to the hot springs and visit the warm pools. Well, their version of warm and our version is totally different. These pools were packed, luke warm and not terribly relaxing. Again, we experienced hot springs that were HOT and less crowded in Costa Rica. I don’t mean to sound like a travel snob, but once you have had a taste of the real thing a watered down version is quite a disappointment. Our hope was to hit the sauna and jacuzzi after the pool, but kids were not allowed in. Overall we left cold and disappointed.
The bus: We took the bus for the first time from North Quito to Baños. The bus was great. It was comfortable and safe, plus it had movies and food. The three of us traveled to-and-from Baños for under $20 total. I hear it is not very safe to take the buses at night so I advise doing more research in this area before you venture out.
Melcocha. Make sure you try it. It comes in sugar cane flavor and many others. We had a ball watching them make it right on the streets (video above). This candy is specific to Baños, but can be found in other areas of Ecuador as well.
Papparedelle. Yum! This restaurant came recommended and it did not disappoint. The food was fabulous, the atmosphere welcoming and the staff was friendly. We ate there four times, yep, four times. It was that good.
Hotel El Belen. This hotel/hostel was lovely and the price was great. It was clean and the owners were super kind. However, it was incredibly noisy… roosters, dogs, neighbor’s, etc. We are pretty used to roosters waking us since it is typical in Central and South America, but neighbors making noise at 4:30 AM was a bit much for us. The place was not sound proof at all. We usually blast classical music in our room when we travel to drown out noise, but even that did not work. El Belen is $10 per person, per night on non holiday weekends, not bad. We paid $25 per person because it was a holiday weekend. No breakfast included.
There you have it, Baños in a post. Clearly there was more we could have seen and done, but our main goals were to adventure AND rest. In the last three weeks we have all been sick and had some stomach issues which luckily were cured during our days in Baños.
Do you see the guys in the first header picture above? One of them was our guide and the other was a guy who has been traveling for six months. His mom passed away in August from colon cancer. Her dying wish was that he travel for two months after her passing. He expressed gratitude for being able to take this travel journey. He also acknowledged how much he had learned and grown in six months. He is not the first person we have met with this story. The questions is… why do we have to have something tragic happen to us before we realize life can be taken away at any moment? Do it before it is too late people! Go after those big dreams!