If you are looking for a dramatic and fascinating Andes holiday, Ecuador is the country for you. A trip along the Avenue of the Volcanoes, which takes you through the mystical and majestic Andean Highlands, can be a spectacular experience.
Some 30 peaks in the vicinity of the Avenue of the Volcanoes, a number still smouldering, give the area one of the highest concentrations of volcanoes in the world. Much of the time these peaks are draped in swirling clouds and mists. Locally it is said that the mountains are shy and modest, but on a clear day the view over the green fields to the snow-crowned peaks is magnificent.
Some of the more visited mountains in Ecuador include the Cotopaxi Volcano, a perfectly cone-shaped snow-capped wonder, which is classed as one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, the Cayambe Volcano in the north of Ecuador which is the only point on Earth where you will find snow on the equator line and the Chimborazo Volcano, the tallest mountain in Ecuador which was thought to be the tallest mountain in the world before Mount Everest was discovered. In fact, taking into account that the Earth is wider around the Equator, the Chimborazo Volcano is still the closest point you can get to the sun, whilst still being on solid ground.
The Andes run from north to south through Ecuador, with parallel ranges on the east and west forming between them a number of inter-Andean valleys. The outer slopes of the Andes are covered in mists and areas of thick cloud forests threaded with silvery waterfalls.