Baños de Agua Santa
|Baños de Agua Santa|
Baños from the east.
|• Type||Mayor and council|
|• Mayor||Marlon Fabricio Guevara Silva|
|Elevation||1,820 m (5,971 ft)|
|Time zone||ECT (UTC-5)|
Baños de Agua Santa (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbaɲoz ðe ˈaɣwa ˈsanta]), commonly referred to as Baños, is a city in eastern Tungurahua Province, in central Ecuador. Baños is the second most populous city in Tungurahua, after Ambato, the capital, and is a major tourist center. It is known as the "Gateway to the Amazon", as it the last big city still located in the mountains before reaching the jungle and other towns that are located in the Amazon River basin.
Baños is located on the northern foothills of the Tungurahua volcano, at an elevation of 1,820 metres (5,971 feet) whose activity has been characterized by frequent powerful ash explosions and lava flows can be seen from Banos. and is being monitored by the Geophysics Institute at E.P.N.
Baños de Agua Santa (Spanish for Baths of Holy Water), is named after the hot springs located around the city which have a reputation of having healing properties due to their content of various minerals.
The city is also a Roman Catholic religious center, as some Catholic believers say that the Virgin Mary appeared nearby a waterfall. So a sculpture of the virgin, called Virgen de Agua Santa, was placed in the cathedral. The history of the town is intimately linked with the highly active Tungurahua volcano. In October 1999, all 17,000+ residents were forced to evacuate the city for weeks.
Along with Pillaro, Baños is known as a good starting point for exploring the remote Llanganates National Park and its attractions including Cerro Hermoso. The city itself boasts a beautiful main central park across from the cathedral. Nearby waterfalls include Virgen de Agua Santa, Inés María, Agoyán, El Manto de la Novia, Pailón del Diablo and Machay.
Baños is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ecuador due to its amazing natural beauty (it is home to more than 60 waterfalls) and its plethora of available adventure sports. Locals and visitors alike enjoy rafting, kayaking, canyoning, bridge jumping, hiking, biking and horseback riding.
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