What is the capital of Pichincha Ecuador

Pichincha volcano, Ecuador

The Pichincha volcano is the "local mountain" of Ecuador's capital Qutio and consists of two mighty peaks, the Rucu Pichincha and the Guagua Pichincha. At first, a cable car leads up to 4,100 meters above sea level.

The Pichincha volcano is located in Ecuador near the capital Quito. Its two 4,000-meter peaks, the Rucu Pichincha and the Guagua Pichincha ("old and baby Pichincha") reach heights of almost 4,700 and almost 4,800 meters. Above all, the higher “young” Guagua Pichincha draws attention to himself again and again with clouds of steam and ash rain, but molten lava flowing down into the valley should not pose a threat to Quito from its “local mountain”. The mighty volcanic cones are clearly visible from Quito, mostly green, but sometimes with a snow-capped summit.

Between these two is another small peak, the so-called Padre Encantado, the “enchanted priest”. It actually has a bit the shape of a kneeling man, and legend also tells that a person once froze to stone at this point.

One of the first Europeans on the Pichincha was Alexander von Humboldt, who measured the two peaks of the volcano at the beginning of the 19th century. The Pichincha also has a historical background. Ecuador has been independent from Spain since the Battle of Pichincha on May 24, 1822.

Ascent of the Pichincha

The small Rucu Pichincha in particular is extremely popular with visitors, its summit can be climbed in just one day, and if necessary there is also accommodation available for about an hour's walk below its summit.

Tip: The earlier you set off, the greater the chance of a clear view of the volcanic crater; in the late morning, clouds of steam and wisps of fog usually obstruct the view. It is essential to bring warm clothing and rainwear with you, as the weather at over 4000 meters above sea level can change extremely quickly.

Since 2005, climbing the Rucu Pichincha has been even faster and more convenient. The TelefériQo cable car, one of the highest cable cars in the world, takes weary hikers over a distance of 800 meters along the flank of the mountain to an altitude of 4,100 meters. From there it is about 3 hours on steep paths, partly with scree slopes, to the crater of the Rucu Pichincha, the descent to the mountain station of the cable car can be accomplished in almost half the time. The comfortable seat in the gondola also allows you to enjoy the breathtaking view of Quito and the surrounding area on the way up more than if you constantly have to pay attention to the way.

If it occurs to you that you might not want to climb the summit after all, you can acclimatise yourself to the great heights in one of the cafés at the mountain station or take a tour through the wild mountain landscape on horseback.

When you arrive at the summit, your gaze falls on the imposing volcanic crater, whose active past is reminiscent of the sulfur-smelling vapors flowing out.

Fruit-flavored oxygen: Anyone who gets out of the gondola should approach every movement slowly - you have to get used to the great altitude. Those who find it difficult to acclimate (and everyone else) can buy a portion of oxygen at the mountain station. The selling point, however, is usually not the mountain air, but that the oxygen is offered in different flavors - where else do you have such an opportunity?

If you also want to climb the baby, the Guagua Pichincha, the best place to start your (all-wheel-drive) tour is from the small village of Lloa southeast of the crater. The hike takes about 4 hours on foot and leads over relatively steep paths that are not really in good shape. The hardships of the route are rewarded with a look into the 2 km wide and 600 meters deep volcanic crater.