The Andes (also known as the Sierra and the Highlands); is the most visited region in Ecuador due to its natural beauty, especially the mountains and cultural diversity.
It is a naturally diverse area of volcanoes, hot springs (thermal baths), unique flora and fauna, cloudforest, spans grassy highlands (paramo). The highlands are also culturally significant due to the many native Indian craft markets and colonial cities.
This region contains nearly 30 volcanoes with an average altitude over 15,000 feet, covering a distance of 325 kilometers from northern to southern Ecuador. Known as the “Avenue of the Volcanoes,”. named by German scientist Alexander von Humboldt.
The Highlands offers very well developed tourist industry in most of the cities, towns and villages. Quito, Baños, Riobamba, Cuenca, Otavalo provide tours and activities, hotels and restaurants with a large selection of culinary options, cultural festivals.