Ecuador is one of the countries with the most volcanoes in his territory. And I’m talking about a hundred of volcanoes in an area smaller than Austria. Even before arriving in Quito, from the window of the plane we can see a dozen of them. Visiting volcanoes in Ecuador is mandatory for anyone visiting the country. So, take a look at 5 volcanoes to visit in Ecuador around Quito.
The good news is that we don’t have to take some long trips or camp in the middle of nowhere to visit some of the most important volcanoes in Ecuador. Around Quito there are 9 of the most important volcanoes in Latin America and several still active.
10 best things to do in Quito
In Ecuador we can live the experience of climbing a volcano and at the end of the day return to the comfort of the hotel room. But also stay overnight in refuges before major challenges, such as reaching the summit of the Cotopaxi Volcano.
5 volcanoes to visit in Ecuador
The Cotopaxi is the most visited in Ecuador and it is no wonder, it’s the third largest active volcano in the world. That’s right, active!
Cotopaxi is located in the Cotopaxi National Park, approximately 60 km from Quito and his summit is 5,897 meters above sea level. I climbed Cotopaxi and reached 4,870 meters and it was a once in a lifetime experience.
If you have the disposition and good physical fitness, it’s possible to stay overnight at Refúgio Jose Rivas in the middle of the mountain before heading to the summit.
The Quilotoa Volcano is 3,914 meters high and is 180 kilometers away from Quito. It’s an inactive volcano. The last explosion was more than 800 years ago, when the famous emerald-colored crater was created. This lake is the highlight of the visit, you can visit the caldera from different points and even go down there.
The Chimborazo is the highest volcano in Ecuador, it reaches 6,310 meters above sea level. Because of its height, climbing the Chimborazo is a task that requires a lot of physical preparation and adequate equipment. But it is possible to have an experience on the volcano without being a born climber. Chimborazo is on the outskirts of Riobamba, a town 180 km south of Quito.
The Pululahua volcano is another active volcano around Quito. But what makes this volcano even more special, is because the place is home to a hundred people. Yes, it is an active volcano and people lives there.
These people lives in the small community of San Isidro, created before the crater was declared active and the place became a protected area. Even though the volcano was active, the last eruption took place some 2,300 years ago.
The Pululahua volcano is next to Ciudad de la mitad del Mundo and you can combine the visit in both places.
Take a ride on the Quito’s Cable Car and climb up to 4,000 meters above sea to the viewpoint of the Rucu Pichincha volcano in the middle of the Andes. The trip is fast, it’s just around 10 minutes, open your eyes to see snowy peaks and active volcanoes around Quito.
If you enjoy the city view is not enough for you, take one of the tracks towards the Rucu Pichincha volcano, another active volcano around Quito. Yes, there are plenty of active volcanoes around Quito.
The last eruption took place in 1999 and left Quito completely covered by ash and dusty for weeks. The top of the volcano is 4,696 meters away and if you are prepared for the effects of altitude, you can get there!
Where to stay in Quito
There are 3 most recommended zones to stay in Quito: Historic Center, La Mariscal and Naciones Unidas.
The offer of hotels is very good, I love the Hotel Patio Andaluz. It’s a beautiful old mansion in one of the best areas of the historic center.
Other options in this zone is the Hotel El Relicario Del Carmen and the fantastic Plaza Grande Hotel. Quito has great accommodation for all budgets, like the Hotel Colonial San Agustin, which was recommended by several people.
La Mariscal is the busiest neighborhood in Quito with coolest bars and restaurants. The hotels here are newer and more modern, but you can find friendly hostels or boutique hotels in historic mansions.
I stayed in this zone, at the Hotel Rio Amazonas and loved. The room was huge and comfortable, a nice bed and a great view of the city. I traveled with a friend and we got a room with two huge beds and a lounge with a sofa and TV. The room cost US$ 45 per day. An excellent deal. The hotel staff were also very attentive and helpful.
Other recommended hotels in the same zone is the Nu House Boutique Hotel, right on Plaza Foch. Take a look at Park Inn by Radisson Quito, the Boutique Hotel Casa Foch they have a great value for money. Do you need one more option? I recommend Casa Joaquin Boutique Hotel, which follows the same style as Casa Foch.
United Nations and La Carolina:
The area around Avenida Naciones Unidas and Parque La Carolina is another place with many good options. That’s the modern neighborhood of Quito and has brand new hotels like the Best Western CPlaza Hotel and the Sheraton Quito.
Some important information about Ecuador
Best time to visit Ecuador
At any time of the year. But the rainy season runs from December to May and the driest season runs from June to September. The higher cities, like Quito, are very cold, while on the coast it is tropical heat. Bring your coats and swimsuits, as well.
Ecuador’s official currency is American Dollar. It is important to say that Ecuador is a cheap country with great value for money for all travelers.
Getting around Quito
The best way to get around Quito is by taxi or Uber, which has a great price. For example, a trip from La Mariscal to the Historic Center will cost just US$ 3.