Heritage cities, an avenue of volcanoes, indigenous communities, colorful outdoor markets, and a historic train that crosses the Andes await.
Ranging in elevation between 1,500 meters (4,921 ft.) to 6,310 meters (20,702 ft.) at the Summit of Chimborazo, the highest snow-capped volcano in the country, the Ecuadorian Andes include some of the country´s most emblematic icons. Vast mosaic-like potato, corn and bean fields, volcanic lagoons and lakes, a cloud forest teaming with hundreds of orchid and bird species, Inca ruins, and natural hot springs adorn the Andean landscape and make for spectacular vistas one can enjoy from the comfort of vehicle, atop a horse or mountain bike, or hanging from a zip line.
The climate in the Andes varies according to the altitude: the higher the altitude, the colder it gets. The average daytime temperature in the cities along this region ranges between 16° - 25°C (60° - 77°F) and drops to 8°-10° C (46° - 50°F) at night. Snow and ice are visible year round in the high Andes Mountains and volcanoes.
Traditional Andean cuisine features a blend of different native products such as potatoes, corn, beans, rice and vegetables and a variety of meats like beef, chicken or pork. Delicious and hearty soups are also very popular in this region as well as fresh fruit juices served at every meal.
Andes main Adventure activities
Trekking, Climbing, Mountain Biking, Horseback Riding, Ziplines, Paragliding.
Cruise Train Ride across the Andes
Ecuador´s cruise train runs down the Avenue of the Volcanoes giving its passenger breathtaking views of the changing landscape transitioning from the high Andes mountains and snowcapped volcano peaks, to cloud forests, fertile valleys to tropical coastal landscapes. This 450 km (280 miles) scenic train ride ascends from 2,800 meters (9,184 ft.) to 3,600 meters (11,811 ft.) and descending to sea level during the trip. Passengers will enjoy their journey aboard upscale train coaches reminiscent of the early twentieth century.
Historical Cities Quito & Cuenca
Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is the first city declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979. This metropolis is located in a fertile Andean valley at 2,800 meters (9,184 ft.) above sea level. Surrounded by mountains and snow-capped volcanoes Quito has the best-preserved and largest historic center in Latin America.
Cuenca, located in the Southern Andes at 2,500 meters (8,200 ft.), is Ecuador´s third largest city and its arts and cultural center. This former Inca town, conquered by the Spaniards in the 16th century, was also named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999 for its impressive historical center. This city of churches, 52 in total, built in the 16th and 17th century gives visitors the impression that time has stood still.
Located between the Andes and the Amazon region, with the active Tungurahua volcano on one side and the rainforest on the other, offering a myriad of outdoor activities for adventure lovers ranging from hiking, mountain biking, canyoning, hot springs, rafting, indigenous Shuar community tours, rock climbing, canopy and horseback riding.
Mindo Cloud Forest
Among butterflies, exotic birds and tropical orchids, the small town of Mindo is a sub-tropical forest which will enchant bird watchers, nature lovers and adrenaline enthusiasts with its waterfalls, jungle trails and rivers.