Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano, located just 3 hours south of Quito, is once again very active. For those visiting Ecuador in the coming months, a trip to see Tungurahua from a safe distance is a must. The volcano can be seen by driving south to the town of Baños and this trip can be done by arriving to Ecuador 2 days prior to a Galapagos cruise.
Tungurahua is an active stratovolcano that towers more than 3 kilometers above its northern base. It is located on the eastern edge of the Andes of Ecuador, where the mountains spill into the Amazon basin. The province of Tungurahua, where the volcano is located, was named after it. In Quichua, the native language of the people of the region, the word tunguri means "throat" and rahua means "fire" - "Throat of Fire".
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For decades the volcano had been dormant, but activity restarted in 1999, and continues until today. Major eruptions before the current one occurred on August 16, 2006, February 6, 2008, May 28, 2010, December 4, 2010 and April 26, 2011. On this current eruption, the volcano is spewing a large cloud of ash to the nearby town of Bilbao. Authorities have encouraged residents living near the volcano to evacuate due to increased activity of the volcano.