What Happens At A 15,953 Foot Altitude With 16 People?

altitude-sign-at-jose-rivas-refuge-on-volcano-cotopaxi-2017
Altitude Sign At Jose Rivas Refuge on Volcano Cotopaxi 2017

One more Bucket List item, or sorta, removed. Since the Ecuadorian Volcano, Cotopaxi, is considered in an eruptive state, scaling to the top is still off limits. No, there is no actual eruption, at least in the sense of lava flowing from the top. No huge molten boulders flying Continue reading “What Happens At A 15,953 Foot Altitude With 16 People?”

Would You Visit Ecuador With 30 Active Volcanoes?

Smokin'!
Smokin’!

Which ones are erupting? Are all 30 volcanoes spewing out lava? Is it true that all of them are active? What does it mean for a volcano to be active? Would I be in constant danger? How do I know I would be safe?

The last place you might want to be in your life is close to an erupting volcano. This natural phenomena is perhaps one of the most unpredictable occurrences. While it’s possible to have some degree of warning there is no absolute indication until the ultimate activity occurs.

Ecuador has a number of what are called “active” volcanoes. Active means a volcano that has erupted during the last 10,000 years. Seems a little over active, since there a likely few records to indicate such activity that many eons ago.

The most active in Ecuador are Tungurahua, Cotopaxi, Reventador and Sangay. These four are pretty much in constant activity, with Tungurahua being the most active since 1999. Cotopaxi has been the least active up until 2015, when it was almost certain a major seismic event was eminent. However at this point it has just been a lot of smoke!

So what has been the history of danger to tourists regarding injuries from volcanoes in Ecuador? Couldn’t find any. It seems for the most part common sense has prevailed and the many other attractions in Ecuador have garnered attention.

Really, why not appreciate from a distance the light show a volcano can produce, especially at night. The most visible active volcano is Tungurahua, with it’s streams of lava shooting high into the night sky. While it is spectacular, Ecuador is rich with volcanic lagoons such as Cuicocha, Quilotoa, Lago San Pablo and many more.

The Amazonia in the jungles of this country offer a completely different view of nature. Fresh water dolphins and manatees. Life without phones, cable, even electricity. Any electrical when available is by a power plant, but no direct connections with a utility.

Samona Lodge in the Cuyabeno Reserve.
Samona Lodge in the Cuyabeno Reserve.

There are many unique Lodges offering amazing opportunities to see the are from platforms in a 150 foot Kapok tree. Another has installed 3 towers connected by a walkway just above the treetops, providing a few of all the life that takes place at that level.

Opportunities to witness celebrations of the indigenous tribes in Puyo among others could be your once in a lifetime moments. Receiving a “cleansing” from a Shaman in La Victoriano in Cuyabeno could be life changing!

Spending time with the butterflies at the Emporium in Mindo is an eyeopener. Putting some banana juice on your finger to get one to the Monarchs or another to come to your hand and stay there consuming this sweet nectar, will have you amazed at such a delicate interaction.

Amazing what happens with a little banana juice!
Amazing what happens with a little banana juice!

Soaring up to 13,000 ft. on the Teleferico provides a view not only of Quito, but the Cordillera and the “Avenue of the  Volcanoes” plus a breath-taking panorama of Quito and the various peaks of Mt. Pichincha.

The Volcano Park is also a great attraction for the kids, and there’s the chance to actually hike up to the peak of Rucco Pichincha, but your better have your “high altitude” lungs ready for some exercise.

Looking up towards Rucco Pichincha.
Looking up towards Rucco Pichincha.

There’s what water rafting, rainbow trout fishing in the rivers behind Mt. Cayambe, or just trekking the many mountain trails guides will be happy to show you.

So would you visit Ecuador with 30 active volcanoes? Since no planes have been blown out of the sky by flying gigantic boulders being shot out of a volcanic crater, or humongous  flames belching from the same source, you should feel safe. For that matter, planes don’t go near enough for that to even remotely occur.

So the answer to the question is, “YES!” Come on down and see what Ecuador is all about…besides volcanoes.