Chimborazo volcano

Maybe you are more interested in seeing one of the largest and most impressive sights in the entire world. If that sounds like something you’d be excited to do, check out the tallest mountain in Ecuador, the Chimborazo, which is also the face of the Chimborazo Wildlife reserve. The colossal structure is 6,268 meters tall.  This mountain has a very different terrain from the others in Ecuador with immense sandy areas and a vast dry wasteland. Despite the mountain terrain being very dry, the reserve actually provides water to the three provinces surrounding it.  The sources of water come from the Ambato, Chambo, and Chimbo rivers.

The waters of the Chimbo River end in the great Guayas River, and this link is actually represented on the National Shield. The connection between the Chimborazo and the Guayas River is a symbol of the unity between Costa and Sierra.

If animals are more your thing, you can observe the llamas and alpacas living on the reserve.  These domestic animals are native to Ecuador and were used by the ancient inhabitants of the Andes before the Spaniards introduced horses, sheep, cows and donkeys. The reserve also houses an important population of vicuñas reintroduced from Peru and Chile in 1988. The reserve was in fact created to protect these animals and their

historical legacy, as well as the strange wasteland where they live.

Even though getting to observe the animals in their natural habitat is an amazing experience, the Chimborazo is the main attraction of the reserve. The snow-covered beauty is a massive, broad, giant of a mountain. You can ascend to the summit from Riobamba and Guaranda.

Chimborazo has been a popular destination for naturalists for centuries with several naturalists visiting the site in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  This even includes Alexander von Humboldt, who left us some pretty cool drawings where he compares the vegetation he observed at the different altitudinal levels of Chimborazo and Cotopaxi. That study and those drawings became the basis for phytogeography, a science that studies the distribution of plants on Earth.

The Chimborazo volcano is the highest in the world. Considered a colossus by mountaineering enthusiasts, hundreds of them visit every year with the hope of conquering its summit and being rewarded with the amazing view from the top. The scenery around Chimborazo also makes it a suitable location for mountain biking and hiking.  It really is the perfect place for an outdoor enthusiast to enjoy nature and challenge their abilities.

 

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