We arrived in Baños with zero expectations, possibly the best way to discover a new place. We hopped off the old, worn out bus and walked through the streets with childlike wonder.
Where are we??? I silently asked myself.
The small town was centered in between lush mountains and one massive volcano sitting at 5,023 meters above sea level. All around, you could see waterfalls sprouting out of the sides of these mountains. It was fantastical, enough to make anyone giddy with the excitement and joy of being alive.
Within twenty minutes, we’d both found a hostel and walked the circumference of the cozy town.
Ecuador’s Adventure Capital
Baños is the perfect town for a few days of embracing your inner cheesy tourist. I walked around, camera in hand, shamelessly capturing images of everything and everyone. No longer was I bothered by locals approaching me about tour packages. Zip lining? Where?! Water canyoning? You have my attention…
Every activity seemed equally enticing, but we eventually settled on a day-long rental of an Adventure Jeep, which was obviously infinitely better than a normal Jeep.
We walked into the tour agency’s office to sign the contract and these types of formalities. An underamused, overstressed woman greeted us in between aggressively yelling at her four small children, who were running around the office, slapping each other in the face.
As charming as this musty office was, once the Jeep pulled up, I was out the door. We zoomed off and headed toward the open road. It was apparent we were on the edge of the Amazon rainforest. Colorful mountain views flooded our vision. With the wind in my hair and the radio blaring, it felt like freedom.
Choose Your Own Adventure
We spent the rest of the day asking only “left or right?” and stopping only to admire the views. The Adventure Jeep provided its fair share of adventures for the day, leaving us fantasizing about traveling through South America by camper van.
Baños, thank you for the adventures. Adventure Jeep, you will truly be missed.
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