How many volcanoes does Ecuador really have?

volcanoes in ecuador

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Did you know that Ecuador is one of the countries with the most volcanoes in the world? A total of 98 volcanoes are found in this Latin American country, famous for giving its name to the equatorial line of the planet.

The Andes Mountains leave numerous volcanoes in Ecuador. But as talking about all of them may be too long, we have made a selection of our favorites. Read on to learn about the 7 most impressive volcanoes in Ecuador that you can visit.

The most impressive volcanoes in Ecuador

Chimborazo volcano

We could not miss this volcano on our list for several reasons. First, because it is one of the most important volcanoes in all of Latin America with 6,263 meters, plus the Chimborazo is the farthest point from the center of the Earth, even ahead of Everest.

Chimborazo Volcano with snow on its summit

Although its last eruption is dated approximately 1,500 years ago, the Geophysical Institute of Ecuador considers Chimborazo as a potentially active volcano.

But as it would be a coincidence that your ascent to Chimborazo coincides with a new eruption, we believe it is an activity that you have to include in your itinerary of several days in Ecuador.

Cotopaxi Volcano

The second highest volcano in Ecuador undoubtedly has to be on our list as well. Cotopaxi is 5,897 meters, and at its summit, you can see the crater of this still active volcano. If you are lucky, you can even observe the volcanic activity inside.

crater cotopaxi ecuador

Because of its shape, both the Chimborazo and the ascension to Cotopaxi are activities that can be done by any adventurer with a minimum of physical fitness. So if you don’t have it, what are you waiting for to start getting in shape? We’re sure you’ll regret it if you go to Ecuador and don’t climb one of its two most famous volcanoes.

Carihuairazo Volcano

If you still don’t dare to take the adventure of climbing Cotopaxi or Chimborazo because you don’t have enough experience, the ascent to Carihuairazo is your best option.

It is one of the highest volcanoes in Ecuador, with 5,018 meters, but it is much easier than the others to climb because of its relief. At its summit there are 3 peaks, being the highest the one that gives the maximum elevation to the volcano, and two other smaller ones, the peak “Mocha” with 4,960 meters and the peak “Josefinos”, of 4,900 meters.

two people trekking to the carihuairazo volcano in ecuador

Normally, this excursion is done to be initiated in high mountain and start practicing acclimatization in extreme conditions.

Cayambe Volcano

This is one of the hidden treasures for the most adventurous. It is the third highest in Ecuador with 5,790 meters, but it is undoubtedly much less popular than the first two.

views of the Cayambe volcano with the snow-capped peak in the background

This makes the routes to its summit less traveled, but in turn, equally or more beautiful than its “big brothers”.

It is located very close to Quito, la Ciudad Mitad del Mundo, so you can make this adventure if you decide to travel to the Ecuadorian capital.

El Altar Volcano

El Altar? Why this name?

Well, no more and no less, this volcano is known as El Altar because its top resembles, according to those who gave it the name, an altar of a colonial church.

summits of el altar volcano in ecuador

In total, 9 peaks form this summit of El Altar volcano, each with its own name. Some of them are, for example, the cima Obispo, the highest and giving the maximum elevation to the volcano (5,319 meters), the Canónigo peak (5,160 meters) or the smallest of all, the Fraile Beato peak (5,050 meters).

Its ascent is considered fairly easy, so if you have time, we recommend you to make this climb, and see at the top some of the colored lagoons that have formed there thanks to the minerals of the volcano.

Sangay Volcano

This is the most active volcano in Ecuador, and had its last eruption in 2020. The most curious thing about this volcano is that it has three craters. Each of them erupts intermittently, so generally, there is always activity in the volcano.

snow-capped summit of sangay volcano

To give you an idea, the name “Sangay” comes from “Samkay”, an indigenous term that means “to frighten”. You don’t need to know more about this volcano to know about the power of its volcanic activity…

Antisana Volcano

Last but not least, the Antisana Volcano. With 5,758 meters, the Antisana is one of the most studied volcanoes by scientists. It had its last eruption more than 200 years ago, although it is a potentially active volcano.

According to experts, its ascension is one of the most complicated in relation to the other volcanoes of Ecuador. This is because the cracks and shapes of its glaciers are changeable, so a generalized route for its ascent cannot be established.

glaciers of the antisana volcano near quito, ecuador

Since it is so close to Quito, the melt water from its glaciers is one of the most important sources of water supply for this city.

With this, we close the list of the most impressive volcanoes of Ecuador, but we assure you that there is a list of almost 100 volcanoes in this country alone.

Have you already visited any of these volcanoes? Which of the volcanoes on this list is the one you would most like to climb?

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