The Avenue of Volcanoes is a great place to add to your itinerary if you’re planning an adventurous trip to Ecuador. This valley between two major ranges of volcanoes stretches for more than 180 miles, and it provides endless opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, trekking, and more. People love Ecuador volcanoes not only for the activities they provide, but also for the scenery. Snow-capped mountains and lush valleys are a reminder that temperature varies greatly according to altitude. If you’re planning on doing some hiking here, remember to bring layers of clothing, rain gear, and good hiking shoes.
There are a number of volcanoes and mountains that offer the perfect combination of a challenging hike as well as incredible scenery. Some of the top choices for travelers include Antisana Volcano, Illiniza Sur, and Sangay Volcano. These mountains attract both serious climbers and those looking for a pleasant outdoor experience. Whether you want to spend many days camping and trekking or simply want to spend a few hours hiking with an experienced guide, you will be glad you added Avenue of Volcanoes to your list of things to do in Ecuador.
Located south of Quito, Avenue of Volcanoes is the long valley that stretches towards Cuenca. It is famous not only for its appeal to outdoor enthusiasts, but also because the twin mountain ranges contain nine out of ten of the country’s highest peaks. This area is also one of the most populous in the country, because Ecuador volcanoes have very fertile soil in the valleys. Here visitors can encounter traditional villages where the way of life hasn’t changed for centuries. If you’re more interested in driving than mountain climbing, the Pan-American Highway stretches the length of the valley, and from here you will see the snowcapped volcanoes along with fields filled with llamas and traditional haciendas.
If you are planning a trip to Ecuador volcanoes for some adventure, it is best to do some research ahead of time. One volcano can be much more challenging to climb than the next, and the season can influence weather as well. The Antisana volcano, for example, is located one hour east of the capital of Quito and is known as a challenging climb. Difficult weather conditions on this snow-capped volcano can make for a climb that should be attempted by experienced climbers only. There are many tours that will organize a day trip to the Antisana Volcano, whether you want to do some hiking or simply want to check out the glaciers and snow-capped vista.
At the top of the list for challenging climbs in Ecuador besides the Antisana Volcano is the mountain Illiniza Sur. Its glacial nature can make for a challenging climb, although tour guides will be able to lead you in a direction that is less difficult. The altitude here is extremely impressive—mountains soar into the sky for more than 16,800 feet. Whether you want to drive through the valley and gaze at the incredible landscape or give an adventurous activity a try, this is one area of Ecuador not to be missed. Round out your trip to Ecuador by seeing the country’s oldest city, Loja, taking a tour of the Amazon, and visiting local markets.