Would You Visit Ecuador With 30 Active Volcanoes?


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.

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Alan Written by:

Alan is retired and resides in Quito, Ecuador. Writing is a passion which has resulted in two eBooks thus far, with more in the works. Married 47 years with four sons and 13 grandchildren, provides potential grist for the mill! Alan is a charter "Boomer", a Viet Nam veteran, committed to roasting his own coffee and writes about whatever pops into his mind. He loves to build and ride recumbent bikes, play racquetball, writes almost daily, travels Ecuador, and talks to anything that does not move fast enough! The twinkle in his eye is a combination of the sun, and an active sense of humor. His desire to encourage others to write is being answered through his articles on the Internet.