Banos Ecuador Inexpensive Adventure Town

Today sees us on another Chivas Bus Truck as we seek some local inexpensive adventure time. We had to wait as the first one was sold out. We get collected late for this one – walking there with a guide to the Chiva.

On arrival at the Chiva, 50 crazed people dash into it and they try to boot us off.  Unfortunately, this is the last day here in Banos so we need this one – and we have more to do this afternoon, so we ‘hold our ground’.

A Fight Breaks Out

inexpensive adventure

©Exploramum and Explorason – Chiva Bus Trucks run tourists through the mountains

A fight starts with some people (who go a bit crazed) but we sit firmly in our seats. After all – we paid for our tickets at 9:00 am and many of these people had come much later and are trying to jump in front of others.

Clearly, they have oversold tickets which is a common thing we find out about later. We feel bad for the people who have arrived after us believing they are on this, but there seems to be no law and order, and we have to make our own.

Dealing With Problems

inexpensive adventure

©Exploramum and Explorason – one unhappy boy who has been pushed, shoved and forced to move

Explorason is therefore in a rotten mood having been pushed, shoved, yanked, and yelled at. There are no sides on this Chiva, so he has to move from the seat he was in but still retains a seat at least.

So grumpy, as he wanted to sit elsewhere, but can’t!  This is a lesson all parents must face in sharing this world with other humans.  What we want and what is safe and right is more important.  Sometimes we are treated unjustly, and we have to deal with that too.

Off We Go

To get to where the inexpensive adventure area is, we must go through the mountains, and to be safe, I must sit on the outside. The Chiva really is an adventure in itself and can be dangerous for kids who could easily fall off the sides.

This ride is an inexpensive adventure in itself!

Jesus In The Rock

inexpensive adventure

©Exploramum and Explorason – Can you see Jesus face in the rock?

We get to see the face of Jesus in a rock. To me, it looks carved, but apparently, it appeared after a rockslide. Many people are astounded and at first, police had to barricade the area, as so many came to worship here.

It is Easter Saturday, and it seems an appropriate time to see Jesus’ face in a rock.


inexpensive adventure

©Exploramum and Explorason – waterfalls are everywhere

We don’t speak fluent Spanish – so we miss out on hearing the names of waterfalls as the man is speaking quite fast.
We also get no help especially as we are also the ‘Gringos’ they tried to boot off the Chiva unsuccessfully.

Inexpensive Adventure

On our next stop, we see quite a few ways of enjoying an inexpensive adventure with double zip lining etc.

I am a bit horrified when we watch the kids don’t get a safety catch when hooked in by the staff missing it. Their catch is completely undone the entire ride. As a mother, I am mortified at this oversight.

It is only $10 each and I’m cautious of safety and believe my life is worth more to me than $10.

Throughout the day we see a lot of bungee jumpers, jumping off bridges as choices of inexpensive adventure. We give this a big miss!

However, the ziplines we see later look safer, but we know there have been accidents in the world, and we don’t want to risk it. Years later, a man dies right here in Banos, so my concerns are justified.

Safety For All the Family

inexpensive adventure

©Exploramum and Explorason – A loving daughter holds Mum safe

This lovely family is on our Chiva. I love the way she is held at the river bank by her skirt for safety.

Language Of Smiles

inexpensive adventure

©Exploramum and Explorason – we had a great time becoming friends with these locals

We meet them and smile at them a lot, and try to talk in our little bit of Spanish, and it shows the language of SMILES wines ou every time.

Million Dollar View

inexpensive adventure

©Exploramum and Explorason – million dollar view n the other side of this house looking over the river

How many times have we headed the saying ‘location, location, location’ with real estate?  Being rich doesn’t always mean you get the best.  Many poor people live along the river – but they have million dollar views, yet they sit and face the road.

Tarabita De Las Rocas

Next, we get to the cable car. We all get a turn for $1.50 each which is good value for inexpensive adventure. We go in with the first lot of people traveling over to the other side so there is no preparation for our nerves.

Hike and Suspension Bridge

inexpensive adventure

©Exploramum and Explorason – suspension bridge

We then get a 40-minute hike for $1.50 to some great falls. These are about half an hour out of town.  They are slippery and muddy.

The swinging suspension bridge is fun! As kids do, Explorason loves to make it swing and move, and of course, no one else is quite as enthused as he is about this.

A Scary Trail

inexpensive adventure

©Exploramum and Explorason – one massive and sometimes precarious hike to the top

The force with which the water flow is so amazing. And the pathway is nothing short of incredible. Slippery steps, precarious walkways, and muddy paths seem to snake our way there.

Behind the Scenes

inexpensive adventure

©Exploramum and Explorason – behind the waterfall

One of the rewards of this trail is we finally get to go behind the waterfall. The mist blows and the noise of the water booms so loud that we have to yell to be heard.

Finishing The Hike

We head back to town – quite muddy all over.  

We then go behind some stalls across from the bus terminal area and discover there are 2 great bridges to hike on.

Thermal Pools

That night we head to a new place that has thermal pools and there are 200 people outside waiting to go in. So as it starts to rain we head next door for a city view at the Virgin waters. Many are making the sign of the cross on themselves with the water, and some strip off and bathe.

The view is cloudy but great.

 Bano in Banos

As evening turns to night, it is time for pizza and dinner. Of course, we have to go to the bano in Banos!

What a cheap and great night! We tip the guitar player as he sings four English Beatles songs for us. We meet 2 families and enjoy ourselves. Unfortunately, the restaurant wants our table as it is a busy night, and ask us to leave – darn.

We do some last minute shopping. My son decides he’d love me to adopt her as his sister when he meets a cute girl he becomes friends with.

Time to leave this shop and hit the sack – pronto! Tomorrow is Easter Sunday and you will have to read on to see if chocolate eggs are to be found.

Questions and Comments

  • Do you use risky or inexpensive adventure equipment when you go traveling?
  • What precautions do you take?
  • When safety is not so prevalent in developing countries, how would you check it is safe and secure for you to use?

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