The Inter-Andean Region
The Inter-Andean Region is the country´s geographical heartland, lying between the two major chains of the Andes mountains - the Western Chain (Cordillera Occidental) and the Eastern Chain (Cordillera Oriental). The Eastern Chain is wider and higher; however, mount Chimborazo (6.267 meters), the highest mountain in Ecuador, is part of the Western Chain. The highest active volcano in the world is the Ecuadorian Cotopaxi, reaching 5,897 meters.
This high, rolling plateau runs North-South between the Coastal and the Amazon Regions and includes what the German Explorer, Alexander Von Humboldt named "The Valley of the Volcanoes"; in this valley leans Quito, the capital of Ecuador. The climate varies according to the altitude; during the year a subtropical climate prevails on the Andean valleys, at higher altitudes it is tempered spring like, at nights it is cold. In Quito the temperature ranges from 7şC (55ş F) at night, to 26şC (78şF) at noon, averaging 15şC (64şF). The Inter-Andean region has extensive farming, ranching and in the last decade an impressive development of flower plantations, it has traditional cultural and handicrafts centres like Quito, where local and foreign firms have developed greatly in trade and finance. Quito is also Ecuador’s largest industrial city, with many food, textiles, wood products and consumer goods factories.