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Destination Details

Various, Ecuador

 

ECUADOR ANDES

The Ecuadorian Andean region is formed by two parallel ranges of mountains that are aligned from north to south. Both cordilleras have numerous high peaks and volcanoes of over 4,000 mts (13,120 ft) such as Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, Cayambe and Antisana.

Between these two ranges there is an intermountain valley known as the Avenue of the Volcanoes. This is where most of the Andes population lives due to the fertile soils found here which offer a high productivity of corn, beans, potatoes and vegetables, the primary crops grown. This agricultural activity has replaced the native vegetation of the Andes. However in some areas you will still find remnants that, mixed with the tundra or paramos, form a most spectacular landscape.

Before the Spanish conquest, Ecuador was part of the Incan Empire. Nowadays, 500 years later we can still find the influence of this culture as well as settlements of other ancient cultures that used to live in this area.

With the arrival of the Spanish conquerors, a new race was born, the mestizos (a mixture between indigenous and Spanish). This race makes up 80% of the actual population of the country. There is also a small percentage of native cultures like Otavalos, Salasacas, Cañaris, Chibuleos, Saraguros and others.

During the Spanish colony, many haciendas were built and they became the social and productive economic centers of this area. In recent years many of these haciendas have been transformed into guest houses where you can travel into the past and imagine how the landlords used lo live.

In the Andes we can also find the Cloud Forest region that is formed by sharp and deeply forested mountains descending to rushing waterfalls and crystalline streams. This magical place is perfect for adventure, relaxation, and discovering habitats that you never imagined could exist. The annual precipitation is about 2,000mm to 2,500 mm. The canopy is about 20 to 25 m high and there is much epiphytic growth. This forest is an exceptionally important area for birdwatching as well as an area of high diversity in flora and fauna

 

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