Though we know now that the Earth is round, there lies a tourist attraction in the heart of Ecuador that might make you second guess if you really can stand at the edge of the world. When the bravest of travelers arrive in Baños, Ecuador to pump their legs on its famous swing, they may very well believe that they are swinging over the edge of a flat world.
According to Lonely Planet, Baños is the perfect place for anyone who enjoys outdoor activities. “From town you can see waterfalls, hike through lush forests, rest your bones in steaming thermal springs, hike down impossibly steep gorges, bike or boat all the way to the Amazon Basin…” With so many options for the active tourist, Baños seems like a great vacation destination.
One of the main attractions that brings people to the city at the edge of the Amazon Basin is the Volcán Tungurahua, a local volcano that erupts from time to time. The very existence of this active volcano has allowed for the creation of the famous swing at the end of the world.
Located deep inside the wilderness of Baños is a large tree called Casa del Arbol. This tree is home to a seismic monitoring station that observes the erupting volcano. Yet, the monitoring station treehouse is only part of the fascinating equation that brings people to the wilderness of Baños, Ecuador. According to Atlas Obscura, “While the treehouse itself is a sight to behold, the real attraction is the crude swing hanging from one of the tree’s skinny branches.”
The swing that hangs from the station’s tree allows visitors to rock over the top of the Ecuadorian jungle and admire the panoramic views of the trees, mountains, and volcano. If a photo is taken at the right angle, it appears as if swingers are riding off the edge of the world, with nothing beneath them, surrounded only by the Ecuadorian mountains.
How exactly the swing came to be constructed on a thin branch beneath a monitoring station is unknown. Some think one of the seismologists that used the monitoring station set up the swing.
According to Atlas Obscura, “With no harness, net, or any other safety feature, the swing (nothing more than a plank suspended by two ropes) arcs riders out into the air over the canyon.” Because the swing does not provide many safety precautions, it beckons some of the bravest adventurers in the world. According to Buzzfeed, the incredible opportunity to sway over a steep drop without any protection invites “only the bravest of risk-takers to experience a killer view.”
Anyone is invited to experience the thrill of swinging over what may seem to be the edge of the world in Baños, Ecuador, but at their own risk. Still, the ride seems to be an intriguing one.
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