Andes

The land of volcanoes and mountains where “EARTH” is present far and wide and is an indispensable element for living.

The Andes constitute 20% of Ecuador's territory and have 10 protected areas. These areas contain three mountains of note: "Cotopaxi,” which at 5,897m (19,347 ft) is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, the  5,790m (18,996 ft) "Cayambe," the highest mountain on the Equator, and "Chimborazo" which, although only 6,310m (20.702 ft) above sea level, is actually the point furthest away from the center of the Earth due to the planet's equatorial bulge.   

This Andes region is home to 16 ethnic groups and indigenous peoples with ancient traditions and has emblematic colonial cities such as Quito and Cuenca.  In 2013 and 2014, Quito was awarded the distinction of “South America’s Leading Destination" by World Travel Awards and was also a finalist in the “New 7 Wonders Cities" contest. Cuenca was awarded with the "Jean Paul L'Allier prize in 2013 by the “World Cities Heritage Organization” (OCPM) thanks to its projects dedicated to heritage conservation.

Overall, three well-deserved World Cultural Heritage sites belong to the Ecuadorian Andean region: the city of "Quito" because of its Colonial Town, the largest and best preserved of Latin America, the “Santa Ana de los Cuatro Rios de Cuenca” Historical town, and the "Qhapac Nan" or "Inca Road System."

Travel in the Andes - Quito - Ecuador
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