A short drive from Baños’ centre are the Chamana waterfalls. It was there we spent a morning working our way down multiple waterfalls by the art of canyoning (a combination of hiking, jumping, sliding, swimming, climbing and rappelling/abseiling).Our group was small so we were given the option of tackling four or seven waterfalls, we eagerly chose the latter. A short twenty minute hike followed by a ten minute lesson and we were scaling down our first wall with some confidence. We started small but things got progressively higher, harder and wetter. Each of us had our own individual moment of fear, mine was whilst scaling down the third waterfall and slipping into the powerful stream of water. Initially panicking as my shoulder hit the smooth worn rocks, I gasped a mouthful of water as the pressures bashed me against the wall and beat my body. But after a few horrifying seconds I remembered the training and thankfully was able to position myself correctly and make it slowly to the base-pool.
The finale was to rappel by free-falling (descending with no walls) 150ft (46m) into the knee-high-pool below.© John Brownlie 2012
*Although there are plenty of adventure tour operators in Baños, we went with Geotours. With over 20 years experience, they are recommended by Lonely Planet, Rough Guides and many more. They did not disappoint. We felt safe, the equipment was in great condition and we were able to go at our own pace.
For the half day (9-1pm) it cost $30 and lunch was included.