You may have had fun on the playground as a child or even as a mischievous adult, but if you're looking for more of a thrill swinging life away, we have you covered. And no, we're not talking about heading to the nearest amusement park. What if you were barely strapped in, dangling over a mountaintop that just so happens to overlook one of South America's most active volcanos? All you have to do is head to the adventure town of Banos, Ecuador and you'll find La Casa Del Arbol, better known as, "The swing at the end of the world."
Where is this Place?
La Casa del Arbol is situated in the small town of Banos, which is know to the gateway to the Amazon. You can actually hike up to the swing which is about 6 miles from the center of town, but the bus costs just $2 and a taxi about $5. The hike is a good walk and worth the satisfaction, but the line to swing does get long so you may want to leave early in the morning to beat the rush.
La Casa del Arbol translates to "tree house" and is only $1 a ride. If you're wondering what it feels like, imagine being swiftly jolted 8500 feet in the air, all that's suspending you a wooden seat, rope and a tree trunk. Rickety to say the least, in front of you and to the right is a sheer cliff drop-off, and if you can muster the courage to glimpse to the left, in the distance you'll see the Tungurahua volcano. As it hits how far you're flung into orbit, coming back down to earth only a second or two more than a normal swing feels like an eternity. The immense adrenaline rush takes over as you grip the ropes for dear life with no harness or official safety devices. Enjoy the ride but hold on!
How to Do It
In peak seasons, Ecuador is a busy little country and Banos is no exception. One of the most visited spots, adventure addicts are drawn to activities such as white water rafting, paragliding and Casa Del Arbol. You may have seen the surreal-looking images floating around the internet, but we can assure you it's no illusion. Try to time your visit so there are less tourists in the background and make sure to bring your camera (and a friend to snap your photos). Back in 2014, the winner of National Geographic's Merit Prize was a man swinging from Casa Del Arbol just minutes after the volcano erupted. Take a look here.