andes ecuador

Providing a spectacular backdrop to the capital city of Quito, the Ecuadorian region of the Andes is a land of volcanoes, wildlife reserves and mysterious Inca ruins.

Encapsulating the wonders and nature in equal measure, the highlands of the world’s longest above-ground mountain range are the most popular regions of Ecuador. From some of the tallest active volcanoes on Earth to ancient ruins, following the spine of the Andes through Ecuador will take you to its most iconic sights, like the Ingapirca ruins and markets of Otavalo. Running through much of the country’s beautiful landscape, both the man-made and natural wonders of Ecuador lie just within reach.

things to do

  • Once the northernmost citadel of the Inca Empire, the ruins of Ingapirca are some of the best-preserved traces of the mysterious Inca people outside of Peru.
  • The largest marketplace in South America, Otavalo Market is an exuberant and colourful place, with people coming from all over the country to sell their wares.
  • Resting in the crater of a dormant volcano, the Papallacta Hot Springs are a relaxing change of pace, with plenty of scenic hiking trails nearby.
  • When measured from the Earth’s centre, (and due to its location on the equator), Mount Chimborazo is the true highest point on Earth, and a particularly challenging climb.
  • The surreal Mariposas de Mindo Butterfly Garden in Mindo are home to over 1,200 colourful butterflies that flutter within its intricate selection of orchids and flowers.

Mashpi Lodge - Ecuador

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best time to visit

May - September

These are usually the driest months in Ecuador, which makes any outdoor activities considerably easier. With clear blue skies a common sight during this time of year as well, any hiking trips along the mountainside will provide excellent photo opportunities.

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