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The Central Andes of Ecuador: Main Attractions

 

Cotopaxi National Park
This is a must for travelers to the country and especially to the central part of the Andes. Located 60 km from Quito, the Cotopaxi National Park contains the volcano of the same name with an altitude of 5,897 m. In spite of its altitude, the region has a large variety of mammals, birds and endemic species. It also houses the Recreational Area El Boliche which is a large forest with varied vegetation, animal reserves and camping sites. Other characteristics of the reserve are the lakes, like the Limpiopungo and its pine forests. The snowcapped peaks of Cotopaxi have a refuge that is open all year with capacity for dozens of tourists.

The Devil's Nose
The Devil's Nose refers to a one-of-a-kind train trip where the train traverses the face of a mountain in zigzags. During this wonderful trip, you can experience changes in climate in a very short time from the highlands above tree line to the coast discovering beautiful landscapes typical of the region, descending about 800 meters.

The trip currently reaches to the city of Alausí, originally the final destination was the city of Duran in the Province of Guayas but part of the trajectory of the railroad was destroyed by the El Niño phenomenon.

Sangay National Park
Some 70 kilometers to the south of the city you can find the Sangay National Park, a large space enclosed between the Eastern mountain range and the tallest volcanoes of Ecuador. The Tungurahua volcano is active but the last eruption was almost a century ago. El Altar is extinct and is considered to be one of the most difficult peaks to climb. Sangay is one of the most active volcanoes in the Andes, it isn't difficult to climb but due to its eruptive instability, it is only advisable for the most experienced climbers. The park is considered to be one of the most remote areas in the country and the one with the most difficult access, although the adventure is worth the bother.

Town of Tigua
Tigua is a small indigenous town in the province of Cotopaxi filled with enchantment because of the friendliness of its people and because of its artist. Ttigua paintings, a true example of naif art, consist of landscapes and people painted on sheep skin for a canvas. They are very colorful and the themes represent the daily life in the countryside.

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