Andes Overland

The Volcano Highway

Within the border of Ecuador you will find the volcano highway, where a high number of (volcanic) mountains are situated. In Ecuador you can find the no longer active Chimborazo (6267meters), which is de highest mountain in Ecuador with a permanent ice cap and the Cotopaxi (5897 meters), which is the highest active volcano in the world. The latter is ideal to climb during a trip to Cotopaxi National Park.
Other famous volcanoes in Ecuador are the Cayambe (5790meters), the Antisana (5703), Tungurahua (5023meters), and the Pichincha (4.784 meters).

Although many people may be scared by the high number of active volcanos this is not necessary.
Having so many volcanoes the country is extremely well prepared for any outbreaks. Although some caution is recommend, the volcanoes bring the tourism in Ecuador to a higher level through the possibilities of beautiful hikes, crater lakes and not to mention the wonderful thermal baths. The best combination of the two is an adventurous hike followed by a relaxing evening in the thermal baths.

Cotopaxi National park is particularly interesting because the volcano suddenly surges out of relatively flat terrain, offering spectacular views of the volcano from all directions. A hike, climb or trek on the Cotopaxi is a truly amazing experience but as well is a visit to the park for those who seeking to enjoy stunning panoramas from down below.

Ecuador and in special the city of Banos, is well known for its thermal baths. Believing that mineral waters can heal maladies is not a stretch for most people; they theorize that if Epsom Salts (magnesium sulfate crystals) provide relief from stiffness and sore muscles when dissolved in bath water, thermal springs that contain naturally occurring chlorates, sulfates and magnesium must have even better efficacy. The volcanically heated water gushes from the bowels of the earth at a scorching 122 degrees and it cools only four degrees by the time it reaches the first pool. Jumping back and forth from the hottest pool to the ice baths seems to cure lots of aches and pain. However, technically seen I would not advise you to literally jump in on another since they were definitely not kidding when they said it was icy.

Volcanoes, whether it is a gift of nature or a warning from god, you can better enjoy all the good they have to offer and there is no better place in the world than in the beautiful country of Ecuador.