Mere minutes from the middle of the world sits a deep volcanic crater that is still technically active. I say active because it isn’t extinct, but it also hasn’t erupted in hundreds of thousands of years. So active might be a bit of a misnomer.
Pululahua Volcano and crater are now protected as the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve. Pululahua, which means ‘cloud of water’ in Quichua, is aptly named as most days the crater is filled with thick clouds that roll in late morning. It’s quite a magical thing to experience, but for those trying to see the crater for a brief moment from the upper viewpoint it can often be impossible.
At the base of the crater are a few small farmsteads and a campsite, complete with fire pits, running water, and for some of our friends the key selling point – flushing toilets. Along with three other families, we took advantage of the still dry weather and spent two nights away from the city in the quite heart of a volcano.
There are two ways into, or out of, the crater. You can either drive a rather fun dirt track with too many switchbacks to count or you can hike down from the rim. With all our camping kit and little Piper we decided to drive. Once all four carloads of people arrived we were quite the group of eight adults and 11 kids.
We had a great time sitting around the campfire, going on a hike, and playing bocce with glow in the dark balls!
We were lucky and had amazingly clear weather almost all weekend depsite the usual clouds that roll in. Through it all Piper was a true outdoor loving camping guru – even though it was her first time. She loved trying to follow the other kids around, slept great in amongst the sleeping bags, and generally just had a fantastic time.
All in all it was a terrific weekend with great weather, laughter and friends! Looking forward to future camping adventures in Ecuador soon!