Outstanding natural features of Eciuador include Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano on Earth, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Galapagos Islands which is rich in fauna. Outstanding man-made attractions include cities of Quito and Cuenca which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
|Currency||US dollar (USD)|
|Area||total: 283,560 km2
water: 6,720 km2
land: 276,840 km2
|Population||13,547,510 (July 2006 est.)|
|Language||Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)|
|Religion||Roman Catholic 95%|
|Electricity||110-220V/60Hz (USA & European plugs)|
Quito - The capital and the first city to gain a UNESCO World Heritage status.
Baños- Known as the adventure capital of Ecuador. Features an active volcano, and hot spring mineral baths.
Cuenca- Third largest city in Ecuador. Like Quito, it is a World Heritage site.
Guayaquil - Largest city in the country with the largest port.
Otavalo - Famous for its indigenous crafts and markets. Only two hours from Quito.
Esmeraldas - Has the most popular beach in Ecuador.
Bahía de Caraquez - A popular place for beaches.
Loja - The oldest colonial city in the country.
Other notable destinations
Tropical and wet in the lowland Amazon Rainforest and Pacific Coast. Drier with temperate to alpine climates in the highlands and Andes mountains.
In 1830, the "Republic of the Ecuador" was created from the collapse of Gran Colombia. The other two countries were Colombia and Venezuela. Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors. A border war with Peru that flared in 1995 was resolved in 1999..
Ecuador is widely considered to be a developing country and health hazards are a significant issue. Of the most significant are foodborne illnesses, though they can easily be treated with digestive drugs such as antacids or antidiarrheals.
Bottled water is the key in Ecuador if you don't want to get sick. This doesn't only apply to foreigners who don't have the stomach for Ecuadorian food but also Ecuadorians who know that if they don't boil their water or drink it from the bottle that they can get very sick. As a result, it can be purchased almost everywhere (even in the most remote places) for well under $.025-.50. Water bottles are sometimes provided by hostels and hotels, which can be used for brushing teeth.
It is advisable to receive a typhoid vaccination, and possibly a yellow fever vaccination, depending on your specific area of travel.
Outside the major cities and tourist areas, malaria can be a problem along the coast during the rainy season.