La Casa del Arbol outside of Baños is one of the top Ecuador tourist attractions because of its appeal to adventure seekers. Known as the “Swing at the End of the World,” it offers visitors thrills and spectacular views.
Sometimes you see an image, and it sticks with you. You tell yourself that one day you’ll go there and see it for yourself. We knew that when we went to Baños, we had to go to La Casa del Arbol (The Tree House). We’d seen photos of people swinging over the edge and it always looked so amazing so there was no way we were leaving Ecuador without getting on the swing at the end of the world.
Earlier that day, we had gone to Lake Quilotoa, a beautiful lake that took our breath away. From there we traveled back south for about three hours, to La Casa del Arbol which is about 30 minutes outside of Baños. The road up to La Casa del Arbol was a little bumpy, but nothing too horrible. We parked the car and followed the signs towards the entrance.
We each paid the $1 entrance fee (yes, you read that right) and walked to the left, uphill, towards the tree house.
There were a few people there when we arrived so we had to wait our turn to get on the swings. To pass the time we chatted with some of the other travelers and watched the thick clouds roll by. We couldn’t even see Tungurahua, the active volcano on the other side of the ravine. The tree house was actually originally built to keep an eye on the volcano.
And then it was finally my turn!
Because of the recent popularity of the swing, the owner has made a few adjustments. There are now 2 swings, one on each side of the tree house (there was originally only one swing). There is now also a wooden ramp to help you get going on the swing a little easier. And a very thin rope that acts somewhat like a seat belt.
I’m not sure if the thin rope would actually do much. But I figure, if you came all this way to swing over the edge of a cliff, you should kinda know what you’re getting yourself into. So… I took a breath, got myself as high on the ramp as I could, and swung.
I LOVED IT!
I felt so free and alive! And maybe it was a good thing that the clouds were so thick because I couldn’t see anything around or below me and I wasn’t scared at all. That feeling of the wind in my hair and the silence of the mountains is something I’ll never forget.
After my turn on the swing, I climbed into the tree house to see if I could see down into the ravine that I had just glided over. Nope, not really.
But then the sun burst through the clouds for a few minutes and we were able to admire more of the surrounding scenery before the clouds engulfed us again.
It was starting to get dark and we still had to drive back to Baños so we knew we had to get going. But not before we got on the swing one more time, this time getting even higher…
If you get a chance to go to La Casa del Arbol, do it! You won’t regret it. We do recommend going during the week. We were told that it gets packed on the weekends and you could be standing in line to swing for awhile.
Once you’ve paid to get in, you can stay and swing as much as you want but you do have to take turns with others there (play nice!). And be respectful of where you are; this is a private property and unfortunately we noticed that people were leaving their trash on the ground.
To watch a short video of my first time on the swing, click below:
So what do you think? Would you get on the swing at the end of the world? We’d love to read your comments below! 🙂
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