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21 Weird and Interesting Facts About Ecuador (That You Might Not Know)

Posted in: Ecuador Facts, Ecuador Travel

Although tiny, Ecuador is a very diverse country. In this post, I’ll share 21 unusual and interesting facts about Ecuador.

Interesting facts about Ecuador

While there are many common fact about Ecuador, I won’t bore you with those. We all know it’s in South America and that they speak Spanish. Here you can learn some things you probably didn’t already know. If you have any to add, I’d love to hear them in the comments!

21 Weird & Interesting Facts About Ecuador

1) On Top of the World: Mt. Chimborazo

The top of Mt. Chimborazo in Quito is as far as you can get from the center of the earth. This may sound crazy – there are many mountains higher than Chimborazo – however the earth bulges at the equator, making Mt. Chimborazo technically 1.5 miles higher than Mt. Everest.

How high is Mt Chimborazo? It has an elevation of 6,263 m (20,548 ft).

2) Shape Shifting Amazon Frog

The “Punk Rocker”, or mutable rainfrog was recently discovered in Ecuador’s rain-forest. It is the first known vertebrate to change the texture of its skin. Its skin changes from almost smooth, to spiky in a matter of minutes. Experts have yet to understand how this frog does it or what the spines are made of.

3) Go Bananas

Ecuador is the world’s largest exporter of bananas.

4) Ecuador Not Close With Brazil

Ecuador and Chile are the only two South American countries not to share a border with Brazil.

5) Ecuador’s Constitution Recognizes … Nature

In 2008, Ecuador declared that nature has constitutional rights, making it the first to do so. This means that they do not treat it as property but recognize its “right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles.”

6) August 10th is an Important Day (10 de Agosto)

Independence day is August tenth, or diez de Agosto, which is a popular name for streets, parks and markets.

7) Soil, Sky and Blood

Ecuador’s flag is yellow, blue and red. Yellow for the country’s soil and crops, blue for the sky and ocean, and red for the blood of those who fought for independence. The flag also contains the crest with the endangered condor perched on top.

A video posted by Python Paige (@pythonpaige) on

A video posted by High Gloss (@fromhighgloss) on

8) “It’s the truth, I swear”

Ecuador is home to the endangered Pinocchio Lizard which was recently rediscovered in Ecuador’s Andes in 2007. In line with its name, the male Pinocchio Lizard has a precarious proboscis; that appears to be longer than it’s head.

9) Measuring Error at the Middle of the World 

Ciudad Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World City) in Quito was thought – until recently – to be directly on the equator. There is an attractive marble monument called Mitad del Mundo. Re-measurements show, however, that the equator actually lies 240 meters north of the monument. Rats! 🙂

10) Getting High in Quito

Quito has the highest elevation for any constitutional capital city, 2850m above sea level.

11) Guinea Pigs are Super Popular (and it’s not why you think)

Cuy, or guinea pig, is a delicacy in Ecuador. Many people find the idea repulsive, I find those people to be small minded and biased :). Cuy tastes much like rabbit or duck; which most of us in northern counties think nothing of eating. I would definitely recommend giving it a try. However, a word of caution: as with any other food, be cautious where you choose to eat. While some (probably most) restaurants have wonderful health standards, others have a lack of hygiene. But, it is definitely worth the effort to find a restaurant that suites you so you can try Cuy.

Guinea Pig in Ecuador cuy

12) Ecuador is the smallest Andean country

Of the seven Andean States (Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile) Ecuador is the smallest.

13) 4 Worlds in 1 Country

Ecuador has four unique geographical locations, the Amazon jungle – home to Yasuni national park, the Coastal region – with surfing and different typical foods, the Galapagos Islands – with its rare and amazing animal and plant life and the Andes (Sierra) – a popular vacation and retirement destination.

14) The Not-So-Panama Panama Hats

The so-called “Panama” Hat actually comes from Ecuador.

Panama Hat in Ecuador

15) Ecuador is Super Multilingual

There are 24 languages spoken in Ecuador! These include Spanish, 9 varieties of Quechua, Shuar and many others.

16) Ecuador = Equator

Ecuador is the only country in the world named after a geographic feature. Republica del Ecuador translates to Republic of the Equator. The many misspellings of Ecuador (Equador, Ecuator, and Equator) probably come from this.

17) New Cloud Forest Carnivorous Mammal

The Olinguito lives in Ecuador’s Cloud forest and is the first carnivorous mammal discovered in the Western Hemisphere in the past 35 years.

18) Yes, the Galapagos Islands belong to Ecuador

Ecuador is home to the Galapagos Islands, which are 620 miles from the mainland. The Galapagos is home to a wide variety of rare animals, some of which can only be found there.

travel-to-galapagos

19) More Here Than Anywhere

Ecuador is considered the most biodiverse country in the world!

20) Darwin’s Finches

Charles Darwin developed his well-known theory of evolution in the Galapagos Islands after observing the different habits of finches.

21) The Adventures of a Bear Called Paddington

Paddington Bear lives in Ecuador. Okay, not really :). But the Andean Bear – the bear on which Paddington was based – does!

Female Andean Bear Cuenca Ecuador


I hope that you have found these facts about Ecuador entertaining and educational.

What’s your favorite? Do you have any unusual or interesting facts about Ecuador to share? Please share them in the comments!

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Meet the Author

Drew is the daughter of Bryan and Dena Haines. She moved to Ecuador when she was just 8 years old. She now blogs about amazing animals on her site: EverywhereWild.com

9 comments… add one
  • Valerie Apr 14, 2017, 4:45 pm

    Just returned from my trip there… other interesting things. Stray dogs everywhere! No flushing the TP. Hot water is a luxury.

    I had a marvelous time.

  • Rebecca Feb 2, 2017, 10:16 am

    Beautiful article. Thanks Drew for your lovely efforts.

  • Steven Jan 31, 2017, 1:13 am

    What a great article! Very informative. Keep up the good work.

  • Raj Cherian Jan 30, 2017, 12:57 am

    Thanks for sharing these Drew. Most of the 21 Facts I did not know. Is it true most of the Humming birds are from Ecuador?

  • Ed Allen Jan 29, 2017, 8:17 pm

    Hello. I guess I’m being picky. Your discussions are clear and informative, but you are consistently misusing the word “it’s.” For a possessive (such as “People like Ecuador for its climate), there’s no apostrophe. The trouble with errors like that is that they can undercut your credibility.

    • Bryan Haines Jan 29, 2017, 8:28 pm

      I appreciate your comment and I agree about its importance. This post was written by my daughter and I guess I should have proofed it more carefully. I just checked it and found 2 instances of incorrect apostrophe use.

      That being said, I’m guilty of occasional grammar crimes.

      Thanks Ed!

  • Vincent salgado Jan 29, 2017, 8:41 am

    You might want to double-check No. 1. Chimborazo is not in Quito. It’s further south closer to Ambato.

    • Bryan Haines Jan 29, 2017, 7:23 pm

      Thanks for the correction. She was thinking about Cotopaxi being near Quito – not Chimborazo. I just fixed the post.

      Thanks!

    • Monica Mar 7, 2017, 4:13 pm

      It is closer to Riobamba, small beautiful city with a great college institution, Politécnica School, I got my chemistry education there!.
      I have been at the top of the Chimborazo as well. Blessings to all.

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