Welcome to Southern Highlands
Veering from chilly, elfin woodland to humid lowland forest, the region is home to a huge diversity of wildlife and landscapes; make time for a trip to at least one of the region’s national parks.
Most journeys begin in Cuenca, a classic South American traveler hub with one of the continent's best-preserved colonial centers. Then it’s a choose-your-own-adventure romp through seldom-visited ancient settlements and untrammeled wild areas toward vibrant, museum-rich Loja and balmy Vilcabamba. From here, forays begin into stark ocher hills, along verdant slopes where Ecuador's best coffee is cultivated and down into sticky semitropical forest.