During your Ecuador tour in the Andes you will find the cultural highlights of the colonial heritage and the indigenous culture, which is still alive in the Andes. But also the landscape, which is affected by impressing volcanoes, will fascinate you. The Andes can be diverted in the northern, central and southern sierra which can be connected very well through your Ecuador tour.
The Ecuador tour begins in Quito, which is the capital of Ecuador and center of the colonial heritage. During a walk through historical center of Quito, which belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage, you can visit splendid colonial churches and beautiful places, like the Plaza Grande. The Plaza Grande is the heart of the historical center of Quito and his formal name is Plaza de la Independencia. The place is surrounded by the palace of the president, the cathedral and the bishops-palace.
On top of the Panecillo-Hill the “Virgen de Quito” guards the town and offers you a great view above Quito. At clear sight you can see the Volcano Cotopaxi from here. The Cotopaxi is a further highlight of the Andes and your Ecuador tour. The Cotopaxi is situated in a National Park of the same name and one of the most impressing volcanoes in Ecuador. The volcano has a height of 5.897 meters and is the highest, still active volcano of the world. In the National Park you have the possibility to join interesting hikes, horseback riding tours, mountain biking tours or you go about climbing on the Cotopaxi. Also in the central sierra you can find Baños, which is situated at the foot of the volcano Tungurahua. Baños is a favorite resort of travelers all over the world and mainly famous for the wide range of adventure tours offered here.
Besides biking, rafting and trekking you can also visit the hot springs of Baños. But avoid going in the hot springs directly in the centre of Baños which are very crowded most of the times. Very beautiful and recommendable are tours along the waterfalls and hikes in the surroundings of the town. Next destination of your Ecuador tour could be Riobamba in the central sierra. Riobamba is a small, unhurried town with beautiful buildings of the 18th century and mainly of interest because of the Andean Train, which departs from here. A drive with the Andean Train is a highlight of every Ecuador tour and the trickiest point is at the Nariz del Diablo, where the train covers a distance of 100 meters difference of altitude.
The terminal stop of the Andean Train is in Alausi near Cuenca, which is the third biggest town of Ecuador and the door to the southern sierra. The metropolis of culture has become UNESCO World Heritage in 1999 and is the centre of handicraft of Ecuador. In the near of Cuenca you can find the ruins of Ingapirca, the best conserved and most important Inca ruins of Ecuador. In the northern Sierra, the Ecuador tour will guide you to Otavalo, where you can find the most famous Indio-market in South America. The Otavaleños and Indios of the neighborhood meet here in their typical dress to change news and to offer their goods. Dander through the booths offering beautiful, colorful blankets of Alpaca wool, warmly pullovers and great jewelry made of silver as well as nice things made of leather. Additionally, you will get a great impression of the culture of the indigenous people.
Travelers who love nature should not pass the Peguche Waterfall and the Cuicocha lagoon in the near surrounding of Otavalo. The lagoon is a deep-blue crater lake. The two little islands in the middle of the lake can be reached by boat. Next station of your Ecuador tour can be Cotocachi. The small village is famous for his leatherworks. And you will have a great view of the volcano Cayambe.
Ibarra, capital of the province Imbabura, is also called „White Town“, because of his white colonial houses. From Ibarra you can do a nice trip to Salinas by rail bus. You will drive through a fascinating landscape; pass small villages, cross tunnels and bridges. Salinas is famous for his Afro-Ecuadorian culture. This trip and the visit of Ibarra is the end of your Ecuador tour through the Andes and you will return to Quito. In Quito you will have the chance to do further trips in the surroundings which can be included in your Ecuador tour without any problems. Near Quito you will find the Equator Monument which reminds of the French-Spanish geodetic expedition during the years 1736-1744 which took place under Charles de la Condamine.
In the Museo del Sol you can join different experiments at the Equator. Furthermore you can relax in the Termas de Papallacta during your Ecuador tour. Enjoy a bath in the hot springs and the view of the volcano Antisana. Doesn´t matter how you arrange your Ecuador tour, you will have a great und unforgettable time in Ecuador! Find further information here