176km (109 miles) S of Quito; 55km (34 miles) N of Riobamba; 288km (179 miles) N of Guayaquil
Strategically located on the jungle's doorstep and at the foot of Volcán Tungurahua, the charismatic town of Baños de Agua Santa offers both adventure and relaxation. Indeed, it's extremely popular among local and international tourists alike. Tourism is well established, and a wide variety of activities are offered, from adrenaline-pumping extreme sports to a soothing soak in the hot springs. At an altitude of 1,800m (5,906 ft.), Baños has a warm and mostly sunny climate, and it's an excellent base from which to explore the jungle and neighboring protected areas, such as Parque Nacional Sangay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983.
Baños is chiefly famous for its thermal pools (hence the name Baños, or Baths), which are nourished by the mineral-rich naturally heated springs of Tungurahua itself. Locals rave about the health benefits of taking a soak, claiming that the springs, with their high mineral and sulfur content, can alleviate anything from muscular pain to kidney ailments.
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