The Baños thermal pools are probably the towns best known attraction. Really the name Baños means pools. The nearby Tungurahua Volcano serves as the heat source for the waters.
The waters are full of minerals and smell of sulfur. The water in most of the pools is changed daily, but is always yellow from the minerals. People from all over the country come to the pools for the supposed healing properties of the water.
Pools of varying temperatures are available. Many like to go from hot to cold to get their circulation going.
The Salado pools in Baños are our favorite. There are usually less people at these pools since it isn't right in the middle of town. The pools are located right up against the volcano with a river running right next to them.
You have to wear a swim cap to enter the Baños thermal pools. If you don't have your own you can rent or buy one at the shop as you enter the complex.
You also have to shower before entering the pools. The whole system of lockers, showers, people making sure you've completed the proper procedure can be a bit unnerving, but it's not too bad.
These thermal pools are located right in downtown Baños and tend to be more crowded. The waterfall in town falls right next to these pools, so they are easy to find. They channel the water over so that you can stand right under it to cool off.
I had a bad experience here once, but it was probably just someone having a bad day.
Termas la Virgen is open later for those who want to relax at the end of the day.
If you like to swim laps, there are some options in Baños. Last time we were there we went to the Santa Clara Pools, which are right behind the kids park. There are two big pools. One is a cold, lap pool and the other is warmer. The day we went the warm pool was full of people (it was a national holiday).
There is also a hot tub inside, but it isn't thermal.
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