The past two weekends I was able to go to various parts of Ecuador, all close to Quito, which were all amazing in their own way. So, here are THREE reasons why Banos, Papallacta and Guápulo are places to visit:
1. Nature – It’s stunning and surrounds you wherever you go, I’ve been here for two months (to this day) and I’m still in awe of the beautiful landscapes and scenery, at times, it feels so surreal, but it’s VERY real.
Taken from El Mirador de Guápulo
Stunning landscape in Baños
Taken in Baños on an abandoned building site
2. Accessibility– Banos and Papallacta are a short drive from Quito. Guapulo is a small neighboorhood between Quito and Cumbayá (where I live and study, about a 15 mins bus journey from central Quito), although it’s categorised as a district of Quito.
-Cumbayá to Baños – (not 100% sure as I went in a group by car,) but the journey took around 3 hours.
-Cumbayá to Papallacta – cost $2.50-3, each way and takes about 1.5-2 hours, depends on how mad the driver is!
-Cumbayá to Guápulo – bus rides takes 15-20 minutes and costs $0.25. Super cheap and there are great views from the bus too!
3. Activities – Whether you want to zip across the rainforest or have a lovely massage, you’ll be sure to find something you enjoy in either one of these destinations.
Baños (a city which lies in the gateaway to the Amazon basin)
I did the following during my weekend in Baños, however there is so much to cater for adrenaline junkies:
-Relaxing Massage: It was $15 for a full body massage and a facial. It was great, albeit ticklish at times.
Peep me zip-lining in the video (at 0:55 – lol) – https://youtu.be/bq7zgWwtDko
Weekend Adventures in Baños, by Megan Placko
Cascada Pailon del Diablo
Famous swing at the edge of the world, Casa del Arbol
Papallacta (small village in the High Andes)
-Termas Papallacta (Hot Springs Spa and Resort)
1.Balneario (public baths)- Entry is $8.50 for the whole day
2.Spa (private pools) Entry is $22 for the whole day (closes at 9pm on Saturdays). I did the Spa and it was so worth it! It included access to 5 pools, 4 were very hot and 1 was cold (it was freezing!). Overall, it was clean, the pools were a nice temperature (at first they were too hot but then it was ok), had a good atmosphere (lots of families and couples) and very relaxing. Even the showers, they were amazing – hot, steamy and a view of the mountains – what more could you want?!?
Apparently I look like a smurf 🙂
Pool and view at Termas Papallacta
I liked the colour of this little feature!
Guápulo ( cute, artsy neighbourhood between Quito and Cumbayá)
-Street Art. The sloping, cobbled streets of Guápulo are lined with cool, sometimes indecipherable, street art.
So, so grateful as always to have been able to go on these amazing trips! And very excited for my next trip in two weeks – honestly, I think it’ll be one of the most beautiful destinations yet (very serious :0). It’s going to be amazing!