Trans4mind Home Page

Under The Volcano

By Steve Gillman

The town sits at the base or "under the volcano" named Tungurahua. We wanted to see it erupt, so we paid the $3 each for a two-hour trip to a hill overlooking the town. The top of the volcano was visible from there, and sure enough, it coughed up a bit of lava on cue. I had another rum drink and helped to push-start the vehicle that brought us there.

My wife Ana and I spent a week there in Ba"os, Ecuador, in June of 2004. The hotel, with cable TV, cost $6 per night. The usual rate was $12, but we're good negotiators. Lunch was just $1 each day, or $2.25 total for both, with tip. Typically, it was chicken, rice, beans, salad and juice. Every other day we splurged and paid $1.50 at a nicer place.

Hot Springs Of Ba"os

The town really is right under the volcano, which has caused problems for the residents over the years. The upside is that it also causes an abundance of hot water. Ba"os has two hot spring facilities, and two with cold water. They are some of the best mineral springs in Ecuador.

The most popular is at the base of a waterfall that tumbles from the mountain above. It is a short walk from anywhere in town, and it costs just a dollar, or a little more if you want to enjoy the mineral-rich waters under the stars each evening. Thre is a sign that documents the various minerals found in the water, and many come to alleviate their arthritis or other illnesses.

A trip to one of the hot springs became a daily ritual. Afternoons Ana shopped. I played chess in the open market in the center of town, with Manolo or Rene, or other locals. At all times, we enjoyed the scenery. Just look up and you see lush hills and classic colonial architecture all around.

Evenings are for dancing. Santo Pecado ("saint/sinner") was usually our first stop. The owner was always ready to trade stories. Tuparina was our favorite disco, perhaps due to the huayusa, a drink made of a psychadelic plant collected by the family of the owner.

Under The Volcano Tungurahua

Several of the dozens of volcanos in Ecuador are active. Tungurahua, which overlooks Banos, is one of the most active. You need to get out of town to see it, because Ba"os is set deep in the surrounding lush, green mountains, which block the view. A great way to get a good look is on a "volcano tour."

Several operations in Banos take you on tours to see an eruption. Just flag down one of the "chivas" circling town and blasting loud music in the evening. A chiva is an open-sided bus of sorts, with seating inside or on the roof.

Ana rode inside, and I had to try the roof. My advice? Watch out for branches! We toured the city with party music playing the whole time, then headed into the mountains. There were fire-juggling entertainers on top of the hill, and free hot rum drinks. We looked down on the lights of Banos, and even saw Tungurahua spit up some lava. A two-hour experience, drinks and the honor of helping push-start the chiva. Not bad for $3 each.

Other Activities in Banos

There is a great zoo (bears, birds, tortoises and more). You can rent an ATV, bicycle to nearby waterfalls or tunnels, party in dozens of bars, buy avocados for 20 cents, see a recent movie in your own private viewing room for $1.50 per person (bring all the food and drinks you want) - and almost everything is within a few blocks of any hotel. Banos is beautiful, with a perfect climate year-round.

The real name of the town is Ba"os de Agua Santa, but it is usually just called Ba"os. It is in the Andes Mountains, at the foot of the volcano Tungurahua, in Ecuador, South America. Any of the busses from Quito, eighty miles to the north, will cost you less than five dollars. Ready for a vacation under the volcano?

About The Author
Steve Gillman hit the road at sixteen, and traveled the U.S. and Mexico alone at 17. Now 40, he travels with his wife Ana, whom he met in Ecuador. For travel stories, tips and a free e-book, visit:

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
  • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
  • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
  • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd