The Andes are the world's longest continental mountain range and they lie as a continuous chain of highland along the western coast of South America. And they consist of over 30 volcanic cones, many over 5,000 meters and almost a third still active. One of these the snow-capped Cotopaxi is the world's highest active volcano. Noticeably, The Andes mountain range is the highest mountain range outside Asia. Numerous national parks and protected areas of wilderness feature a wide range of microclimates and enormous bio-diversity, making the Sierra a paradise for bird watching in particular. In addition, The climate in the Andes varies greatly depending on location, altitude, and proximity to the sea. The southern section is rainy and cool, the central Andes are dry. In particular, in this region Quito is home to excellent museums, churches and art galleries and its colonial center, one of the finest in Latin America, has been designated a World Heritage Site, by UNESCO.