Ecuador is home to some of South America’s tallest volcanoes, many of which are excellent introductory experience for aspiring mountaineers. Straddling the Equator (hence the name Ecuador), many of the volcanoes can be climbed year round, most notably the stunningly conical Cotopaxi (19,347′).
Many of the Ecuadorian volcanoes are overnight to 3 day climbs, with limited exposure to severe, expedition-style environments like those of Alaska, Patagonia, the Karakoram, etc. This makes Ecuador a common training ground for many introductory mountaineers looking to sink their teeth into more advanced climbs in the future.
Travelling around Ecuador can be quite inexpensive using their public bus system, which is around $5-10 per ride. I used Rome2Rio for a lot of my travel mapping, which made things easy.