Towards the eastern part of Central Sierra, the tropical rainforest Oriente is situated. To the west lies the coastal lowlands, a hot and humid region but it is a more accessible area.
About 200 kilometers from the western lowlands to the eastern jungle stand two peaks of 6310 m that form the two mountain ranges or cordilleras.
The two cordilleras lie 40 to 60 kilometers apart and run north to south. The central valley, a fertile region of about 400 kilometers long is situated between the two mountain ranges. It holds
Quito and the majority of ’s main cities and about
half of the country’s inhabitants. Ecuador
Alexander von Humbolt, a famous German scientist and explorer, once called this Central Valley “The Avenue of the Volcanoes” when he visited
in 1802. Ecuador
Cordillera Real, also
called the Easter Cordillera, is older, higher, and larger as compared to the
These areas stand on a base of rock bedding of gneiss, mica – schist, and a variety of crystalline rocks. Heavy volcanic material resulting in some cone-shaped volcanoes of which the 5897 meter
Cotopaxi is particularly known
On the Eastern slopes of this Cordillera are several peaks that are not volcanic in origin. These are found outside the jungles of the Oriente. Further to the east, set apart from the Eastern Cordillera by a jungle are other isolated mountains.
Two significant active volcanoes situated on this area are Reventador and Sumaco.
|Chimborazo image via Wikipedia|
Because of the active volcanic activity centuries ago, this range has gathered large amounts of porphyritic eruptive rocks from the Mesozoic age.
© 2012 Athena Goodlight