Ecuador – key dates for traveling to Ecuador (South America)
Area: 283,561 km² (land: 276,841 km², water: 6,720 km²)
Population: 15.0 million (July 2011, CIA). 65% of the population are mestizos (white and Indian ancestors), 25% Indians, 7% Spaniards and other Europeans, 3% Black.
Population density: 53 people per km²
Population growth: 1.443% per year (2011, CIA)
Capital: Quito (1.4 million residents, 2006)
Highest point: Chimborazo, 6,267 m
Lowest point: Pacific Ocean, 0 m
Form of government: Ecuador has been a presidential republic since 1978, the current constitution dates from 1998. The National Congress (Congreso Nacional) consists of 100 members who are directly elected every 4 years. Ecuador was a Spanish colony until 1822, after which it belonged to Greater Colombia and became independent in 1830 with the collapse of the Greater Colombian Empire.
Administrative division: 24 provincias: Azuay, Bolivar, Canar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Galapagos, Guayas, Imbabura, Loja, Los Rios, Manabi, Morona-Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Pichincha, Santa Elena, Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas, Sucumbios, Tungurahua and Zamora-Chinchipe.
Head of State and Government: Rafael Correa, since January 15, 2007
Language: In Ecuador, Spanish is the official language, and Chibcha, Quechua, Indian languages and sometimes English are spoken.
Religion: Catholics make up the overwhelming majority with 95%; there are also minorities of Protestants, Jews and native American religions.
Local time: CET -6 h. In Ecuador (mainland) there is no change between summer and winter time.
The time difference to Central Europe is -6 h in winter and -7 h in summer.
Galápagos Islands: CET – 7 h. Also no change between summer and winter time.
The time difference to Central Europe is -7 h in winter and -8 h in summer.
International phone code: +593
Mains voltage: 110/120 V, 60 Hz. Adapters and transformers are required
Ecuador geography and map
According to 800zipcodes, Ecuador is located in northwestern South America and is one of the most interesting countries in the world from a geographical, topographical, ethnic and climatic point of view. The country shares borders with Peru and Colombia, and Ecuador meets the Pacific in the west. The area of Ecuador is comparable to that of Great Britain.
Usually the country is divided into four different geographic regions:
In the western coastal area (Costa) you will mainly find alluvial land and low coastal mountains. The Río Guayas dominates the landscape.
In the central Andean region (Sierra), two mountain ranges with strong volcanism rise, separated by a high valley.
On the eastern slopes of the Andes, the eastern Amazon lowlands (Oriente) set in in the sparsely populated Amazon basin.
The fourth region is the Galápagos Islands, 1,000 km off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean.
Here you can find a detailed topographic map of the surface shape of Ecuador.
In the west of Ecuador is the approximately 80,000 square km Costa (coast). It covers a little more than a quarter of the country’s area, around half of the population lives in this region. The Costa consists of fertile alluvial plains and hill country. The highest peaks with up to 800 m can be found in the coastal mountains Cordillera Costanera. The south of the Costa is dominated by the river system of the Guayas and its tributaries Daule and Babahoyo. With more than 36,000 square kilometers, it is the largest water catchment system on the Pacific American coast. In addition, the delta of the Río Guayas forms the largest natural harbor on the west coast of South America. Further north, smaller rivers such as the Cayapas, Chone and Esmeraldas flow in the Pacific direction. At Manta, a regional climate boundary runs between the tropical, humid northern part and the dry southern part.
The Andes area in Ecuador, which is also around 80,000 square kilometers in size, is called the Sierra (mountains). In the past it was the region with the largest population, now this proportion has decreased by 38%. The Sierra is made up of two mountain ranges (Cordillera Occidental and Cordillera Central (also Cordillera Orientalcalled)) and the high valley that separates them. Although the Cordillera Occidental is generally lower, the highest mountain in Ecuador can be found here, the 6,267 m high Chimborazo. The highest point of the Cordillera Central is the almost 5,900 m high Cotopaxi. The approximately 500 km long and 20 to 30 km wide high valley is 1,800 to 3,200 m above sea level. There is relatively active volcanism here; Alexander von Humboldt called the valley the “Road of the Volcanoes”. The high valley is divided into eight to twelve (depending on the counting method) basins (cuencas or hoyas) by mountain bars (nudos). With the exception of Guaranda, all of the larger cities in this region are located in the valley basins.
The second highest seat of government in the world, Quito (2,850 m), is located in the Guayllabamba Basin (the highest seat of government is La Paz in Bolivia (3,600 m), the highest capital Lhasa in Tibet (3,600 m), Tibet being part of China and not its own State is). According to this definition, Quito is the highest capital in the world.
In southern Ecuador, cordilleras differ less clearly than in the northern or central parts.
In the Oriente (east) are the rainforests of the Amazon basin. Although this area in eastern Ecuador is almost 100,000 square kilometers, only a few people live here. Due to the defeat in the war against Peru (1941/42), Ecuador had to cede a very large area of the Amazon (200,000 square kilometers or about 40% of the territory at that time) and thus lost access to the Amazon River. However, it must also be said that this area has never been under effective state control. The Oriente can go into the forest-covered foothills of the Andes with the three volcanoes Reventador, Sumaco and Pan de Azúcar and into the flat and deeper (less than 400 m) Amazon plainbe subdivided. All rivers in the Orient are tributaries of the Amazon. The largest waterfall in Ecuador (60 m high) is located near Agoyán. The entire region is hot and humid.
In the Pacific Ocean, about 1,000 km from mainland Ecuador, are the Galápagos Islands (official name Archipélago de Colón). Like Hawaii, for example, the oceanic-volcanic islands have only a small geological age (between 700,000 and 3 million years). The total area of all islands in this archipelago is more than 8,000 square kilometers, more than half of which is on the main island of Isabela. The highest point at 1,707 m is exactly on the equator in the northern part of the archipelago, on the volcanic island of Wolf.