There’s a good reason why some locals know the stretch of the Panamericana between Quito and Cuenca as Volcano Alley.

This portion of the great highway of the Americas trails a long, fertile Andean valley that’s surrounded by nine of Ecuador’s highest peaks.

Two of them, Cotopaxi and Sangay, just so happen to be among the world’s ten most active volcanoes.

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Even when they are silent, these towering, snow-capped peaks make an arresting sight. When erupting, they’re both wonderfully and horrifyingly breathtaking.

Those willing to tackle moderately challenging treks within Cotopaxi National Park can see creaking glaciers and the serene Quilotoa crater-lake, beautiful sights hidden to those who don’t make it off the highway.

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Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…

(Images: Featured image – robnunn; Whirling Phoenix; Joshbousel; blmurch; JorGe Loor Bowen)

About the author

Brett AckroydBrett hopes to one day reach the shores of far-flung Tristan da Cunha, the most remote of all the inhabited archipelagos on Earth…as to what he’ll do when he gets there, he hasn’t a clue. Over the last 10 years, London, New York, Cape Town and Pondicherry have all proudly been referred to as home. Now it’s Copenhagen’s turn, where he lends his travel expertise to

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