The continent of South America comprises some of the biggest forests on earth, and deep within the confines of the dense wilderness of Ecuador is an interesting piece of the seismological observatory. Its uniqueness lies in the observation post which is merely a swing at the end of the world, precariously hanging from the flimsy branch of a tree-house named Casa del Arbol. Situated at a little more than 8530ft(2,600 meters) above the level of the sea, it allows a stunning visual of the Tungurahua mountain, which is an active volcano.
The adventurous ones can swing over the steep slope to take in the enchanting sight from that insecure but thrilling viewpoint. The tree house is in itself a stunning visual treat but the icing on the cake is the flimsy swing that takes you on a ride that is at once exhilarating as well as educational.
Secured by an unconvincing seat belt, you embark on your swinging voyage over the steep slope of the hill overlooking the canyon. The origin of the swinging observation post is shrouded in mystery, probably the brainchild of an eccentric seismologist.
Situated in the corner of a tiny park at Casa de Arbol, the set up comprises three swings along with one short zip line. It is open to people of all age groups but beware the risks. The only requisite here is a sense of adventure and a taste for the unusual. Initially, the swing was unattended and the daring had to take the ride all by themselves, but now, you can find guides. They will attend to everything from strapping you into the seat to shoving your swing on your journey up the adventurous arc. They also snap your pictures while you swing in the air. The ride on the swing is not as dangerous or intoxicating as the pictures suggest – the swing, in fact, lies over a sharp slope and not from an overhanging cliff.
For as little as $ 5, tour operators take you on shuttle trips from Banos to Casa del Arbol at regular intervals. If you would rather prefer the convenience of short journeys over the tedious nature of longer ones and are willing to overlook the hassle of large groups and long lines, then this is the go-to form of transportation here. Or you can take a long inexpensive journey for half the rate from the centre of the town that takes you directly to Casa de Arbol. And you can also avoid that long wait for your turn on the swing.
In every journey, there are these quaint experiences that are a welcome break from the regular adventures. There is always the thrill of climbing a mountain or the intoxicating fun of white water rafting. Offbeat adventures are one of a kind. They stay with you long after experiencing it.