Baños de Agua Santa is one of the most wheelchair accessible cities in Ecuador thanks to the efforts of Alfonso and his mother Rebeca Maria. Alfonso and Rebeca Maria opened a hostel on a hill where they service tourists, including those with limited mobility. The area is safe and known for the surrounding majestic landscape. At the entrance, someone is always there to greet you. The family hostel Las Granadillas in Baños, Ecuador is a place to “live in harmony with nature, adventure travel and integrate with people we serve” says Alfonso.
Las Granadillas has four floors and all of them are connected by a system of ramps at an average of two ramps per floor, about five meters long and 1.25 cm wide, with a landing pad for a break in between. There are a few patios that wrap around the hostel offering spectacular views of the city, surrounding mountains, and volcano. Hummingbird feeders are hung in various places for the enjoyment of guests along with a patio garden.
All the floors at the hostel are ceramic which makes it easy to get around. The dining room is spacious with tables high enough for wheelchairs users to feel comfortable for dining or hanging out at the bar. A section of the kitchen counter has been designed so wheelchairs can roll under it. The sink is also a roll-up setup and the stove has been lowered for wheelchair access. Guests can buy their food and use anything from the fully stocked kitchen to cook it or pay for a “dine off the menu” provided by the hostel. All items on the menu are locally grown and include items like various soups and barbecued meats.
Beds and Bathrooms
There are a total of six accessible bedroom suites that can be rented by the day, week, or month and all have doors about one meter wide and opens with a key. These suites have their own living room, bathroom, balcony, and fireplace. The bedrooms are generally spacious with little furniture, besides one twin bed and a bunk-bed, so maneuvering space is not a problem. All rooms have a roll-in shower with grab-bars. A plastic seat and padded commode are available as shower chairs. One room suite has both a roll-in shower and a bathtub.
Las Granadillas is located 2.5 km from the bus terminal near the community center on the tourist route between Baños and the community of Illuchi. Cross over the San Francisco bridge and from the intersection it will be about another 400 meters to the hostel.
The road that connects the hostel with the city is a mix between stone and cement, “via ecological.” There is no transportation with accessible ramps, but the people who work in transport are trained to transfer people and their mobility equipment so they travel with security and comfort.