Overview

Introduction

The Avenue of Volcanoes is as it sounds! Follow part of the ‘avenue’ by taking the road South of the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, through to the colonial city of Cuenca. This journey takes in some spectacular scenery, weaving through lush, fertile valleys, protected wildlife areas and offering incredible views of the majestic volcanoes which dominate the skyline with their grandeur.

Upon leaving the beautiful city of Quito behind, the road climbs through an immense patchwork of fields and across the pine forests of an enormous plateau to reach the province of Cotopaxi.

Cotopaxi National Park is the most famous national park in Ecuador, covering an enormous 33,393 hectares and home to wolves, bears and pumas.  Cotopaxi Volcano is one of the highest active volcanoes in the World and measures 5,897m.  There is a good gravel road which winds up the ash-strewn side to a parking area located at 4,600m; from here, the physically fit can slowly walk a further distance of 200m to a refuge with incredible views – altitude and weather permitting!

En route from Cotopaxi to Riobamba is Banos, a spa town where thermal baths provide a welcome for many walkers and visitors alike! Banos is located in the Tungurahua province, nestled in a valley at the foot of Tungurahua Volcano (5,023m).

Riobamba holds quite a unique location where on a clear day, it is possible to see the peaks of five volcanoes! Chimborazo (6,310m), Altar (5,319m), Tungurahua (5,023m), Carihuairazo (5,020m)and Sangay (5,230m) – a magnificent view!

Chimborazo, the highest volcano in Ecuador (and once thought to be the highest mountain on earth) is located approx. 50km from Riobamba.

From Riobamba, heading towards Cuenca, there is the most famous Inca and pre-Inca site in Ecuador; Ingapirca.  The drive is approx. 5 hours from Riobamba and just 1 hour 30 minutes from Cuenca.

Cuenca remains a beautiful colonial city and the centre of art and culture. The city is excellent for shopping, particularly for silver and gold goods, and home to the Homero Ortega’s Panama hat factory; the main centre for Panama hat production and a recommended visit!

Cuenca was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 and the Spanish style architecture in the old town district adds to the beauty of this well preserved city!

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There are charming hotels and stunning train journeys aplenty - it squeezes in a little bit of everything. I love the epic rail-ride on the Tren Crucero and there is more than enough to satisfy the culture vulture.

Stephen Bray
Stephen Bray
Best time to go
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Time Difference

GMT -5 hours

Currency

US Dollar

Language

Spanish

Average flight times

14 hours 15 minutes. From London Heathrow via Amsterdam (KLM)

  • Average temperature

    Average rainfall

Note: Map is for guidance purposes only.

Talk to our Ecuador expert

Stephen Bray
Stephen Bray

There are charming hotels and stunning train journeys aplenty - it squeezes in a little bit of everything. I love the epic rail-ride on the Tren Crucero and there is more than enough to satisfy the culture vulture.

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Avenue of Volcanoes

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

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