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Deep in the Ecuadorian wilderness you’ll find Casa del Arbol, a treehouse designed to watch over the 17,000-foot tall crater of Tungurahua — a wildly active volcano that translates to “throat of fire” in the local Quechua language. It’s here in Banos, Ecuador, that you’ll find the wildest attraction in the world: a swing with a view that is the perfect destination for adrenaline junkies and aptly referred to as “The Swing at the End of the World.”
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It’s a white-knuckle ride as you swing into the air over the canyon overlooking one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Thrill seekers can fly out over the edge of the canyon into the misty Ecuadorian Andes and soak up the mesmerizing views.
Carlos Sanchez, a local “volcano watcher,” decided to install the swing at his treehouse monitoring station so his grandchildren would come visit. Then in 2014, a photo of the swing went viral. Now, people come from around the globe to experience the swing at the end of the world where you can soar over the deep ravine.
While the swing was free of charge for many years, the Banos ministry of tourism eventually demanded that Sanchez keep track of the number of visitors to his small attraction and charge admission. He wanted the swing to be accessible to the locals, so he started charging an entrance fee of just $1.
Sanchez now has a collection of 200-page guest books filled with messages from people around the world. His family still operates the business, with his granddaughters running the small ticket booth and food stalls, while his son maintains a small zip line on the property.
Getting to the Casa del Arbol:
There are many tours that will take you to the area from around Baños.
If you have a car in Baños, it’s about a 30-minute drive to get to the swing.
By Quad or Motorcycle
Motorcycle and quads are popular methods of transportation in Baños. Make sure you pick up a map from the rental company.
Buses travel to the Casa del Árbol area and take you right to the entrance, with the journey taking about 45 minutes.
Casa del Árbol can be reached by an uphill hike. From downtown Baños, you can access several hiking trails. It’s a steep trail and it should take about 2.5 hours, depending on the fitness level of the group.