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The Central Andes of Ecuador

The "Avenue of the Volcanoes" makes the Central Andes one of the most beautiful and impressive of Ecuador's regions. It is made up of the provinces of Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Bolívar and Chimborazo. Be it by road, airplane or train along the original railroads from 1900, you can appreciate the beauty of mountains like El Altar, Cotopaxi, Illinizas, Tungurahua, Carihuairazo and Chimborazo and the people that live in the Andean highlands and warm you with their smile.

Main Cities

The capital of the province of Cotopaxi also presents colonial Spanish architecture. Its name comes from the words "llacata kunka" which means God of the Lakes. Among the attractions here are the Municipal building with its pumice stone façade and the park Ignacio Flores with an artificial lake. The design of the cobblestone streets and the small houses the red tiles is a very attractive site for tourists, and don't forget the famous "allullas" (flour snacks) and "chugchucaras" (a typical meal with fried pork, banana, potatoes, mote, tostado and empanadas) which will be a true pleasure for your palate.

This area is also famous for the "Mama Negra" festival, with the primary figure in the traditional parade being "Mama Negra" accompanied by bands, fire works and flowers.

Known as "the city of flowers" because of the large amount of production of flowers and fruits in the fertile land surrounding it. During the time of Carnival (February - April), it celebrates its festival with a colorful parade where flowers and fruits are the stars of the parade, there are also other cultural and academic events. It is a must for tourists to visit: Montalvo's House, the Museum of Natural Sciences, and the Museum of the Painter "Luis A. Martinez" in honor of the Ecuadorian writer and painter.

Capital of the province of Chimborazo, it has interesting sites for tourists like the Convent of the Mothers of the Conception, currently the Religious Art Museum, hundreds of parks and churches with admirable architectural details. In the surrounding areas, there are many attractions like the town of Guano, famous for its rugs; Cajabamba with colonial houses and temples like the Church of Balbanera; Punin where the Archeological Museum is found with prehistoric and pre-Colombian pieces. The train ride between Riobamba and Alausi is one of the most spectacular trips in the world passing through the majestic ridge known as the "Devil's nose", a trip like none other in the world.

This city is famous for its carnival, celebrated by the people living in the area with a large amount of water, flour, partying and alcohol. Dressed in ponchos and mounted on horses, they parade through the streets of Guaranda and then recite "amorfinos " or verses accompanied by a guitar. A nearby town is Salinas de Guaranda where a small company makes and commercializes delicious products like dairy products and sausages.

Baños is famous for its hot baths, waterfalls and endless activities within a small territory. In the city is found the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Holy Water with its museum, as well as lookouts, bars and inns filled with commodities. Adventure sports like rafting, bungee jumping, mountain biking to name a few are a specialty in this town and the proximity of the Oriente, through the Route of the Waterfalls to Puyo is one of the most exciting adventures for your stay in this town. It is the site of departure for expeditions to Puyo, Misahuallí, the waterfalls of Agoyán and Inés María and to the peaks of Tunguarahua and the "Pailón del Diablo". In Baños you can also find a small Zoo and a Reptile Zoo.

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