Baños de Agua Santa

Baños de Agua Santa (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbaɲos ðe ˈaɣwa ˈsanta]), commonly referred to as Baños, is a city in eastern Tungurahua Province of Ecuador. Baños is the second most populous city in Tungurahua, after the capital Ambato, and is a major tourist center. Baños is known as the "Gateway to the Amazon," as it is the last city still located in the mountain region before reaching the jungle and other towns that are located in the Amazon River basin.

Baños is located at an elevation of 1,820 metres (5,971 feet) on the northern foothills of the Tungurahua volcano, whose activity has been characterized by frequent powerful ash explosions and lava flows that can be seen from Banos.

The city is also a Catholic religious center, as some Catholic believers say that the Virgin Mary appeared nearby a waterfall. Due to this belief, a sculpture of the virgin, called Virgen de Agua Santa, was placed in the city's cathedral.

The history of the town has been intimately linked to the highly-active Tungurahua volcano. In October 1999, all 17,000+ residents were forced to evacuate the city for weeks.[1]

^ (in Spanish) Article on Archived April 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
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