Brief Description of Ecuador
In spite of its relatively small size, Ecuador is one of the most varied and biodiverse countries on Earth. Situated in north-western South America, the equatorial country boasts tropical rain forests, high pampas, glaciated mountain peaks and stunning white sand beaches. As a result of its stunning natural beauty, tourism is one of the main drivers of the Ecuadorian economy, with many outdoor adventure seekers coming to the country for hiking and climbing trips.
Famous Mountains in Ecuador
The Andes Mountains run through the centre of Ecuador, dividing the east of the country from the west. Among these mountains are some of South America’s tallest volcanoes and the only glaciers located directly on the equator.
However, the most famous mountain in Ecuador is also its tallest: Chimborazo. At 6,263 metres (20,549 feet) in elevation, the inactive stratovolcano offers an intermediate-level challenge for mountaineers and some great lower-elevation scenic vistas for trekkers too.
Other popular peaks in Ecuador are:
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Quick Facts about Ecuador
- Ecuador is home to 20 mountains (some of which are active volcanoes) that reach 4,000 metres (13,000 feet) in elevation or more. Several of the tallest ones boast the largest glaciers found on the equator.
- Ecuador is one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world and has the most biodiversity per square kilometre of any country on Earth.
- Climbing any glaciated mountain in Ecuador is prohibited by law unless you hire a certified mountain guide.
How To Get To Ecuador
Most trips to Ecuador begin with a flight into Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO). Most guides opt to meet here before arranging transport to the start of the trip, but it is also possible to fly domestically to regional airports that may be nearer to the final trekking or climbing destination.
What To Expect in Ecuador
Weather: During the climbing season in the mountainous regions of Ecuador, average daily temperatures hover around 17 ºC (62 ºF) in the pampas. These temperatures steadily decrease to below freezing as elevation is gained. The climbing seasons coincide with the two dry periods in the year. Rain is less common at these times than during the rest of the year.
Peak Trekking/Climbing Season: June to August, December to January
Currency: US dollar (USD)
Language: Spanish, Kichwa, Shuar