Snow-capped volcanoes and patchwork-covered hills, traditional villages and charming colonial cities, indigenous and colorful handicrafts markets, thrilling activities in magnificent sceneries… The Andes are a paradise for tourists looking for adventure, a cultural journey and an unforgettable experience in some of the most remote and pristine places on the planet.
The Ecuadorian Andes, also called ‘Avenue of the Volcanoes’, are home to numerous volcanoes, including several active ones such as the Tungurahua and the Cotopaxi, as well as twelve peaks over 16000 feet. The peak of the Chimborazo is itself the furthest point from the center of the Earth. Such imposing geological landscape offers great opportunities for activities like mountain biking, trekking and climbing, but also bird watching and wildlife observation. The Andes are home to breathtaking sites such as lagoons, valleys, extensive moorlands and cloud forests with a great variety of flora and fauna.
Going up the ‘Avenue of the Volcanoes’, tourists come through typical villages with their own age-old traditions. The indigenous communities are known for their colorful folklore and weaving abilities, and craftsmen work in textiles, leather and wood are displayed in the towns’ handicrafts markets such as in Otavalo.
The cities of Cuenca and Quito are a true testimony of the country’s cultural heritage. Known for their treasures of colonial churches, paintings and sculptures, both cities’ historic areas have been declared ‘World Cultural Heritage Site’ by UNESCO. Wandering the narrow streets of these charming cities is like going back to colonial times, discovering houses with ironwork balconies, squares with beautiful gardens and a skyline of shiny church domes.
With its vast protected areas and reserves, rich and diverse ecosystems, along with beautiful cities and numerous activities, the Andes Cordillera offers both the option of an unforgettable cultural journey and a thrilling once-in-a-lifetime adventure.