Welcome to Volcán Pichincha
Quito’s closest volcano is Pichincha, looming over the western side of the city. The volcano has two main summits – the closer, dormant Rucu Pichincha (4680m) and the higher Guagua Pichincha (4794m), which is active and is monitored by volcanologists. A major eruption in 1660 covered Quito in 40cm of ash; there were three minor eruptions in the 19th century. A few puffs of smoke occurred in 1981, but in 1999 the volcano rumbled into serious action, coughing up an 18km-high mushroom cloud and blanketing the city in ash.