The Country of Ecuador is a dream come true for nature lovers. It offers wonderful natural and cultural environments.
You will find exotic birds, Andean grasslands, jungle forests and fearless animals that hop and swim around you in the fantastic Galapagos Islands.
Nowhere else on earth will you find so much natural diversity in such a small place. Ecuador is the second smallest country in South America, but its range of offerings is no less than astounding.
In one day's drive you can journey from the Amazon Basin across glaciated Andean volcanoes, down through tropical cloud forest and into the sunset for a dinner on the balmy Pacific coast.
Ecuador is about the area of Nevada state, is in the northwest part of South America fronting on the Pacific. To the north is Colombia and to the east and south is Peru.
Two high and parallel ranges of the Andes, traversing the country from north to south, are topped by tall volcanic peaks. The highest is Chimborazo at 20,577 ft (6,272 m).
The Galapagos Islands (3,029 sq mi; 7,845 sq km), in the Pacific Ocean about 600 miles (966 km) west of the country, became part of Ecuador in 1832.
Ecuador offers a myriad of wondrous natural environments to be explored. Nowhere else in Latin America can you find such a diversity of landscapes, climates, and cultures in such a compact and easily accessible area.
Between the Andes mountains, the Amazon rain forest, the Galapagos Islands, coastal beaches, and mangrove forests, outdoor enthusiasts will delight in the incredible variety of adventures to choose from.
The country of Ecuador is a great place to meet interesting folks in remarkable places.
Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America, but for climbers and trekkers it offers an incredible diversity of mountains, ecosystems and cultures to explore.
Within a day's drive of the modern capital City of Quito are 20,000 foot glaciated peaks, Amazon rainforest, warm coastal beaches, and dense cloud forests with hidden Inca treasures.
Ecuador's official currency is the US dollar since the year 2000. Our former currency was the Sucre but due to its high inflation the government of that time decided to switch to the American Dollars to recover the country's economy.
As Ecuadorian culture has strong roots in the Roman Catholic Church, it is little surprise that virtually all Ecuadorians celebrate Carnival, the precursor and antithesis to the 40 days of abstinence that precede the religious Holy Week (Easter week).
Known for their animated parties and celebrations, Ecuadorians use Carnival to wear out their carnal desires before embarking on the arduous journey of discretion that leads up to the holy week.
In addition to Carnival and Holy Week, the Andean Highlands' most important festivals are the Mama Negra Celebration in Latacunga (November), a pagan celebration dating back to the Spanish conquest during which men dress up as black women.
The Otavalo celebrations of Inti Raymi (June) and Yamor (early September). Inti Raymi and Yamor both display a rich combination of indigenous customs and Roman Catholicism.
The December bullfights in Quito, however, are world-class, attracting some of the most famous bull fighters on the planet (mainly from Spain).
Though celebrations peak during holidays and festivals, the country of Ecuador is fun year round. You would be hard pressed to distinguish a Friday or Saturday night in Ecuador from New Years Eve anywhere else.
The country of Ecuador is famous for its colorful indigenous markets. The most famous of them, Otavalo, explodes into a sprawling of exotic colors, sounds, and smells every Saturday.
Thousands of local artists and crafts people bargain with an international mix of travelers. Ecuador, especially the Sierra region, is filled with other markets in addition to Otavalo, like the Saquisili Indian Market
Did you know that Panama hats are actually made in the country of Ecuador? Ecuador has been known for making the world's finest straw hats for centuries, and this tradition of quality is still going strong to this day.
Ecuador's population is ethnically mixed. A large majority of the population is mestizo (mixed Indian-Caucasian), followed by smaller percentages of indigenous, Afro-Ecuadorian, and European descendant.
Although Ecuadorians were heavily concentrated in the mountainous central highland region a few decades ago, today's population is divided about equally between that area and the coastal lowlands.
The Amazon region to the east of the mountains remains sparsely populated and contains only about 3% of the population.
Due to an economic crisis in the late 1990s, more than 600,000 Ecuadorians emigrated to the U.S. and Europe from 2000 to 2001.
The high Andean peaks of the country of Ecuador are located primarily along the Avenue of the Volcanoes, a fertile central valley, which is buttressed by two ranges, the Eastern and Western Cordilleras.
Some of the summits are young, cone-shaped volcanoes like Cotopaxi with technically straight-forward climbs offering the novice a chance to get near or above 20,000 feet.
Others are deeply eroded, older volcanoes with challenging rock and ice routes for example the glorious ring of peaks on El Altar.
There are smaller mountains (15,000 feet or less), such as Iliniza Norte, Imbabura or Pichincha. These lower peaks are non-glaciated, easily accessible within a day's travel from Quito, and offer either hut facilities or nearby hostels that can be used as a climbing base. See More About Mountain Climbing in Ecuador
Each region of the country of Ecuador has two seasons: wet and dry.
COAST: the northern coast is humid between January and June and dryish for the rest of the year. The southern coast is humid from January to April and is generally dryer than the north throughout the year.
AMAZON JUNGLE: it rains most of the time, though the period from December to February is usually slightly drier. Check Our Adventure Packed Amazon Land Tours
HIGHLANDS (Andes): the eastern mountains are influenced by the weather patterns of the Amazonian lowlands. The wettest months are June through August. In the western mountains the dry season is June through until the end of September.
December and January have seen the most successful ascents of the difficult El Altar. Ecuadorian climbers favor February for attempting Antisana, and October through January for Cayambe volcano.
The country of Ecuador is a year-round destination. Each region of Ecuador: the Andes, the Pacific coast, the Amazon rain forest and the Galapagos Islands has its optimal visiting season. Even during the rainy season, most days are sunny until the afternoon.
In the Galapagos Islands, the wildlife is there year-round. If you're at all prone to sea sickness, avoid the rough-sea months of July through October. The dry season (June to December) is also cool and often misty.
On the coast, the wet season (roughly January to May) sees sunny days with daily afternoon downpours, but it's the best beach weather. The dry season (roughly June to December) is cooler and usually overcast.
Tourist high seasons throughout the country of Ecuador coincide with European, North American and Ecuadorian vacation periods, roughly mid-December through January and June through August.
If you have questions about the country of Ecuador You can post them on our Ecuador FAQ Page and if you'd like to request more information about our exciting Amazon Jungle Tours or from our adventure Galapagos Land Tours to visit these Islands, You can Contact us here