Thursday, March 21, 2013

Baños de Agua Santa and Tungurahua Volcano

Here is an exciting little video that I just made while I was in the town of Baños de Agua Santa. The town is a real tourist draw and on weekends, dozens of colourful buses bring "local" tourists from other parts of Ecuador. There are natural hot springs there just below the Volcano Tungurahua which are said to have miraculous healing properties. The scenery is absolutely terrific. Many waterfalls are in the area. The town itself sits on a thick shelf of basalt and the Rio Pastaza has cut a deep canyon through there. It reminded me somewhat of the Iskut canyon, with the lava flows along the river. A very lovely little zoo is built right into the shelves of basalt just upstream of the town. One of the town's specialties is the taffy candy made from sugar cane. Numerous small shops make and sell the taffy and the taffy-pulling is done in the open doorways. There are also many small shops selling jugo de caña, or fresh squeezed sugar cane juice, bags of pieces of cane for munching on, as well as bundles of cane stalks to take home. There are many "outfitters" who will take you canyoning (rapelling down waterfalls), zip-lining, mountain-biking, white-water rafting, horseback riding, or ATV riding. All for a price, of course. I did a lot of hiking while there, first ascending the shoulder of the volcano itself (up to about 8,500 feet a.s.l.-- on the photo below, I was in the cloud on the left-hand side of the big ravine), then across the river and up another mountain for a better view, where I took this photo. The top of the volcano is over 15,000 feet a.s.l. and is usually hidden in the clouds. I got some pictures one day when the clouds parted for a while.

1 comment:

Zohar said...

Good. I was about to ask if you did. I wouldn't have...
Thanks for sharing. I don't go into your blog very often, but it is great to see what you are up to every now and then.