Dream Trips: Scale a Volcano in Ecuador

Photos
0903_DTVolcano launcher image
Close to the crater, a valley dotted with ponds offers a glimpse of one of El Altar's snowy peaks.
— Ryan Heffernan
Many farmers hike for hours each day to tend to their crops. This man, who lives outside Candelaria at the base of the volcano, wisely wears rubber boots.
— Ryan Heffernan
Making the final ascent to the crater lake on a ridge near El Refugio.
— Ryan Heffernan
A resident of the town of Candelaria.
— Ryan Heffernan
Horses roam wild in the feathery pastures on the mountainside.
— Ryan Heffernan
The top of El Altar collapsed after an eruption long ago, and the crater become a surreal lake.
— Ryan Heffernan
For much of the hike, the trail cleaves to a hillside overlooking spectacular valleys. Even in the dry season, clouds often hang low over the volcano.
— Ryan Heffernan
Hacienda Releche, a working ranch that also hosts travelers.
— Ryan Heffernan
A sign points the way to the top.
— Ryan Heffernan
One of the cabins at El Refugio with views of the summit.
— Ryan Heffernan

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