Andes: a natural fortress it as its Great Wall, running along the entire length of the country, standing—in colossal form—between the Pacific Coast and the Amazon Basin
Contact a specialist
Andes: a natural fortress it as its Great Wall, running along the entire length of the country, standing—in colossal form—between the Pacific Coast and the Amazon Basin
Contact a specialist
Andes: a natural fortress it as its Great Wall, running along the entire length of the country, standing—in colossal form—between the Pacific Coast and the Amazon Basin
Contact a specialist

The Andes Highlands

Some people call the Andes Mountains, Ecuador’s “spine,” though one can also envision it as its Great Wall, running along the entire length of the country, standing—in colossal form—between the Pacific Coast and the Amazon Basin.

All major Andean cities as Quito and Cuenca lie along this mountain-fringed corridor. German explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt—one of the world’s most celebrated minds (whose fame was “second only to Napoleon’s” during his lifetime)—spent months here in 1802, and coined this geographical phenomenon the “Avenue of Volcanoes.”

While volcanoes are very much a defining feature of the Andes, the many different ecosystems formed around them allow for great diversity in both nature and culture. From cloud forests to snow-peak mountains, cold páramo streams to warm, forested waterfalls, the Andes are home to an astounding wilderness. At the same time, they are home to over thirty distinct ethnicities, groups that recognize their many subtle differences in traditions, rituals, and dress. Ecuador’s human population is also a reflection of this varied, rolling geography and even a brief stay will produce incredible cross-cultural encounters.

In the Andes, temperatures drop as one moves upslope, though Quito, despite its 2800 meters above sea level, is not a cold city. During most of the year, sunny days are followed by cloudier afternoons, with showers that typically last only about an hour, a meteorological effect that may offer spectacular purple-and-orange sunsets. It only gets cold at night or when it rains. The “Invierno”, which means winter in Spanish, is a rainy season. It may rain throughout the day, with occasional hailstorms.

The Andes’ typical rainy season spans from October through May with the least rainfall in July and August, though the eastern slope of the Andes is typically rainy from March to September, while the dry season takes place between October and February.

Note that in the Andes, there is also what they call a veranillo, or “small summer” that takes place at some point between the end of November and early January.

Average temperatures in the the Andes (Quito)

Month               Day Night
January 68°F/20°C 50°F/10°C
February 66°F/19°C 50°F/10°C
March 66°F/19°C 48°F/9°C
April 66°F/19°C 50°F/10°C
May 66°F/19°C 52°F/11°C
June 68°F/20°C 48°F/9°C
July 66°F/19°C 48°F/9°C
August 68°F/20°C 50°F/10°C
September 70°F/21°C 48°F/9°C
October 66°F/19°C 48°F/9°C
November 66°F/19°C 48°F/9°C
December 66°F/19°C 50°F/10°C

Easily accessed from the capital, Quito, well-known getaways in the Andes include the famous Otavalo Market, Hacienda Zuleta, Mindo Cloud Forest, the Cotopaxi National Park, and Quilotoa volcanoes, and just an hour-away flight, Cuenca.

World Heritage Cities UNESCO

Historical Cities like Quito located in central Ecuador & Cuenca situated in the South have marveled many travelers throughout history —including famed globetrotters like Alexander von Humboldt and Simon Bolívar— both cities are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with unique cobblestone streets, a combination of Spanish Style residence with French neo-classical architecture, both cities features a slew of museums, churches, and squares to revel in.

Andean Colonial haciendas

Haciendas represent a unique immersion into the privileged past of Spanish Colonial country life in Ecuador.

They linger in the beautiful pastoral setting of the rural mountainside, showcasing a profound agricultural world.

Market life

Located in the heart of the rural countryside, haciendas are also a springboard to explore the Andean hinterland, where life is governed by natural agricultural cycles and, what’s perhaps most important: “market day.”

Every market village—and not all villages have markets—feature a market that becomes a trading hub for the entire region.

Local Handicrafts

Two hours north of Quito, we find the Otavalo Ancestral Culture; this indigenous community was born with magic in their hands, the Otavalos are experts in woven textiles and hats, leather designs, and artisan jewelry.

Cuenca is surrounded by Andean villages like Chordeleg, which specialize in the finest metalwork, amazingly detailed filigree in earrings and pendants. San Bartolomé, which specializes in beautifully played acoustic guitar-making. Sigsig is known for its ‘Panama’ hat weavers. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Panama Hat is originally from Ecuador.

Wayra´s booking plan

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Senior Travel Advisors

We know our neighborhood pretty well. We know what is better for a family, for children, for an anniversary or a surprise. Every hotel, city, or National Park had been carefully selected.

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We are passionate when working and developing commercial and financial strategies to support new entrepreneurs, small local businesses, and indigenous communities.

Testimonials

Hacienda Zuleta is a rare gem hidden in the Ecuadorian Andes. We stayed there for three nights with Gloria, our guide. She was a wealth of knowledge, a patient+friendly guide!

Brendan, Australia - “Zuleta was an extraordinary place”

We loved the tapestry and workshops in Otavalo. During our stay, we loved to walk around Cuicocha crater lake! Quite a breathtaking view!

Deborah & Nicol, US - “A great market day!”

Maria was excellent and courteous! She even helped me bargain in the Otavalo market! Meeting Belen, the hatmaker woman, was a unique experience!

Ed & Sue, US - “Bargain at Otavalo”

Gina was incredible! Excellent English, knowledge, and very pleasant.

Brian, US - “Incredible guide”

Giovanna is exceptionally knowledgeable, especially about Ecuadorian history & politics! She is an excellent storyteller

Terry & Betsy, US - “Our guide was a storyteller”

Gloria was a joy to be with! She was very knowledgeable.

Maynard & Robin, US - “Fantastic experience”

You can download our latest brochure with a hand-picked collection of our favorite adventures in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

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