Volcano Discovery

It is almost impossible to travel through the Ecuadorian Andes without coming across one of the massive volcanoes that overlook the green valleys. Famous for their imposing snow-covered peaks, but also for recent eruptions, Ecuador’s volcanoes offer travelers ideal conditions to practice their mountain climbing skills, and their vast deserted landscapes invite visitors for exciting horseback riding and hikes of all levels.

With some of those peaks surpassing 5000 meters high, with the Chimborazo registered as the furthest point from the center of the Earth, it’s a chance for adventurers to reach high altitudes and be rewarded with incredible views of the surrounding Andes.

Ecuador is also home to several active volcanoes, and courageous visitors may experience small eruptions while on hikes on the sides of those active giants. The town of Baños, located at the foot of the volcano Tungurahua, has recently witnessed strong eruptions and visitors can continuously observe smoke coming out of his crater all year around. At night, small eruptions can be heard and sometimes the light from the lava brighten the sky with red light. The Reventador, located on the East side of the Andes, can be accessed through a 5-hours hike in a thick tropical forest, and offers a spectacular view of its center cone and recently dried lava tumbling down its sides still smoking.

Amongst the most popular volcanoes to visit in Ecuador, Cotopaxi probably remains on top of the list. With its perfectly shaped snow–covered cone and its surrounding lunar landscape, it is home to many animal species and offers numerous exciting activities, from horseback riding to hiking, climbing and mountain biking, to mention a few. Further south, in a remote place only accessible by mule, the Altar and its open crater are remnants of a powerful eruption that blew up its top and left it with an open wound, covered by a turquoise water lagoon.

And last but not least, Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands not only are a testimony of evolution on earth, their deserted landscapes are home to one of the richest ecosystems on the planet, mainly due to the presence of volcanoes in these islands which add a unique touch to the beauty of this destination.

Every trip to a volcano is supervised by professional guides, and it is strongly recommended to be accompanied by one of them when climbing an active volcano. Local guides not only know their way around and on top of these volcanoes, they can turn your journey into a learning experience that goes way beyond your expectations. Travelers arriving in Ecuador will find themselves at the crossroads of many of these giants, and planning a volcano adventure is almost inevitable for any enthusiastic visitors looking for fun away from civilization.

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