Stretching for 200 miles south of Quito, Ecuador’s “Avenue of the Volcanoes” is a stunning route between two parallel cordilleras. This remarkable avenue is home to seven peaks surpassing 17,000 feet, showcasing Ecuador’s geological diversity. The volcanoes, including Cotopaxi and Chimborazo, offer captivating vistas and opportunities for mountaineering. Travelers can also explore the unique ecosystems, indigenous communities, and charming towns along the way, immersing themselves in Ecuador’s culture and natural wonders. The Avenue of the Volcanoes is an unforgettable destination for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and those seeking a taste of Ecuador’s vibrant heritage.
Cotopaxi National Park which is located just a 90-minute drive south of Quito down the Pan-American Highway. A perfectly symmetrical 19,348-foot snow cone, Cotopaxi could well be the world’s most beautiful volcano. It stands in majestic and solitary splendor, surrounded by the tawny and wind-swept páramo (highlands). It is possible just to admire the celebrated view, cougars can sometimes be spotted as ducks, rabbits, and weasels.
The Quilotoa is a water-filled caldera with a 3-kilometer (2 mi)-wide caldera that was formed by the collapse of the volcano following a catastrophic eruption about 600 years ago, The caldera has since accumulated water, which has a greenish color as result of dissolved minerals.
The tallest, 20,565-foot Chimborazo, was long thought to be the highest mountain in the world. (In fact, it is, when measured from the center of the earth, owing to the planet’s equatorial bulge.) The term Avenue of the Volcanoes was coined by the German explorer Alexander von Humboldt, “the greatest scientific traveler who ever lived,” according to Charles Darwin — who journeyed through Ecuador in 1802, climbing to 19,286 feet on Chimborazo, a world record at the time.
The Avenue of the Volcanoes is a 3-day/2-night trip.
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