The Highlands Region

The sierra region, Andean zone, Andes, inter-Andean region or highlands is a geographical region of Ecuador, which extends from north to south through the Andes, its altitude usually ranges from 1800 m or lower, up to 6268 m with the Chimborazo. It is made up of the provinces of Pichincha, Carchi, Tungurahua, Chimborazo, Cañar, Azuay, Loja, Imbabura, Bolivar and Cotopaxi.

It is characterized by its impressive mountainous elevations, volcanoes and snow-capped mountains. Among the most important are the Cotopaxi and Chimborazo. Its 10 provinces have cities of great historical importance such as Quito, Cuenca, Latacunga, Riobamba, Ibarra, Ambato and Loja, and handicraft centers such as Otavalo. There are also several national parks with rich and varied flora and fauna.

Hot, temperate and cold zones coexist in this region. The inter-Andean region, or highlands, has valleys of different altitudes and climates. Quito, Ecuador’s capital, is home to the Mariscal Sucre International Airport, the main gateway to the country.

The serrano, as the person who lives in the highlands is known, has the peculiarity of being quite friendly and cordial in his behavior, unlike the coastal people who tend to be more demure, serene and somewhat wary; while maintaining his sympathy and friendliness.

The clothin style is very diverse, but is always characterized by being warm. The use of coats, jackets, warm shoes, among others clothing items is what predominates. The indigenous groups maintain their traditional clothing, where the use of ponchos always stands out.

The Andean region or Sierra, stands out for preserving unique ecosystems of high Andean moorland, peaks and valleys of great scenic value, which is complemented by handicrafts, gastronomy and other cultural expressions. You can admire the beautiful lagoons of Mojanda, Cuicocha, San Pablo; the renowned fair of Otavalo, with its fabulous craft market; Cuenca, the traditional colonial city; the Vilcabamba Valley, a paradise of longevity. Spectacular world-famous peaks make the Andean region an attractive destination for mountain and adventure lovers in this magnificent natural environment.

In the Andean region, the population tends to have many idioms borrowed from the Quichua language, a language spoken by indigenous groups since pre-Hispanic times. Words like “ñaño/a” or “taita” or “achahay”, or “atatay” or “arraray” among others, are Quichua words, and today are used by people of any ethnicity or social class in this area.