Ecuador is a fascinating country and attracts thousands of tourists every year. Especially adventure tourism is a big issue because of the unique geographical conditions. Nowhere else in the world you can find more volcanoes in such a small area. The country is a “hotspot” for climbers and all kind of hikers.
Ecuador has 3 different climate zones, the „hot zone“ with desertic, equatorial and tropical conditions, the “temperate zone” with continental, mediterranean and oceanic conditions and of course the climate zone of the highlands with polar y mountainous conditions.
The high number of volcanoes and mountains are what makes the small country so unique. Millions of years ago, the collision of two tectonic plates created one of the highest mountains in the world – the Andes. And nowadays the Nazca Plate is still pushing under the lighter South American Plate in a westward direction. This is the reason why 8 of the 55 volcanoes in Ecuador are still active and 9 are categorized as “potentially active”.
The Andes are separated in two different mountain ranges, the “Cordillera Occidental” where the volcano “Chimborazo” is located and the “Cordillera Central” with the volcano “Cotopaxi”. The both ranges are connected by many smaller mountains. This is the reason why a lot of cities in the highlands are very long from the north to the south but just a few miles wide between east and west. The best example is the capital, Quito.
But what happens during an eruption: about 60 miles under the surface exist temperatures about 1000 – 1300 degrees Celsius. The volcanic rock is melting and expands under the surface, this produce a lot of gas and pressure. The outcome of this are magma chamber. As soon as a chamber is full of magma, the volcano erupts. On this way the earth can get rid of the big pressure inside without bursting in certain areas.
The “Tungurahua” (5.023m) is one of the most active volcanoes in Ecuador and attracts therefore a lot of tou
rists. The volcano is very close located to the adventure town “Banos” which is well visited for that. Under clear conditions you can see the eruption of water steam and ash of cold lava. In its high activity there were a lot of guided tours where you could see the ejected lava of the volcano.
Of course, one of the most famous volcanoes in the world has to be mentioned here: the “Cotopaxi” (5.897m). Even though the Cotopaxi is an active volcano, it is well visited by hundreds of tourists every year.
It´s part of many acclimatisation programs or is visited for one day where the tourists can reach the glacier at 5.006m. As the second highest volcano of the country it became an icon of Ecuador.
The highest volcano in Ecuador is called “Chimborazo” and is with 6.268m the farthest point on Earth with the Earth`s Center as reference point. (Mount Everest is still the biggest mountain above sea level).
The Chimborazo is an inactive volcano and climbed by many people during the year.
As you can see Ecuador offers an incredible climbing destination to reach ones of the highest summits in the world. But it`s not easy and a big challenge even for experienced climbers. Climbing on this altitude is hard and might cause altitude sickness. Gulliver Expeditions will help you to operate this “Once in a lifetime” experience. With licensed guides, excellent safety standards and high quality services you have a lot opportunities to prepare yourself with one of our acclimatisation programs. You have the chance to climb different Volcanoes and could end up with Chimborazo climb.
Don´t be afraid of the active volcanoes. The eruptions are small, happen permanently and avoid on this way big eruptions.
However: If you looking for a great adventure – Ecuador is the right place to find it.