All About Ecuador

A video recap of our month spent in Ecuador climbing volcanoes and exploring. It's incredible what this country has packed into an area the size of Colorado.

Normally I stick to photography and my video clips languish on a forgotten hard drive somewhere. I finally got inspired to put something together and whipped up this short video. We had an awesome time in Ecuador and I hope that shines through. Anyways, I decided to answer some of the common questions I get about Ecuador. Enjoy!

Where is Ecuador?

In South America, between Colombia and Peru. It's about the size of Colorado. Check out more Ecuador adventures.

What were you doing there?

We were in the middle of traveling for three months. Our primary goal in Ecuador was to climb the volcanoes Cayambe, Antisana, and Chimborazo. We summited the latter two but had to turn back on Cayambe due to avalanche danger. We also spent some time in Quito, Banos, Cuenca, and took a week trip out to the Galapagos.

Is it hard to climb in Ecuador?

The most difficult part is the altitude. The most popular volcanoes are all over 18,500 ft. Chimborazo is at 20,564. The climbs themselves aren't particularly technical (although you do need to be in good shape and familiarity with glacial travel is nice) and can be completed in a single day. Most of the time you'll stay at a refugio near the base of the climb and then get up in the middle of the night to summit. It's required to use a guide service for any glaciated peak in Ecuador, both as a safety precaution and as a tourism industry boost.

Sunrise from 20,562ft

What was the best climb?

Antisana, hands down. It's in the middle of nowhere and the glacial travel is the most interesting. One of the most magnificent sunrises I've ever witnessed. 

Is the Galapagos expensive?

Yes, and no. A flight from mainland Ecuador will run you ~$450. Once you're there, it pretty easy to find reasonably priced accommodations on all the islands. Most full-day tours will run you between $150–170, although there is a lot of free stuff to do on the islands as well. I wrote about our Galapagos itinerary here. Our favorite experience on all the islands was definitely a snorkel tour to Kicker Rock.

What are some other can't-miss places in Ecuador?

I highly recommend staying in the area near Cotopaxi. It's an incredibly beautiful region. Many backpackers stay at the Secret Garden Cotopaxi, and we had a fantastic time exploring the area with Tierra del Volcan. Banos is a super fun town with a ton of adventure activities (rafting, waterfalls, atv, hiking, canyoning, zipline, jungle tours) nearby. Cuenca was probably our favorite city in Ecuador, just had a really awesome vibe.

Waterfall near Banos

Las Cajas National Park. A great day hike just outside of Cuenca.

Rucu Pichincha (15,696′) is a great acclimatization hike that is RIGHT outside of Quito.

The area around Cotopaxi, on a ride from Tierra del Volcan.

No Cayambe summit this time, but better to come back safe.

Galapagos friends :)

Resting up before summiting Antisana.

Published: September 11, 2018

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Kyle FrostAdmin

Boulder

Wearer of many hats at The Outbound Collective. I'm @kylefrost pretty much everywhere.