Avenue of the Volcanoes

  • Cotopaxi Summer - © AdnMontalvo
  • Cotopaxi - © Dan
  • Cotopaxi - © Alepheli
  • Cotopaxi NP - © NeilandKathyCar
  • Cotopaxi - © Jean-Marc
  • Cotopaxi - © Deuxpi
  • Cotopaxi from Iliniza - © JoSi
  • Cotopaxi - © LeRoc
  • Cotopaxi Ecuador - © Jrubinic
  • Track to Cotopaxi - © JoSimon
  • Tungurahua from Cotopaxi - © Jo
  • Cotopaxi - © Alepheli

Key information: Avenue of the Volcanoes

    • The extraordinary Avenue of the Volcanoes runs for some 100km south of Quito, a double line of Ecuador's greatest volcanoes separated by the deep, fertile, populous central valley. Ecuador's highest mountains - Chimborazo and famous Cotapaxi, both active volcanoes, line up with smaller specimens and long-retired grandees, now reduced to the dramatic stumps and collapsed craters that signal their dotage. 
      • Walking paradise.
      •  

Walkopedia rating

(Top 100)
  • Walkopedia rating90
  • Beauty35
  • Natural interest19
  • Human interest3
  • Charisma34
  • Negative points1
  • Total rating90

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Your choice
  • Maximum Altitude: 6,310m
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable
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Cotopaxi Ecuador - © Jrubinic

WALK SUMMARY

The extraordinary Avenue of the Volcanoes runs for some 100km south of Quito, a double line of Ecuador's greatest volcanoes separated by the deep, fertile, populous central valley. Ecuador's highest mountains - Chimborazo and famous Cotapaxi, both active volcanoes, the former higher than Kilimanjaro - line up with smaller specimens and long-retired grandees, now reduced to the dramatic stumps and collapsed craters that signal their dotage.

A journey down the Avenue is walking heaven, with a host of opportunities to climb geological absurdities to revel in Ecuador's finest views.

Some of these are day walks from Quito - consider:

-       {C}The Pichincha Volcanoes, which loom over the city.

-       {C}To the south are Atacazo, Antisana, El Chaupi and Pasochoa.

At the heart of the Avenue are the marvellous cone of Cotapaxi with its neighbor Ruminhaui. More or less - opposite, hidden to the west, is the superb and fascinating Lake Quilotoa area.

Further south and on the western range is the glorious walking area of Chimborazo.

The last great group are on the eastern side in Sangay NP: conical Tungurahua, the ruined horseshoe of spires that is El Altar and the hyperactive Volcan Sangay itself.

This is often demanding walking in remote mountains with uncertain weather, where altitude can cause real problems. Come fully prepared, including proper acclimatization.

Have a look at TripAdvisor - there are tens of millions of reviews, so you may get good, current views on guides, places to hike and places to stay in the area.

Ecuador Climbing and Hiking Guide - Viva, have worthwhile sections on this area. Find relevant books by using our Amazon search function:

 This page is at an early stage of development. Please help us by recommending your best walks, making suggestions and sending photos! Thank you!

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

Track to Cotopaxi - © JoSimon

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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Cotopaxi - ©Deuxpi...
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