Central Highlands

SS48226663/Savelyeva AnnaSouth of Quito is some of the loveliest mountain scenery in Ecuador. This part of the country was named the 'Avenue of the Volcanoes' by the German explorer Alexander Von Humboldt, and it is easy to see why. An impressive roll call of towering peaks lines the route south: Cotopaxi, the Ilinizas, Carihuayrazo and Chimborazo, to name but a few. This area obviously attracts its fair share of trekkers and climbers, while the less active tourist can browse through the many teeming markets and colonial towns that nestle among the high volcanic cones.

After you have explored the mountains to your heart's delight, rest up and pamper yourself in one of the lovely haciendas which have opened their doors to visitors, or in Baños, named and famed for its thermal baths. Its spas are popular with tourists and Ecuadoreans alike. Situated on the main road from the Central Highlands to the Oriente jungle, it is also the base for activities ranging from adrenaline sports and mountain biking to café lounging and Ecuador's special attraction: volcano watching.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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