Ecuador's 5897-metre Cotopaxi sits above the clouds.

Climb of reckoning

Dugald Jellie flirted with Cotopaxi long ago; now he's back to finish his business with the world's highest active volcano.

  • Contains:
Ecuador

Ageless wonders

In the Ecuador's peaceful southern valleys, Steve McKenna searches for the secrets of a long, healthy life.

  • Contains:
Hot spot ... Cotopaxi, the world's tallest active volcano.

Where there's smoke ...

On Ecuador's high-altitude trail to an active volcano, Lydia Bell feels the ghostly presence of a majestic Inca past.

  • Contains:
Ecuador

Higher calling

Ecuador has been unfairly upstaged by the Galapagos Islands, Louise Southerden discovers.

  • Contains:
Tour guide

Guiding principles

DIY apps and Googling will never replace a fine tour leader, writes Kate Humble.

  • Contains:
"Navel of the world" ... the spires of the Basilica del Voto Nacional.

24 hours in Quito

Louise Southerden explores a 'middle earth' capital with its head in the clouds and eyes on the coast.

  • Contains:
Ipanema Beach Rio de Janeiro soccer girls

Latin for beginners

It's a continent that can be intimidating and other-worldly, but it's never, ever dull, writes Steve McKenna.

  • Contains: