This region houses the Avenue of the Volcanoes and the Ecuadorian Andes with heights ranging from 1,500 meters above sea level (4,921 feet) to 6,310 meters above sea level (20,701 feet); It has beautiful landscapes with moors, mountains, lakes, lagoons, indigenous markets, plantations of potato, beans, corn, among other products. A region rich in culture and traditions with Inca ruins and ancient communities; in which you can visit several national parks full of very varied flora and fauna.

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Our top 5 things to do in Andes

This region of beautiful cities such as Quito and Cuenca, that were declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 1978 and 1999 respectively. It has beautiful colorful landscapes among moors, mountains and historic communities, and various things and activities to do.

Historic Center of Quito

The capital of the Republic of Ecuador, Quito, located on two slopes of the Pichincha volcano has the best-preserved historic center and one of the most important in Latin America, it’s located in the south center of the city, and was declared by UNESCO, the first Cultural Heritage of Humanity on September 8, 1978.

Plaza de los Ponchos, Otavalo

In the "Intercultural Capital of Ecuador", Otavalo, there is a famous and colorful indigenous handicrafts market. This place stands out for the wide variety of manual works impregnated with the culture of the Otavaleños and the ability of Kichwa merchants to start businesses.


Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca, is a city that housed pre-Hispanic cultures and the Kañari people in the Tomebamba valley. It is full of wealth in colonial, modern and contemporary art, in buildings such as the central square, Parque Calderón, the New Cathedral and the Old Cathedral from the 16th century, which is currently a religious museum; and heritage such as the Pumapungo archaeological sites and various sections of the Qhapaq Ñan (The Andean Main Road). It also stands out for its gastronomy based on the mote.


Baños de Agua Santa is a very beautiful destination and a magical place where you can contemplate the majestic nature and enjoy the adrenaline while practicing adventure activities such as rafting, bungee jumping, canopy, climbing, among others. This city is located at the foot of the Tungurahua volcano of 5,023 meters above sea level, one of the most active volcanoes in continental Ecuador. Within the varied gastronomy of this city is the traditional ‘melcocha’, made with sugar cane honey in bronze pans, and stretched over and over again in a trunk made with guayaba stick, until they achieve their consistency.


Loja is the southernmost city in this region, known as the musical and cultural capital of Ecuador. Loja prides itself on being the birthplace of national well-known intellectuals such as Benjamín Carrión (founder of the House of Ecuadorian Culture), as well as outstanding musicians, sculptors and painters. Of all the traditions or cultural festivals of this city, the best known is the one experienced with the arrival of the Image of the Virgen del Cisne to Loja. As for its gastronomy, the cecina (sliced pork meat, seasoned with salt, garlic and pepper, dried in the sun and finally grilled), and the horchata water (infusion made with 22 medicinal herbs and flowers) stand out.

Best food in Andes

This region has a diversified gastronomic offer that can be enjoyed by both, national and foreign visitors. In addition to an assortment ‘menu’ of restaurants, dining rooms, traditional markets, and ‘huecas’ where you will find the various delicious dishes that the capital has to offer. Here are some examples.


It’s a typical Ecuadorian dish that consists of mashed potato tortillas filled with cheese, which are then cooked in a pan or on a flat grill until they are golden brown on both sides. And are accompanied by peanut sauce, fried egg, chorizo, slices of avocado, pickled onion and tomato, and chili.


It’s a typical Ecuadorian dish that is prepared with pork, and is accompanied by potato tortillas, mote, tostado, and avocado. But what cannot be missing is the "agrio" made with hot pepper, salt, onion, tomato, and a little panela or chicha.

Creole chicken broth

Or Ecuadorian chicken broth is a very simple dish that can be served as consommé, or the broth with the prey. Also, you can accompany it with cooked potato, white onion and chopped cilantro or parsley.

Chicha de Jora

It’s a traditional drink in the ‘Yamor’ Parties of Otavalo. It’s a fermented drink that is prepared with 7 varieties of maize and is usually fermented in pots or clay vessels. The chicha can be consumed as a cold drink, and if it is left to ferment long enough it can have low alcohol content.

Paila ice cream

Its elaboration is in an artisanal way, a bronze ‘paila’ set in ice with granulated salt is used to preserve the cold for longer, which in turn is on a bed of straw. Inside the paila, put the fruit juice and sugar. Basically, the elaboration technique implies that the paila is constantly turned over and with a paddle, the liquid is released as it solidifies from the walls of the paila.

What to pack for Andes

Hiking shoes

To explore and know this city, you will have to walk a lot, so it’s very important to feel comfortable in your shoes. Also, in case that is a rainy day, you won’t wet your socks.

Reusable water bottle

During your visits to the different places in this region, you will walk a lot, and if it’s a sunny day you easily can feel thirsty. For that reason, is necessary to bring with you a reusable water bottle that will help you to stay hydrated.

Wind and waterproof coat

The climate in this region is temperate-cold. Although it may be sunny at first, it can suddenly change to rainy. That’s why it is important to have a wind and waterproof coat, to be warm and protected from the rain.


Although it is cold, keep in mind that exposure to the sun can be very high and you may not notice it because of the cold. Also, a lipstick to prevent dryness on your lips and a moisturizer if you have skin that tends to dry out easily.

Comfortable and warm clothes

This region has very changeable weather, so to walk around comfortably and without worries about that, it is convenient to dress in several layers of clothing.


It’s very important to have cash if you want to buy handicrafts, drinks, traditional sweets or other things.

Other things to know before you go

Depending on your nationality, you’ll need a valid passport and may also need visa to enter Ecuador. Please check this well in advance of your trip departure date. Also, people over 16 years have to present the vaccination card against COVID-19 with at least 14 days of validity after completing the schedule. In addition, the negative result of a qualitative RT-PCR test in real-time, carried out up to 72 hours prior to shipment to Ecuador. The country’s entry requirements may vary depending on the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, so please check them in advance before your trip.

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