Ecuador facts: this article covers the highlights of Ecuador – the facts and features that make it unique.
What Makes Ecuador Famous?
Ecuador is known for the Galapagos Islands, beautiful beaches and the Andes mountains. You can enjoy tasty seafood on the coast, roasted guinea pig in the Andes and your choice of monkey, snake, turtle or tree slugs in the Amazon region.
Ecuador is popular for expats because of its stable government, easy permanent residency visas and its use of the US dollar. Popular expat areas are Cuenca, Quito, Salinas and Bahía de Caráquez.
Where is Ecuador Located?
Ecuador is located on the Pacific coast of South America – between Colombia and Peru. Although Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America (after Uruguay, Suriname, Guyana and French Guyana) it is one of the most diverse.
Ecuador is located directly on the equator between the latitudes 2°N and 5°S. The equator crosses both the mainland and the Galapagos Islands.
Ecuador’s 4 Geographic Regions
Ecuador has four primary geographic regions:
- Galapagos Islands: Home to giant tortoises, blue footed boobies and pristine beaches.
- The Coast (La Costa): Enjoy beautiful beaches, great surfing and delicious typical food.
- The Andes (Sierra): The pleasing climate, scenic mountain areas and absence of insects and natural disasters make this region popular among expats and tourists.
- The Amazon Jungle (La Amazonia): Famous for numerous indigenous groups, diverse wildlife and untouched jungle areas like Yasuni National Park. Here are 8 things to know before visiting Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest.
Top 28 Facts About Ecuador
Here are some of our favorite Ecuador facts:
- Official Name: Republic of Ecuador (Spanish: República del Ecuador)
- Ecuador has four world heritage sites: Galapagos Islands, Sangay National Park, City of Quito and the City of Cuenca.
- Population: 15, 223, 680 (2011 estimate)
- The Galapagos Islands are 620 miles (1000 kilometers) from mainland Ecuador.
- Demonym (Citizens are known as): Ecuadorian
- Ecuador is known as one of seventeen mega-diverse countries in the world.
- It is considered the most bio-diverse country in the world (per unit area).
- Currency: US Dollar
- Power outlets use 110v (the same as in the US and Canada).
- Timezone: GMT -5 (Mainland), GMT -6 (Galapagos) Convert your timezone
- Ecuador has two international airports: Quito and Guayaquil
- Language: Spanish, Quechua (known locally as ‘Quichua’ or ‘Kichwa’), and Shuar. Other languages include: Achuar-Shiwiar, Cha’palaachi, Cofán, Colorado (Tsachila), Cuaiquer, Secoya, Siona, Tetete, Waorani. Amerindian languages are spoken by more than 2,300,000 people in Ecuador.
- Ecuador has 1,638 bird species (a full 15% of the known species worldwide)
- Area: 109,483 square miles (283,560 square kilometers)
- Capital: Quito (2010 population of 2,239,191). See the guide to Quito weather.
- 40% of all exports is oil
- Largest City: Guayaquil (2009 population: 3,751,896). Here’s what the weather is like in Guayaquil and some beautiful photos.
- The primary religion is Roman Catholic followed by Protestants and Jehovah’s Witnesses. The remaining groups are Jewish, Buddhists and Mormons.
- Other Major Cities: Cuenca, Machala, Manta, Ibarra, Santo Domingo, Durán, Loja, Portoviejo, Ambato and Salinas.
- Ecuador is the worlds largest exporter of bananas.
- Misspellings: Equator, Equador, Ecuator
- Life Expectancy: 71 years
- Ecuador is the smallest Andean country.
- Ecuador has 24 provinces, including the province of Galapagos.
- Mount Chimborazo is considered the furthest point on the surface from the center of the planet.
- Ecuador is a major exporter of oil, flowers, cocoa, bananas, shrimp, rice, cotton and coffee.
- 6 o’clock: When the sun rises and sets all year round
- Ecuador has the first constitution on the planet that recognizes the rights of nature.
Looking for more? Here are another 21 weird and interested facts about Ecuador
Ecuador is the most popular country for expats in South America.
Ecuador is a Spanish speaking country. Should you learn Spanish for your upcoming trip? Some basics would be a great idea. Here’s how we learned Spanish: 11 Books and Courses We Used to Learn Spanish
Looking for more information about Ecuador? Here are the Top 13 books about traveling in Ecuador
Ecuador is divided into provinces and each of those into a total of 221 cantons. The cantons are then divided into parroquias. Learn about Ecuador’s cantons and parroquias.