Highlands

About

The indigenous communities of the region are known for their colorful folklore and remarkable weaving abilities.

The Magnificent Andean Mountain Range

Considered as a “paradise” for trekkers and climbers, but also for adventurers, who enjoy practicing sports like rafting, cannoning, biking, horse riding or just photography lovers, who enjoy nature and cultural indigenous expressions.

The Andes are the result of plate tectonic processes, caused by the subduction of oceanic crust beneath the South American plate which formed these mountains due to the subduction of the Nazca and the Antarctic Plates. This continental Mountain Range is considered the longest in the world with 7,000 km (4,300 mi) long and about 200 km (120 mi) to 700 km (430 mi) wide, being a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. Along their length, the Andes are split into several ranges, which are separated by intermediate depressions placing several high plateaus, some of which host major cities and volcanoes, such as Quito, the capital of Ecuador and Chimborazo peak (6,310 m – 20,700 ft.) calculated as to be the farther from the Earth’s center than any other location on the Earth’s surface, due to the equatorial bulge resulting from the Earth’s rotation.

Getting Around

In the mythical Andes of Ecuador there are volcanoes that are more than 16,400 feet/5,000 meters high and are permanently covered with snow and glaciers, dating back to ancient times. The tallest active volcano in the world, Cotopaxi (19,350 feet/5,897 meters above sea level), is the perfect setting for charming villages and fertile valleys. Chimborazo (20,702 feet/6,310 meters above sea level) has five summits on flanks of rocks and an extensive Andean plateau, is farther from Earth’s center than any other location on Earth’s surface, due to the equatorial bulge resulting from Earth’s rotation.

Cayambe (18,996 feet/5,790 meters above sea level) is the only snow-capped mountain in the world that is located at zero latitude. Iliniza Norte (North) (16,784 feet/5,116 meters above sea level) and Iliniza Sur (South) (17,267 feet/5,305 meters above sea level) are considered by the indigenous people to be a couple: male mountain and female mountain. The impressive Antisana (18,713 feet/5,704 meters above sea level) has two cones joined together by a shallow ridge, are just some of its major higher peaks.
The Highlands “La Sierra” is the high-altitude belt running north-south along the centre of the country, its mountainous terrain dominated by the Andes mountain range.

It carries some of the most emblematic icons of Ecuador, including the extensive mosaics of crops, the pure waters of the lagoons, sandy valleys, tempered fertile agricultural valleys, moors, basins and glaciers, become one of the most photographed regions. The Ecuadorian Andes comprises the highest region of the country because most of its territory includes elevations ranging from 1500 meters above sea level about up to 6310 meters to Chimborazo volcano, the highest point in the country or its smaller pals Cotopaxi, Cayambe, Antisana, Tungurahua, among others.

History & Culture

Early History

Alexander Von Humboldt explored the Ecuadorian Andes and their valleys in 1802. He named them The Avenue of the Volcanoes. He believed that he had reached the highest point in the world when he attempted to climb Chimborazo volcano (20,702 ft), since the Himalayas were still unknown in Europe at that time. If measured from the center of the Earth, the peak of the Chimborazo is indeed the furthest point on the planet surface (because the Earth is wider at the Tropics).

The indigenous communities of the region are known for their colorful folklore and remarkable weaving abilities. Several cities can be enjoyed: bird watching, biking, water sports on the lakes, interacting with indigenous communities, visiting rose plantations, savoring delicious traditional dishes, and much more.