The highlands are where you will find the Andean Mountains, partially still active volcanoes and peaks covered in snow and glaciers. Some call them mythical - without a doubt - the view of these majestic mountains is truly mesmerizing. Some of the mountains are taller than 16,400 feet and the volcano Cotopaxi, the tallest active one in the world, even reaches 19,350 feet. This setting is perfect for hikes through the snow or around gorgeous crater lakes (like the Quilotoa Crater Lake. Seriously, you should definitely put it on your bucket list!). After an exhausting day of exploring you can stay in one of the cozy haciendas found in the small villages scattered around the Andes. But that is not all the highlands have to offer: mysterious cloud forests, relaxing thermal baths, lush grassy fields, colorful Indian markets, and colonial towns (like Quito, a metropolis with a small town feel) are all worth the journey. Sure enough, this is Ecuador’s most developed tourism region. Hence, much to a traveler’s delight, everything is easily accessible and accommodation and culinary options are vast.
Natives living here predominantly belong to the indigenous Kichwa people who focus on growing traditional crops like quinoa and potatoes.