The Avenue of the volcanoes is formed by more than 70 volcanoes, not all volcanoes are well known, some are inactive. All form the cordillera of the Andes in Ecuador, along with other elevations that are not volcanoes. These elevations are result of the clash and tension of the tectonic plates of the Pacific Ocean with the continental tectonic plates, part of the Pacific ring of fire.
The 9 highest volcanoes of Ecuador (including the highest active volcano in the world), are:
Tungurahua (5,016 m), in kichwa means "throat of fire", is located in Sangay National Park, and is called as Mama Tungurahua in the Andean myth. This volcano has been one of the most controversial in recent years due to its revival. The beautiful and tourist city of Baños is located on its slopes.
Carihuairazo (5,020 m), is part of the forest reserve of Chimborazo. Its name comes from three words in kichwa meaning: man, wind and snow; It is also a character in the Andean myth.
Sangay (5,230 m), is part of the National Park that has the same name. Its name in kichwa means: to terrorize, probably due to constant and explosive activity that it had had. It is lonely now because near it, in the Amazon, there are no populated towns in the area round Sangay.
Iliniza Sur (5,263 m.a.s.l.) and Iliniza Norte (5,126 m), two peaks which together form the Ilinizas, also known as a single name: the Iliniza (or Illiniza). This elevation is also protagonist in Andean myths. The southern peak has snow while the North does not. They belong to the Ilinizas National Park.
Altar (5,320 m), is located inside Sangay National Park. Its current name was given by the Spaniard conquerors because of the appearance that their beaks have. However, Indians called it Capac Urcu, which means powerful Mr. Altar crater has numerous caves which formed small lakes within it.
Antisana (5,704 m.a.s.l.), belongs to the ecological reserve of the same name. Its name has two definitions: dark, or mountain lamb. It has some Lakes around and is said the mountain is wary since it is difficult to see it completely clear, however when it could be watch it offers an unforgettable landscape.
Cayambe (5,790 m), is part of the Cayambe-Coca ecological reserve, is known for its reputation for dangerous for the ascension. Although its climb is not very steep, the greatest risk Cayambe has are their cracks and its highly variable climate, factors with which have disappeared and died more than a few mountaineers. It is the only snowed volcano in the world that is on the equator.