One of the main attractions of Ecuador is its impressive mountains, some of the highest in the world, which make it a true paradise for climbers and trekkers. With 10 summits reaching up to over 5,000 meters above sea level, the country does not fall short of opportunities to experience adventurous mountaineering. Nine of the 10 summits even have glaciers and are among the Andean range’s most exciting adventure destinations.
Seasoned mountaineers and amateurs alike will revel in the chance to climb and explore these awe-inspiring mountains, where routes range from easy snow-plots to hard and technical for the most experienced. In any case, whether you are a professional or not, it is strongly recommended to take some time to get acclimatized before you attempt to climb one of Ecuador’s mighty summits.
Most of the mountains are very easily accessible from the lovely colonial capital of Ecuador, Quito. From here, using public transportation, you can reach the base of no less than 7 of the 10 highest peaks. Quito, located at 2,800 meters, is also the perfect place to get acclimatized (a week is recommended) and boasts countless attractions to keep you entertained as you prefer for your mountain adventures.
The perfect spot for beginner climbers, the famous Cotopaxi Volcano, situated at a dizzying height of 5,897 meters, is arguably one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. Climbing up to the top may be challenging but is always well rewarded with the exceptional view inside the volcano’s crater. This is one of the easiest climbing experiences in Ecuador, as you can easily drive from Quito to 4,600 meters, then continue climbing to the top, which should always be done with a qualified local guide. However, be aware that this is one of the most popular climbing routes in Ecuador, meaning it can get crowded and is probably not the best bet for more experienced climbers who are looking for technical challenges.
Although the lowest of Ecuador’s 10 highest mounts, Tungurahua is one of the most challenging, and also one of the most dangerous. As the volcano is still very active, it is often off-limits to climbers, depending on the level of activity. The only to attempt the exciting climb of Tungurahua is from Baños, and you have to start from the base. Crampons and ice axes are necessary as well as being roped up to cross the summit glacier, making it a very technical climb.
Other noteworthy climbs in Ecuador includes the majestic Chimborazo mount, Ecuador’s highest peak at 6,310 meters, and its neighbor Cayambe (5,789 meters), which offers great technical routes for the most seasoned.
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For more info about the mountains in Ecuador check it www.visitecuador.com.ec