Banos and the Jungle

We left Quito in a hired minibus and headed for the resort town of Banos. Banos is famous for its hot spring pools and also is a gateway to Amazon rainforest trips. We spent one night in a Banos hostel (for $10 each) and then headed into the rainforest.


Mike and Justin take a pit stop on the way.


A banana tree on a hike around Banos.


Credit: Justin
What we look like after a hike at altitude in humid jungle heat.


Black smoke coming from the top of the Tungurahua, an active volcano near Banos.


Banos nestled in its valley.


The sun sinking under the mountains.

The next day we began our jungle adventure. It started with a mountain bike ride down the road out of Banos. We stopped at a bridge where for the tidy sum of $15 you could take the plunge on a bungee jump.


Bernardo leaps.


Mike goes.


Justin's jump.


Credit: Justin
The next stop was a waterfall with a cable car that rode across to a waterfall (the ride cost $1 extra).


The waterfall.


The canyon of the Pastaza River.


Next stop: the Pailon del Diablo (Devil's Cauldron) waterfall.


Credit: Edgar
We then piled into vans off to the next adventure of the day: whitewater rafting on the Pastaza (a tributary of the Amazon River). We got a quick lesson and then took off. This is our two boats from high upthe canyon.


Credit: Justin
Finally we got to the jungle cabin that would be our home for two nights after a hell of a day. We took some time to relax in hammocks.


Credit: Justin
Our jungle activities consisted of muddy hikes, swimming under waterfalls, and rides in native canoes (along with some copious drinking). Here, a termite nest on a tree.


Credit: Justin
Our guide, Klyde (aka Jet Li), with a handful of termites. Klyde was an interesting guy who (of course) didn't speak any English. He did however speak Spanish, French, and 6 different native languages. Everytime we stopped he would give his speech in Spanish and French, which Bernardo or Edgar would then translate.


Credit: Justin
A walking palm that can put out new roots in the direction of sunlight and can "walk" significant distances.


Credit: Justin
The "porno" palm.


Credit: Edgar
Swimming at Hidden Waterfall. You can't see this waterfall from any trail. To get to it you have swim up a narrow canyon, and then it appears around a corner.


Credit: Edgar
Jumping into the pool at the falls.


Credit: Justin
Edgar gets a makeover.


Credit: Edgar
Swimming in another waterfall.


Credit: Justin
Drinking at the lodge with our guide and Canadian friend Elly.


Credit: Edgar
Canoeing on the Pastaza in a native canoe.


Credit: Edgar
Group shot.


Credit: Edgar
View of the Pastaza canyon with the Andes in the background.


Credit: Edgar
Group looking at the view.


Credit: Edgar