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Ecuador Sierra

Sierra

Sierra EcuadorThe Sierra consists of two major chains of the Andes mountains, known as the Cordillera Occidental (Western Chain) and Cordillera Oriental (Eastern Chain), and the intermontane basin or plateau between the two chains. Several transversal mountain spurs, known as nudos, cut across the plateau. The Nudo del Azuay, at 4,500 meters the highest of these transversal spurs, divides the Sierra into two subregions the area of modern volcanism to the north and the area of ancient volcanism to the south. The former area consists of newer, higher mountains than those in the ancient volcanism section, which with time have eroded to lower levels.

The rainy season in this area lasts from October to May, with an average annual temperature range of 11.5° to 18° C. The daily variation, however, can be extreme with very hot days and quite cold nights. Yet, some often refer to the Sierra climate as "eternal spring".  The Sierra's climatic conditions, as well as recent volcanic activity, has produced peculiar and interesting plant formations that distinguish the area's beautiful landscapes called the paramo. One tenth (2'500.000 H.) of the Ecuadorian land area is covered with paramos or high altitude dry vegetation. Situated between 3,500 and 4,500 m. above sea level, this is a habitat ideal for condors, caracaras, deer, llamas, vicuñas, multicolored flowers and hummningbirds. Ecuador's region of the Andes consists of over 30 volcanic cones, many over 5,000 meters and almost a third still active. One of these the snow-capped Cotopaxi is the world's highest active volcano. Numerous national parks and protected areas of wilderness feature a wide range of microclimates and enormous bio-diversity, making the Sierra a paradise

Quito

Quito city, Sierra EcuadorQuito, the capital of Ecuador, is a vibrant, modern city with roots in the Incan Empire and Colonial Spain. The country is characterized by diversity of people, language, and environment. Located in the Andes mountain range 2.800 meters above sea level, Quito occupies a plateau of 12.000 square kilometers. Its environmental temperature oscillates between 50 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 25 centigrade degrees). The climatic contrasts that are presented during the course of a day, allows one to enjoy the four seasons of the year around the clock - as if having eternal spring.

Cuenca

Cuenca catedral, Sierra EcuadorFounded by the Spanish in 1557, Cuenca is the third-largest city in Ecuador and one of the prettiest. It is known as the capital of culture and arts and its beautiful buildings are very well preserved. The old centre has churches dating from the 16th and 17th century, plenty of old buildings, and cobblestone streets. It is also home to the famous panama hat and the old fabrics can still be visited. The surrounding villages are also worth visiting and famous for their handicrafts, jewelry and their traditional markets. The countryside is pretty. Fifty km north is the Inca fortress of Ingapirca, Ecuador's best preserved pre-colonial ruin.

Otavalo

Otavalo handicrafts, sierra EcuadorOtavalo is located two hours north of Quito in Ecuador's Andean highlands. About 50,000 people reside in the town from where the famous market took its name. Surrounded by volcanoes, the market place is in a beautiful setting.  People from all over the world come to see the famous market, where an abundance of handicrafts can be found.

◄ Ecuador coast region

Ecuador Amazon region 

Tours in Quito: fantastic tours to historical sites, museums, colonial churches, artisan galleries and a number of activities to choose from.

Galapagos Islands

Visiting Ecuador? Don't miss the Galapagos Islands

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