The Andes Mountains are the longest continental mountain range in the world. They form a continuous highland along the western coast of South America. The Andean Region extends north-south from Caribbean Venezuela through the Atacama Desert to cold, windy, wet Cape Horn.
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Landforms of Ecuador
The Andean Volcanic Belt, along the South American coast, is segmented into four main volcanic zones. These volcanoes, along the backbone of the Andes, are part of the Ring of Fire, an area in the Pacific Ocean basin where earthquakes and eruptions occur due to the collision of tectonic plates.
The Archipiélago de Colón (Galápagos Islands) are volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean, roughly 600 miles west of continental Ecuador. The archipelago is known for its many endemic species and was studied by Charles Darwin during the second voyage of HMS Beagle.
Cordillera del Cóndor is a mountain range in the eastern Andes that is shared by and part of the international border between Ecuador and Peru. El Cóndor National Park is located in Ecuador, bordering the Santiago-Comaina protected area of Peru.
The Ecuadorian Andes are divided into parallel volcanic cordilleras that form Ecuador's central Andean highlands region. This Sierra natural region contains ten major basins that contain roughly half of Ecuador's population.
Mindo Valley is located among the western slopes of the Andes Mountains in northern Ecuador. It is known for its many species of birds, butterflies and orchids. The valley is home to the Mindo-Nambillo Cloud Forest and Ecological Reserve.
The Sangay volcano is located within Sangay National Park in central Ecuador, which contains one of the world’s most complex ecological environments, including a rare combination of grasslands, rainforests, and other fragile habitats.