Holidays to the Avenue of the Volcanoes, Ecuador

Teeming with mammoth volcanic peaks, the road between Ecuador’s capital and the colourful city of Riobamba is lovingly nicknamed “Avenue of the Volcanoes”, and it is a jaw-dropping expedition of Ecuador’s natural landscape. The route spans over 200 kilometres through a verdant valley dotted with traditional villages and blanketed in stunning landscapes that are guaranteed to take your breath away. 

The namesake peak of Cotopaxi National Park sits north of Quito and is one of the most popular climbs in Ecuador. Although it can't be described as easy, it's a favourite among less seasoned climbers. Also north of the capital is Laguna Cuicocha, a volcanic crater surrounded by lush grasslands, beautiful fauna and azure lagoons. The peak's name is a Quechua word, the indigenous language dating back to ancient Inca civilisations that is spoken in regional dialects across the Ecuadorian Highlands.

To the south of Quito, the snow-capped twin peaks of the Illinizas protrude through the hilltops, and set in the background is Quilotoa, a caldera that is brim-full of luminous turquoise water.

The country’s proximity to the equator means the summit of Chimborazo, an extinct volcano that is Ecuador’s highest peak, is the farthest point from the centre of the earth and attracts experienced climbers in pursuit of a one-in-a-lifetime adventure.

At the base of the Avenue of the Volcanoes, Riobamba hasn't steered far from its Spanish roots with the Quechua language being widely disregarded in favour of Spanish. The city is filled with colonial architecture and elaborately-painted arcades, and there is still a strong indigenous presence in the city, most noticeably in the open-air markets where artisans peddle their handicrafts, leather goods and locally-produced beers and dairy products.

Highlights

  • Trek up Chimborazo – Ecuador's highest peak

  • Swim in the turquoise waters of Laguna Cuicocha

  • Buy handicrafts from Riobamba's artisan markets

Ella
Senior Ecuador & Galapagos Travel Designer
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Exploring the haunting Amazonian cloud forest and paddling along the Napo River are just two of the many unforgettable experiences that I brought back from this friendly and incredibly diverse country.

Avenue of the Volcanoes trip Ideas

Here are some trip ideas that include the Avenue of the Volcanoes. All of our trip ideas shown below are examples, and we’ll amend, adapt or start from scratch, until we’ve created the perfect trip for you. See one you like, or have a trip in mind? Call us now to book: 01483 319 333

Map of Avenue of the Volcanoes