Inka Travel Guides
Ecuador
Inka Travel Guides
ECUADOR

Ecuador, sitting on the equator between Colombia and Peru, is the smallest of the Andean nations, covering an area of 285,000 sq km. The majority of Ecuador's 14 million people are mestizos. Spanish is the official language, but there are more than twenty other native tongues, including several dialects of Quichua, the language of the Inca Empire.

Ecuador lies on the ‘Ring of Fire’, part of a highly seismic zone that encircles the Pacific. It is one of the most volcanically active areas on the continent, and the two cordilleras of the Ecuadorian Andes here are studded with snow-capped volcanoes, an area commonly known as the ‘Avenue of the Volcanoes’. Though many of the country's 55 volcanic peaks are extinct, eight remain active, while another nine have erupted in the last few thousand years and are classified as ‘potentially active’. Ecuador's volcanoes – which include the furthest point from the centre of the Earth (Chimborazo), the highest point on the equator (Cayambe), and one of the highest active peaks in the world (Cotopaxi) – are spectacular sights, attracting mountaineers from across the globe and admiration from all who see them.

One of Ecuador’s most stunning volcanoes is Cotopaxi with its almost symmetrical snow-capped cone rising steeply from a highland plain. Located about 28 km south of the capital, Quito, it is Ecuador’s second highest summit, reaching 5,897m, and making it one of the world’s highest active volcanoes. Regarded as a sacred mountain by the local Andean people, Cotopaxi has one of the few equatorial glaciers in the world.

Another of Ecuador’s marvels is the inactive Chimborazo volcano, the highest summit in Ecuador and the earth’s closest point to the sun. Chimborazo is located in the Cordillera Occidental of the Andes of central Ecuador, 150 km southwest of Quito. Its majestic glaciated summit reaches a height of 6,268m.

If you want to climb these stunning volcanoes, then have a look at our COTOPAXI and CHIMBORAZO mountaineering expedition.

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