Visit the Avenue of Volcanoes
The snowcapped Andes stretch in two rows across Ecuador, forming a dramatic natural corridor. This formation is nicknamed the Avenue of Volcanoes as it encompasses all the mainland’s 84 volcanic peaks, including the country’s highest mountain, Chimborazo. The majority of these volcanoes are inactive, and present a spectacular backdrop for hikes, city tours and rail rides.
The Avenue’s most famous peak is the Cotopaxi volcano, whose perfect cone belies the turmoil within. Enclosed by the national park of its namesake, Cotopaxi was quiet for more than a century before springing to life in 2015 with two minor eruptions. It remains one of the country’s most popular climbs, but you may wish to admire it safely from afar. Baños is the main jumping-off spot for hiking, mountain biking and rafting, and its hot springs are themselves worth a visit. Equally, don’t miss the hike to Quilotoa, a lake formed in a crater and famed for its brilliant emerald-green waters.
Suggested holiday: Classic Ecuador