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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 43°44′15″N 0°37′19″W / 43.7375°N 0.621944444444°W / 43.7375; -0.621944444444

Commune of Banos

Location
Banos is located in France
Banos
Administration
Country France
Region Aquitaine
Department Landes
Arrondissement Arrondissement of Mont-de-Marsan
Canton Canton of Saint-Sever
Intercommunality Cap de Gascogne
Mayor Jean-Louis Laporte
(2008–2014)
Statistics
Elevation 34–124 m (110–410 ft)
(avg. 100 m/330 ft)
Land area1 5.77 km2 (2.23 sq mi)
Population2 238  (2006)
 - Density 41 /km2 (110 /sq mi)
Miscellaneous
INSEE/Postal code 40024/ 40500
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Banos is a commune in the Landes department in Aquitaine in south-western France.

See also

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Baños article)

From Wikitravel

Baños is a small city in the Andean highlands of Ecuador under the smoke of volcano Tungurahua. It's equally popular with foreigners as Ecuadorians. The streets are lined with hotels, restaurants, souvernir shops and tour agents. Although it seems a bit touristy and artificial lots of people love it and it's definitely worth a visit. It's an important hub for outdoor sports and jungle tours.

Get in

The small bus terminal is on the north edge of town and is within walking distance to the center and most all hotels. However if you need to catch a taxi, it should cost you less than $1.

There are frequent connections to Baños from Quito (3.5 hours, $3.50), Riobamba (2 hours, $2) and Guayaquil (5.5 hours, $7.00). The closest bigger town is Ambato (1 hour, $1) and there are very frequent buses between the two towns. The road between Baños and Riobamba is currently closed, so if you´re headed anywhere south you will need to backtrack via Ambato and then head south.

Get around

Easy, just walk. Nowhere is more than a 15 minute walk from where you start and usually even less. It is relatively flat in the city centre.

Also check out the mountain biking section should you wish to explore further afield.

There are also plenty of taxis around should you need one.

  • Cascada de La Virgen waterfall

Do

There are dozens of travel agencies offering rafting, climbing to Cotopaxi, mountain bike rental, multiple day trekking, jungle tours, etc.

Massage

The best massage studios are all on the same street, within 50m of each other. They are all $20/hour. Try Xu Jing Casa de Salud for an excellent massage from a wise old chinese woman. Corner of Luis A. Martínez and Eloy Alfaro, across from Casa Hood.

Hiking

Around Baños there are several easy trails. The tourist office (calle T. Halflants at the park) can provide simple maps. On some trails you can find many signs on the way, though the indicated distances seem to be quite contradictory. Head up to the statue of the Virgin Mary which overlooks the town for nice views.. but be warned, it's a heart-pumping hike!

Mountain biking

Several agencies rent out mountain bikes (5$ a day or $1.25 a hour). But make sure that you or someone with experience checks out the bikes and ensures that they are safe to use. Especially check if the gear is clean and oiled enough - bikes look really good, but are sometimes not maintained like they should be. Also be sure to understand who has to pay for damage to the bike should it occur.

A popular ride is the 61km, mostly downhill, to Puyo. The first 18 km to Rio Verde is strewn with impressive waterfalls, some reached by mini cable cars across the valley. Rio Verde's Pailón del Diablo is the most dramatic. The frequent tunnels on this road mostly have bike bypassses and the only one you need to go through is the first one. There are good signs indicating where to go all the way to Puyo. From Rio Verde or Puyo there are frequent buses back to Baños, some of which will put you bike on the roof. It is also fairly easy to hitchhike your way back on a pick-up truck.

You can also sometimes include a small bungee-style jump off a bridge some 30 minutes from Baños.

Rafting

Many companies organize rafting trips to the nearby Pastaza river. The rapids range from class II to IV, depending on the recent rainfall. A half-day trip costs about $30-35 and you are best off going with a respected, well-known organizer. The water is not too cold but beware of sunburn where the wet suit doesn't cover. In June of 2009, a French tourist drowned when the boat capsized. Be careful!

ATVs and Dirt Bikes

ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles) and motocross bikes abound in the town and you can easily rent one for a couple of hours or days. The hills surrounding the town provide good views of the town and the volcano and climbing to the antenna or to the cross are both good options. You can also drive down to Puyo if you don't feel like biking.

Jungle Tours

Many kinds of tours are organized to the Amazonas jungle from day trips to the edge to two week adventures deep in the jungle. You will get to meet natives in their villages, swim under a waterfall and see at least some small wild animals like frogs, fish and spiders. You can usually also bundle the tour with rafting if you want. Shop around a bit for the package and price that best suits your wishes. 20 dollars for the trip.

Bunjee Jumping

Several tour operators offer bridge jumping. There are two bridges this is done from, one is much higher than the other. Although the operators are not covered by any kind of liability insurance, the rigging equipment is of high quality and done professionally.

Rapelling

Dozens of tour operators offer rapelling down waterfalls (canyoning).

Buy

There are a lot of different places to buy handicrafts, there are a lot of small business in front of the church in the middle of the town.

Eat

At the market you can find decent meals from $1 to 1,5$. All around the city are a lot of restaurants, from fast food to Italian food.

  • Leprechaun Bar, On Alfaro between Oriente and Espejo. As of mid-2009, this is the happening place for travelers and hip people in Baños to hang out. By the front bar there is a large dance floor with the DJ playing a variety of music. Upstairs is a smaller dance floor. But the real gem of the place is the back yard, which has another bar, a stage for occassional live music, and a large fire pit that the staff keeps roaring all night long on weekends. Wonderful to stave off the chilly nights.  edit
  • Hostel Transilvania [1] 16 de Diciembre y Oriente Big bright rooms and a great, relaxed atmosphere. Run by two backpackers who know exactly what budget travelers need and want. Tons of free amenities, gorgeous views and a their own fantastic restaurant next door. +59332742281
  • Backpackers Paradise - Princesa Maria, Rocafuerte y Mera, Baños, Tel: 03 2741 035 holaprincesamaria1@hotmail.com A bit of a walk from the main strip, but a friendly budget option with free internet and wifi, kitchen, DVD player and good hot showers.
  • Plantas y Blanco, Martinez y 12 de Noviembre, Baños, Tel: 03 740 044. [2] Opened 13 years ago by French owner Michel Leseigneur, this is one of the old favourites in Baños with it's great location in the centre of town.
  • La Casa Verde, El Camino Real, Banos, 086 594189, [3]. Small, nice Ecohotel, driven by an kiwie/aussie couple. Excellent breakfast with home made bread. $10 dorm / $28 twin.  edit
  • El Marques Posada, Pasaje V. Ibarra y Av. Montalvo, Baños, 03 740053, [4]. Located at the foot of the magnificent Cascada de la Virgin, El Marques Posada is a sociable and welcoming hostel decorated with warm colours and boasting incredible views of Baños from the roof terrace.  edit
  • La Chimenea, Luis A Martinez & Rafael Vieira (Coming from the bus station, continue 4 blocks along Calle Maldonado and turn left onto Calle Martinez. From there, you'll find La Chimenea around six blocks along and on your right.), 03 274 2725, [5]. Really nice place, very good value. Lovely roof-top terrace / cafe. Friendly, relaxed, and helpful staff. Every room is clean and modern, with hot water and balcony. No TV's. Internet computers in lobby (free). Soon-to-be completed pool. Steam baths available for rent. Information about the area. $7-$8.  edit
  • La Floresta Hospedaje, Montalvo y Thomas Halflants, Banos, 032741824, [6]. Mid range hotel with large airy rooms, spotlessly clean, helpful English speaking staff, a pleasant garden and excellent breakfast $500 US.  edit
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