The Andes in Ecuador are divided in two ranges. The Western and the Eastern, and of the two ranges the Eastern is higher and wider.
Between the ranges are fertile valleys known as the Sierras or the Andean Highlands where civilizations have cultivated the land for thousands of years.
Ecuador's Andean region is the most visited location in the country.
Its cultural and natural diversity spans moorlands, cloud forests, mountain lakes, active volcanoes, thermal baths, Indian markets, colonial towns and haciendas.
This region also possesses Ecuador's most developed tourist industry, providing a wide range of accommodations, culinary options, shopping opportunities, and cultural festivals, all easily accessible from the Capital of Quito
The Andes Mountains stretch 4,400 miles along the western coast of South America, making it the longest mountain range in the world.
The highest peak of the Andes mountain range rises 6,962 miles about sea level. In Ecuador Andes, the summit of Chimborazo volcano is the earth's furthest point from its own center.
Although the Andes mountain range does not compare to the Himalaya mountain range in height, it is twice as long.
The climate of the Andes in Ecuador is constantly changing, and locals claim the area experiences four seasons in one day throughout the year. But it's mostly spring-weather year round.
Various people, plants, and animals make the Andes of Ecuador their home. Llamas dot the landscape and remain the main form of transportation for the locals, as the difficult terrain tends to make cars obsolete.
A special species of tree can also be found among the peaks of the Andes in Ecuador, however these trees are rapidly depleting and today only about 10% of the original mountain forests remain.
The Andes in Ecuador consist of over 30 volcanic cones, many over 5,000 meters and almost a third still active.
One of these the snow-capped Cotopaxi is the world's highest active volcano.
Numerous national parks and protected areas of wilderness feature a wide range of micro-climates and enormous bio-diversity, making the Highlands of Ecuador a paradise for bird watching.
The Andes in Ecuador provide exciting hiking and trekking and there are excellent routes for Mountain Biking in Ecuador and horse riding.
One of the world's greatest train Journeys begins in Riobamba City passing through the famous Devil's Nose on the way to the coast.
Many inhabitants of the Ecuadorian Andes are Indians and there are fascinating indigenous markets and craft centers throughout the highlands.
Quito, situated in a valley surrounded of mountainous peaks, is the world's second highest capital and has one of the finest settings of any city in the world.
Quito is home to excellent museums, churches and art galleries and its colonial center, the finest in Latin America, has been designated a World Heritage Site, by UNESCO.
From Quito it is possible to visit the northern, central and southern highlands. Traveling through this region, you will be inspired by the spectacular scenery.
Whether gazing at the snow-covered Andes Peaks, clear mountain lakes, or colonial churches you are sure to be delighted.
The Haciendas date back to the colonization of Ecuador when the King of Spain deeded extensive land holdings to the most important Spanish families of the country.
With the modernization of Ecuador and land reforms, many families of the original Haciendas converted them into luxurious lodgings for inquisitive travelers.
During your stay you'll enjoy gourmet meals in historic dining rooms surrounded by original furnishing from a bygone era.
You'll stroll through lush gardens and marvel at the rich variety of plants, flowers, birds, and butterflies, which make Ecuador's Haciendas a unique place.
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The Pan-American Highway south of Quito is known as the Avenue of Volcanoes named for the many towering peaks surrounding you on both sides.
This area is known locally as the Central Andes in Ecuador. The Central Andes are a mountaineer's heaven with a large number of Andes Peaks within a close vicinity.
This region is also home to the gentle countryside of traditional farmers, famous artisans, national parks, and some of the most incredible Haciendas in the country.
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