Andes Region Vacation Packages
The monumental highlands of the Andes region dominate the central corridor of Ecuador. Located a short distance from the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, the Andes region is part of the longest continental mountain range in the world. Also known as the Highlands or the Sierra, the region has towering mountain peaks, lush valleys and one of the world’s tallest active volcanoes. Whether you’re looking for adventurous mountain hikes or wanting to relax in a thermal hot spring, have your camera at the ready as you’ll be constantly surrounded by natural beauty.
Wander past the historic buildings that line Quito’s La Ronda street to experience Ecuadorian hospitality before you venture out in search of loftier heights and smaller villages. Tour operators are abundant in the city and can organize packaged tours to the famous Cotopaxi National Park to see one of the tallest active volcanoes in the world or to Cochasquí where there are ruins that pre-date the Inca civilisation.
Transportation to the small villages of Cayambe and Ambato can be found in the city, both of which provide great bases for hiking and exploring. Take the train ride to Riobamba, with its exhilarating incline and dramatic views. Immerse yourself in the thermal pools of Baños or Oyacachi or visit one of South America’s most iconic markets in Otavalo.
Be sure to pack for many types of adventures, and weather. The Andes region in Ecuador is known to have four seasons in one day, although there is a distinct rainy season from October to May. Visit from July to September for the best chance of cloudless skies and the opportunity to see the Andes’ often-illusive peaks. Mornings are almost always crisp at this altitude and even in the capital, at 9,350 feet (2,850 meters) above sea level, you’ll get chilly overnight.
Reach the Ecuadorian Andes via Quito’s international airport, with flights from North and South America arriving regularly. Those travelling overland will find connections from major hubs in Ecuador and its neighboring countries in the capital. Accommodation is plentiful in the region, although often basic, and reservations during the dry months are advised.