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Ecuador Shorts Tours
But it is not only nature that Ecuador excels at. Traditional artisan crafts in the field of weaving, leather, carvings, hats and jewelry are still very much alive in the streets and local markets today. Throughout small, picturesque Andean villages, a fascinating cultural history can be found. And the colonial architecture in the cities of Quito and Cuenca are not only a joy to explore, but are both recognised UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Ecuador’s capital is located at 2,850 m above sea level in the so-called “Valley of the Volcanoes” and has one of the best preserved old towns in South America, which was rightly classified as a cultural heritage of mankind by UNESCO in 1978. The historic core and also the churches San Francisco and La Compañía with their abundance of gold ornaments have recently been completely renovated and shine in new splendor.
Due to its central location, Quito is an ideal starting point for excursions. All interesting places like the Equator Monument, the thermal baths of Papallacta, Latacunga etc., or the Cotopaxi National Park can be easily reached as a day trip. You have a great view over the city from the local mountain Pichincha, which you can reach by cable car (Teleférico).
The northern Ecuadorian Andes offer a fascinating combination of nature, history and culture, with rose farms, snow-capped volcanoes and the colorful Indian market in Otavalo, which takes place every Saturday on the Plaza the Ponchos.
This is the starting point as well for excursions into the surrounding area, such as the nature reserve “El Ángel” with its meter-high “Frailejones” (monk plants) and Polylepis forests (paperbark tree), the Cuicocha crater lake or the Imbabura volcan.