Jun 02 2014

Interesting Facts about Ecuador, South America (2014)


Ecuador straddles the Equator line in South America, and borders Colombia (to its north) and Peru (to its east and south).

FULL NAME: Republic of Ecuador
LANGUAGES: Spanish, indigenous languages
POPULATION: 14,306,876 (2010 census)
AREA: 272,045 sq km (105,037 sq miles)
ELEVATIONS: 0m to 6267m
NATURAL HAZARDS: landslides; volcanic activity; floods; droughts

ELECTRICITY: 120V / 60hz 2 & 3 pin plugs
INT’L AIRPORTS: Quito (UIO) & Guayaquil (GYE)

MAIN EXPORTS: Petroleum, banana, shrimp, coffee, cocoa, flowers (roses), fish (tuna), balsa wood

Its capital – San Francisco de Quito, most often called Quito – once a part of the Inca empire, has some of the best-preserved early colonial architecture on the continent. According to UNESCO, Quito has the largest, best-preserved, and least-altered historic centre (320 hectares) in Latin America and was the first World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO in 1978. In addition, The International Capitals Bureau has declared Quito, Ecuador as Americas’ Cultural Capital for 2011.


  • In Quito, water boils at 90°C (direct effect of altitude);
  • Cotopaxi is the highest active volcano in world;
  • The Humpback whales (megaptera novaeangliae) migrate from the Antarctic South Pole to tropical waters off the coast of Ecuador (June to September) to mate and give birth to their calves;
  • The Galapagos Islands belongs to Ecuador;
  • Ecuador has many active volcanoes and also, one of the greatest densities of volcanoes in the world;
  • Ecuador is home to ten mountain peaks over 5000 meters (16,000 feet);
  • Mount Chimborazo at 6,268 meters (20,565 feet)  is the highest mountain in Ecuador. And because the Earth is not a perfect sphere, but bulges at the Equator, the peak of Chimborazo is also the furthest point from the center of the Earth and the closest to the sun.
  • The number of orchid species is calculated at 4100;
  • A newly discovered species of gecko, small enough at its full-grown size to rest comfortably on the eraser of a pencil, was discovered in Ecuador;
  • The world’s smallest orchid (miniscule orchid – measuring 2.1mm wide) was discovered in Ecuador;
  • Country with the world’s highest diversity of hummingbird species (131);
  • Home to more than 1600 species of birds, which is more than twice the number found on any one of the entire continents of North America, Europe or Australia;
  • Panama hats are of Ecuadorian origin – the world’s finest ‘Panama hats’ are handmade in Montecristi, Ecuador;
  • Ecuador is divided into four geographical regions: Pacific Coastal Area (Litoral),  Andean Highlands (Sierra), Amazon Rain Forest (Oriente) and The Galapagos Islands;
  • There are three species of vampire bats found in the world; all are found in Ecuador;
  • Ecuador exports more bananas than any other country in the world;
  • Vilcabamba is called the Valley of Longevity – locals assert that it is not uncommon to see a person reach 100 years of age and it is claimed that many have gotten to 120, even up to 135, which would make it an area with the oldest inhabitants in the world;
  • 25 000 species of plants present in the country, which represents approximately10% of all plants known in the world;
  • Ecuador one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border with Brazil;
  • Manta, Ecuador claims to be the Tuna Capital of the World;
  • Quinine, the first drug used to prevent and treat malaria, is obtained from the bark of the cinchona tree that grows in Ecuador;
  • Almost 60 per cent of the world’s high grade “fine cocoais produced on farms surrounding the coastal city of Guayaquil – an output that makes it the world’s capital of the sweet delicacy.


If you are interested in discovering some (or even better, all) of what Ecuador has to offer, visit Sangay Touring or email info@sangay.com



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  1. Bryan Haines

    Great set of facts – really gives a big-picture-view of the country. I didn’t even know half of these facts.

    Thanks Robin!


    1. Robin Slater

      Thanks Bryan! Actually, there are numerous other interesting facts that I should add … someday soon, I hope.

  2. Bruce Constuble

    Some interesting facts for sure! I am going to Ecuador in august and it is a little difficult for me to gleam information about the country.

    1. Robin Slater

      Bruce, don’t hesitate to contact me if you want any specific information on Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands.

  3. Maria

    Really great facts! This helped me a lot on two reports. Some facts you missed: Did you know that guinea pig is a common delicacy in Ecuador? The writer of King of the Hill is Ecuadorian. Per capita, more alcohol than milk is consumed. Several indigenous tribes were known for elongating or shrinking skulls. An Inca war general killed an Ecuadorian traitor by crushing every bone in his body, taking them out trough a cut, and making his corpse into a drum (over-reacting, much?). It is said that a great treasure lies in an unreachable mountain (put there by the same guy!). Ecuador has had 20 constitutions. Jose Velasco Ibarra was elected 5 times, but couldn’t finish even one term because of the military. In the Inca Empire, it was common to marry one’s sister.

  4. carlosc

    So beautiful my small country.. where you can visit place with Snow, Amazing beach, and rainforest in just a few miles away,!

  5. Brony man

    Thanks robin! this will help me with my project!

  6. lynda

    i have a niece going to Equador in January with the peace core. we would like to know what food will be availiable to her. housing, saftey.

    1. Robin Slater

      It’s rather difficult to answer that question accurately without knowing where she is staying. I think it best and most logical to contact the Peace Core (or whom ever is setting up the trip) to get these details.

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