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Avenue of the Volcanoes

Ecuador’s central valley runs almost 200 miles south from Quito to Riobamba, with the Pan American Highway running down this “Avenue of the Volcanoes” formed by two parallel chains of mountains, including eight of the country’s ten highest peaks.
 
Chief among these is the famous cone-shape of Cotopaxi, at 5,900 metres the world’s highest active volcano, which remains snow-capped for most of the year. It ranks with Kilimanjaro as a tough tourist climb and when inactive is open to all, with well organised trips. It is part of the Cotopaxi National Park, which offers a super range of outdoor activities from walking to Ecuador riding holidays and visiting indigenous local villages and markets. The Thursday market at Saquisili near Latacunga is one of the most colourful and lively and typical of the traditional markets up and down the Avenue of the Volcanoes.
 
Call us on 01582 766122 to discuss the Avenue of the Volcanoes and Ecuador riding holidays, or complete our enquiry form for some wonderful ideas and specialist advice.
 
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For those who are more serious about their riding, there are hacienda-to-hacienda trips with responsive horses, all well cared for by the gauchos (cowboys) who lead these Ecuador riding holidays.
 
From Latacunga you can visit the stunning Quilotoa Lagoon, formed from the crater left by an enormous eruption 800 years ago. The water is a beautiful turquoise from the dissolved minerals and two miles in diameter. You can hike down to the surface but you might want to hire a mule for the return journey!
 
Moving southeast alongthe Avenue of the Volcanoes takes you to Banos, the gateway to the Amazon. Here the Tungurahua Volcano towers to 5,000 metres and Ecuadorians make pilgrimages to the basilica to Our Lady of the Holy Water. The walls are covered with depictions of her miracles and it is of great spiritual importance.
 
Returning west you will find the highest mountain in Ecuador, Chimborazo, which rises to 6,300 metres. It sits on the equator and because the earth is wider here, its summit is the furthest point from the centre of the earth. Not many people know that! This region of Avenue of the Volcanoes boasts the highest concentration of indigenous people in Ecuador. Many still preserve their ancient way of life, dress and customs and in times past worshiped Chimborazo as a god.
 
Next stop on the Pan-American Highway is the town of Riobamba, at the southern end of the Avenue of the Volcanoes. The town’s impressive architecture reflects its Spanish heritage, but there is a strong indigenous presence which really comes alive at the colourful Saturday market. A must-see here is the Museo de Arte Religioso, a beautifully restored 16th century convent housing one of the country’s finest collections of 17th and 18 century religious art.
 
This is also a convenient base for exploring this spectacular mountain landscape, including the magical scenic round trip train ride to the famous Devil’s Nose at Alausi.
 
If trains are your thing, you must take the Tren Crucero, or Cruise Train, all the way through the Avenue of the Volcanoes from Quito to Guayaquil. This magnificent four day journey is recognised as one of the most unforgettable in the world, with comfortable stop-overs at haciendas along the way.
 
Essential Ecuador: Quito + Avenue of Volcanoes
EYA7Q
7 NIGHTS
FROM £1,595
International flights quoted separately
This escorted small group tour is the perfect introduction to Ecuador - combining the old Inca capital of Quito in the Andes, with stunning landscapes & local culture as you travel through the Avenue of the Volcanoes & ride the train down Devil's Nose to the charming colonial city of Cuenca.  Complete your holiday in the vibrant Caribbean port city of Guayaquil. English speaking guides & all transfers included.
Ecuador Tour Photo Quito Cuenca Train Devils Nose Guayaquil
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Quito
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Centre of World Monument
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Indigenous Markets
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Tungurahua Volcano
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Route of the Cascases
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Chimborazo Volcano
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Riobamba
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Devils Nose Train
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Cuenca
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Guayaquil
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Quito
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Centre of World Monument
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Indigenous Markets
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Tungurahua Volcano
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Route of the Cascases
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Chimborazo Volcano
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Riobamba
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Devils Nose Train
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Cuenca
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Guayaquil
Ecuador: Tren Crucero Train - Quito to Guayaquil
EYD7Q
7 NIGHTS
FROM £2,295
International flights quoted separately
The iconic Tren Crucero train travels the length of Ecuador, starting in the historic colonial city of Quito and journeying through the spectacular Avenue of the Volcanoes to the port city of Guayaquil - the gateway to the Galapagos Islands. See spectacular Andean scenery and absorb the local culture, staying at local haciendas along the way. All transfers included.
Photo Tren Crucero Train Ecuador Quito Galapagos & Avenue of the Volcanoes Guayaquil Photo
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Quito
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Centre of the World
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Train of Wonders
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Otavalo excursion
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Tren Crucero Train
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Avenue of Volcanoes
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Cotopaxi National Park
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Andean Highlands
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Devils Nose
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Guayaquil
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Quito
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Centre of the World
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Train of Wonders
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Otavalo excursion
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Tren Crucero Train
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Avenue of Volcanoes
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Cotopaxi National Park
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Andean Highlands
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Devils Nose
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Guayaquil
Classic Ecuador: Quito + Amazon + Ave of Volcanoes
EYB12Q
12 NIGHTS
FROM £2,895
International flights quoted separately
Explore the wildlife, cultures & landscapes of mainland Ecuador, starting in the old Inca capital of Quito high in the Andes. Fly into the Amazon Basin to explore its wildlife & waterways, then join a small group tour through the Avenue of the Volcanoes to colonial Cuenca, including train ride down the Devil's Nose. Light aircraft flights, English guide, all transfers & specified sightseeing included.
Photo Avenue of the Volcanoes Ecuador Train Devils Nose Cuenca Amazon
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Quito
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Centre of World Monument
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Amazon Basin
• 
Tungurahua Volcano
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Route of the Cascases
• 
Chimborazo Volcano
• 
Riobamba
• 
Devils Nose Train
• 
Cuenca
• 
Guayaquil
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Quito
• 
Centre of World Monument
• 
Amazon Basin
• 
Tungurahua Volcano
• 
Route of the Cascases
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Chimborazo Volcano
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Riobamba
• 
Devils Nose Train
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Cuenca
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Guayaquil
Quito + Avenue of Volcanoes + Galapagos (on land)
EYB13Q
13 NIGHTS
FROM £3,994
International flights quoted separately
Combine Quito & a hotel on the Galapagos Islands, with this weekly escorted tour through the dramatic Avenue of the Volcanoes, that runs in a parallel chain southwards from Quito to Riobamba, including riding the train down the amazing 'Devils Nose'. All transfers, marine fees & specified sightseeing with English guides included. Diving options available on request.
Photo Santa Cruz Island Tours Galapagos Finch Bay Hotels Ecuador
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Quito
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Centre of World Monument
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Avenue of Volcanoes
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Devils Nose Train
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Cuenca
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Guayaquil
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Santa Cruz, Galapagos
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North Seymour Island
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Giant Tortoises
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Charles Darwin Centre
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Quito
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Centre of World Monument
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Avenue of Volcanoes
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Devils Nose Train
• 
Cuenca
• 
Guayaquil
• 
Santa Cruz, Galapagos
• 
North Seymour Island
• 
Giant Tortoises
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Charles Darwin Centre
Grand Ecuador, including Amazon + Galapagos Cruise
EPC16Q
16 NIGHTS
FROM £5,995
International flights quoted separately
Explore Ecuador in depth on this amazing holiday. Travel by boat into the rainforests of Yasuni National Park, deep in the Amazon, and explore the landscapes and cultures of the Avenue of the Volcanoes & Cuenca with your own private guide. Complete your holiday with an expedition cruise in the marine-rich Galapagos Islands. Galapagos flights, all transfers & marine fees included.
Photo Grand Tour Ecuador Amazon Galapagos Quito Cuenca Yasuni
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Quito
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Yasuni National Park
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Amazon Rainforest
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Avenue of Volcanoes
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Cotapaxi National Park
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Devils Nose Train
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Cuenca
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Expedition Cruise
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Galapagos Islands
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Quito
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Yasuni National Park
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Amazon Rainforest
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Avenue of Volcanoes
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Cotapaxi National Park
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Devils Nose Train
• 
Cuenca
• 
Expedition Cruise
• 
Galapagos Islands
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