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As the Andes meet the equator, the world’s longest mountain range becomes fervent with volcanic activity. From Quito in the North to Cuenca in the south, this section of the Pan-American highway has earned itself its thrilling name.
Along the route you can look forward to beautiful snow-capped volcanoes, crystal clear lagoons and lush green valleys. Moving south from Quito the first spectacle is the perfectly cone-shaped Cotopaxi Volcano. Lending its name to the surrounding national park, the snow-capped peak is truly a sight to behold.
Further south and a short detour leads to the impressive Quilotoa Lagoon, a beautiful emerald lake lying in the crater of a dormant volcano. Next is the town of Baños (literally translated as Baths in English), which takes its name from the abundance of natural hot springs.
Finally, Alausi offers the chance to embark upon one of South Americas most unforgettable and scenic rail journeys known as the Devil's Nose.
With all roads suitably maintained, the area lends its self perfectly to a self-drive holiday. Big hotel complexes are out of sight, and the area is home to a selection of picturesque and welcoming guesthouses filled with Andean character. Driving from one to the next amongst beautiful landscapes is an experience not to be missed.
Locations along the avenue of volcanoes feature similar temperatures all year round with drier spells from June to November. Due to the altitude, days are quite mild, whilst at night temperatures drop to below 10 degrees Celsius.
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Looking for inspiration? Check out some of our Ecuador itineraries.
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