Amazing Places

Dangle Your Feet Off The "End Of The World" On This Precarious Swing

Swingsets aren't just for kids anymore. Take one look at the "swing at the end of the world" in Ecuador and that will be made abundantly clear. Two things are required for a ride on this precarious swing: $1 and a well of bravery.

I Love To Swinga

While the swing is open today for tourists to ride for a buck, it was not built to attract visitors. As BBC Travel reported, an Ecuadorian man named Carlos Sánchez built La Casa Del Arbol (which translates to "the Treehouse") in the mountain town of Baños as a seismic monitoring station to keep a close eye on the nearby active volcano, Mt. Tungurahua.

Prior to his treehouse, Sanchez - known as "the volcano-watcher" - had just a pair of binoculars and a two-way radio, and often slept in a tent on the mountain. Trained by volcanologists, he learned how to radio down to them whenever he recognized a variety of signs signaling an eruption was near. In time, Sanchez built the treehouse as an alternative to his tent and then he added a long swing in hopes that his grandchildren would start visiting more.

They did visit more - and so did some curious travelers. In 2014 two tourists were taking a ride on Sanchez's swing when Mt. Tungurahua started erupting. Before running down the mountain to safety one of the tourists snapped a memorable photo looking up at the 8,000m-tall volcano while swinging over the side of the mountain. The photo won a National Geographic photo competition and word of Sanchez's swing spread around the world.

A Swing With A Story

Today, hundreds of people every day make their way up to La Casa Del Arbol to take a ride on the swing and see unparalleled views of Baños. While the swing at the end of the world isn't a literal title, that's not to say it's unimpressive. Sitting on the swing gives you a completely unobstructed view of the Baños valley below, and the mountainside that will take you 2.5 hours to hike up. Hope you're not afraid of heights because that view is of the steep 1,000-foot drop-off into a valley. (By the way, there are no belts, nets, or restraints on or near the swing.)

This downright rickety-looking swing deep in the country's lush wilderness is one tourist attraction that'll make you feel like a kid again - a kid that enjoys a taste of death-defying danger with calming mountain views, that is.

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The Swing At The Edge Of The World

Written by Curiosity Staff April 5, 2017

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