Ecuador


Basic facts

More information about Ecuador

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Ecuador is very often called "Middle of the World"

The equator, which is crossing the northern part of Ecuador, has given the name to the country and is dividing it into the northern and southern hemisphere.

Ecuador is a scenic country with different climatezones.

From the exotic coast of the Pacific Ocean, the snowcovered peaks of the Andes, the Amazonian rainforrest to the unique Galapagos islands. Within its borders you will find five different geograpich regions, everyone unique with individual cultures, climate and populations.

The Coast, La Costa, offers long pleasant beaches with  palmtrees and good swimming possibilities. The climate is mostly hot and humid. In the area you can find large bananafarms, rich fishingwaters and shrimpproduction.
Here the largest city of Ecuador, Guayaquil, is located in the delta of the river Guayas.       


Quito, the capital of the country, is located on the Northern Highlands, on an altitude more the 2 800 mas. Quito is the second highest located capital of the world and is considered as one of the most beautiful cities of the western hemisphere.   It was founded by the spaniards on December 6, 1534. The "Old Town" from the colonialperiod is well preserved as was added to UNESCOS list of Worldheritage in 1976. North of Quito you will find Otavalo, most famous for its indian market.

On the Central Highland you can find the "Avenida de Vulcanos" with eleven snowcovered vulcanoes. An impressing view! The city of Riobamba is situated on the foothills of Ecuadors highest mountain, Chimborazo, 6310 mas. From here you can make one of the most spectacular trainrides in the world with a drop of approx. 2 500 meters! From the mountains down to the sealevel at Guayaquil.
On the Central Highland you find several important indianmarkets.

The nature is very beautiful on the Southern Highland and there you find different possibilities for outdoor activities.
Here you also find Ecuadors biggest ruins from the Inca-period. Before the incas, Ingapirca was an important place for the Canaris.
The ecuadorians consider Cuenca to be the most beautiful town in the country and here you can watch the largets Christmas parade.

The Amazonas is called El Oriente in Ecuador. The area stretches from the Andes to the border of Peru. The area has the most complexed ecological system in the world. Inside the rainforrest you can find approx. 4 500 different birds and at least 1 200 different butterflies.


I visited Ecuador during five weeks and had a lot of possibilities to discover this beautiful country.

My trip started in Quito and from here I went to Pululahua, which is the largest vulcanocrater in South America. The crater is more than 300 meters deep and the diameter is more than 4 kilometer. 

The equatormonument is located in the small village of   San Antonio. Here you can stand on the northern and southern hemisphere at the same time!

Banos, the white city, was my base for some nice high altitude trekks on the sloops of  the vulcano Tungurahua and towards the vulcano El Altar.

From Banos I went to the small town  Puyo and from there I flew into the rainforrest, to Rio Curraray in the Pastaza-province. 

Here I stayed, for more than one week, together with the quichuas, a rainforrest tribe and shared their hard common life. An experience made by few!

I celebrated Christmas in Cuenca and watched the largest Christmas parade in the country. A fascinating and impressing spactacle lasting for more than six hours. From Cuenca I also visited some remote and beautiful valleys. One was Principal.

The trainride from Riobamba to the small village of Huigra is an impressing ride. Regretfully the ride is not possible to make the whole way down to Guayaquil at the coast, as El Nino has destroyed a part of the line. The ride offers scenic views when sitting on the roof of the waggon.

From Puerto Lopez, a small fishing village at the Pacific Ocean, I went to Rio Ayambe for a djungeltrekk. There I got lost and resqued by a young man living in a house in the dense rainforrest.

"Isla de La Plata", The island of Silver,
is located a couple of   hours by boat from Puerto Lopez.  According to the legend the famous british pirate Francis Drake burried stolen treasures on the island. No one is found, but you can find several treasures of nature here, as bluefooted boobies, masqued boobies and redfooted boobies, as well as fregatebirds and albatrosses.

In the waters outside the island you can see whales and sealions, if you are lucky. The flora and fauna is similar to the one you find on the Galapagos islands.

The last week of my trip I spent in the Otavalo-region and took the possibilities to do several high altitude trekks on the sloops of the vulcanos Cotacachi and Imbabura, and in the area of  Lago de Cuicocha.

In Otavalo you find the biggest indian market in Ecuador, which must be visited. Here you meet the proud and friendly Otavalenos selling everything from pigs to beuatiful woven carpets.

The strongest impressions from my trip in Ecuador comes from meetings with people in their natural environment. In Ecuador you can find several indian groups. I met quichuas, otavalenos, salasacas, canaris, shuars and puruahas.  

The trip in Ecuador resulted in many strong memories and interesting experiences. The people we met were all very friendly and the nature beautiful. The successful trip was very much depending on our fantastic guides Mrs Zulay Saravino and Pame, both Otavalenos.
Many thanks to them!

Do not miss the opportunity to visit Ecuador!

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Equator monument.
San Antonio

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Masqued boobies.
Isla de La Plata

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Chimborazo

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Christmasparade.
Cuenca

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Preparing food.
Amazonas

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Cotopaxi, the highest active vulcano in the world

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Tarantula.
Amazonas

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Fishing pirayas.
Amazonas

Painted by qiwuchas.
Amazonas

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Christmasparade.
Cuenca

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Bluefooted Boobie.
Isla de La Plata

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Quiwuchagirl.
Amazonas

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Puruhaman.
Rio Bamba

Basic facts:

Conventional longform: Republica del Ecuador

Area, total: 283 560 sq km
Population:
15 224 000
Population/sq km:
55
Coastline:
2 237 km
Capital/Population:
Quito / 1 622 000

Lowest point:  Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Chimborazo 6 267 m
Largest rivers:
 Napo, Pastaza, Guayas
Largest lake:
Lago San Pablo

Pop. growth rate: 1.42 % 
Infant mortility rate: 
19
(deaths / 1 000 live births)
Life expectancy at birth (years):
Male / Female  72 / 78

Ethnic groups:  Mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 65 %, Amerindian 25 %, White 7 %, Black 3 %
Religions: Roman Catholic 95.0 %, Lutheran and other 5.0 %
Languages:
 Spanish and quechua are official languages 
Literacy; % pop. over 15 years:
Male / Female: 92.3 / 89.7

Independence:  May 24, 1822 from Spain
National holiday:
August 10, Independence Day ( of Quito)

GNP/capita: 4 296 USD
Population below poverty line: 33.1 %
Currency:
US Dollar
Tourists (annually): 1 005 000

Mobiletelephones: 14 781 000
Internetusers:
3 352 000

Railways: 965 km
Mainroads:
43 670 km
 

Source: CIA World Factbook 2012/02

Map of Ecuador


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The origin of the colours comes from the liberation wars against the spaniards, in the beginning of the 19th century.
The yellow filed is symbolizing the sun and the mineral assets. The blue field the sea, heaven and the rivers. The red field is symbolizing all the blood lost by the people during the liberation wars.


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In the crest you find Ecuadors highest mountain, Chimborazzo, and a steamship symbolizing trade.  The condor is representing the power and currage shown by people during the wars for independence.  The sun is an old incasymbol.


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This page is updated 2012-08-17
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