You’ve probably seen no less than a dozen pictures of the famous “Casa del Arbol” swing in Banos, Ecuador. Sure, it’s alright, but it doesn’t measure up to these numerous other swings in the city that no one ever hears about.
- A Rope Swing For Thrill Seekers
People say the Casa Del Arbol swing is perfect for “Adrenaline Junkies”. That’s not really true. It has a safety belt and you’re not swinging out over a cliff but rather a grassy slope.
If adrenaline is what you’re looking for, you’ll find your favorite swing just above the Mirador de la Virgen statue. You can get there by walking up the stairs found on the edge of town. Just above the statue, you’ll see a giant metal staple secured into the ground and a single blue rope hanging from the top, with two or three knots near the end. No safety belt or harness here. It’s just a regular old rope swing that takes you flying out over a steep incline that ends in a cliff dropping down to the city below.
The swing costs $1, or it’s free, depending on whether the boy that collects the money is there at the time. This swing is rarely crowded as very few people know about it, but it’s certainly not for the faint of heart, and you do need to be careful.
2. Mirador del Volcan Swing
If you want to swing out to an incredible view, this is the swing you’re looking for. High above the city of Banos, at the Mirador del Volcan, there is a simple, and classic swing that can be used for free (with an encouraged donation to maintain the swing). If you’re lucky, the summit of Volcano Tungurahua will be free of clouds, granting you a view of this famous Banos landmark as well as the entire city itself.
3. A Swing for Amigos
If you walk a bit further up the road from the Mirador del Volcanoes Swing, you’ll find a double swing outside of a small restaurant/hotel. The swing costs 50 cents to use, but it’s sturdy and it’s perfect for travel partners or couples to swing together.
4. Luna Runtun Swing
This swing is owned by the luxury hotel Luna Runtun that sits on the hillside over Banos, and the swing is so secretive that I wasn’t even able to find it. I know it exists, as multiple people told me about it and there are a handful of pictures that show it online, but while searching for it I was purposefully pointed in the wrong direction by hotel staff. To find it, go to the Runtun Hotel and ask to visit the cafe, which is open to the public. You can buy something here so you don’t feel bad using the swing. Then, begin your search for the swing. I believe it is probably located down below the hotel somewhere, but again, I didn’t get a chance to find it. Maybe you’ll have better luck, and if not, the patio in front of the cafe has an incredible view of Banos!