The Northern Andes region in Ecuador begins at the edges of Quito and continues all the way up to the jagged line defining the Colombian border. This mountainous and hilly region features a wide range of ecosystems that run the gamut from dry to wet, playing host to a land filled with some unbeatable Andean fauna, culture and landscapes.
Itâs here that youâll be able to withdraw from the tourist mainstream, humbling yourself with the magnificent scope of VolcĂĄn Cayambe (the countryâs third-highest volcano) while drawing nearer to witnessing the heart and source of all kinds of artisan goods in towns like Otavalo. And to the west, bird-watchers from around the world and weekenders alike heed the call of Mindo, as they flock to indulge in its abundance of bird species as well as experience its incredibly relaxing rainforest ambiance.
Whether itâs ice-climbing, trekking through unspoiled pĂĄramo (grasslands), exploring rural villages (where the pace of life remains the same after centuries), getting the best deals and widest selection of artisan goods or simply soaking in the Arco Iris hot springs, the Northern Andes is a region you won't want to miss.