Quick Facts

Official Language: Spanish
Population: 14 million inhabitants (2009 estimates)
Capital City: Quito
Currency: U.S Dollar
Climate: temperatures largely depend on altitude and region, which are separated into four distinct geographical zones.  In Quito and the highlands, June through September marks the coolest period, with an average high of 67°F (19°C) and an average low of 57°F (10°C). It is also cool, and also a bit windy, during this time in the Galápagos region.  On the coastal zone, December through May marks the rainy season, when the weather is hot and humid. During this time, there is usually sun in the mornings followed by rain in the afternoon.  Ironically, there is more sun during the rainy season than the dry season, which is from June through September. In the rainforest and the lowlands, El Oriente, there is rain all-year round.  However, the driest period is from October through December.  Temperatures can reach from 80° to 90°F (27°-32°F) during the day, and it gets a bit cooler at night.

Interesting Facts

    • Ecuador is the second smallest country in South America but is one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the world.
    • In September 2000, Ecuador adopted the U.S dollar as its official currency.
    • Crude oil is Ecuador’s main export, but until the 1970’s, it was the world’s largest banana-exporting country.

Country Profile

Despite its small size, Ecuador is a country full of marvels and enchantment.  Whether you’re interested in history, culture, eco-tourism or sports, there is something for everyone in Ecuador.  One of the country’s main attractions are the Galápagos Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and a mecca for ecologists as it is well-known for its wildlife.  This is also where Charles Darwin did much of his research in developing his theory of evolution.  Due to its biodiversity, the Galápagos Islands draw thousands of tourists each year.  On the other hand, those who are interested in Spanish colonial architecture, the cities of Quito and Cuenca will certainly not disappoint.  Both are considered to be two of the most beautiful and well-preserved colonial cities in Latin America.

For mountaineers, the Chimborazo volcano is a very popular destination, as it is the highest summit in the Americas. The volcano is inactive, and it can be climbed throughout the year, but the best time is from December through January and July through August.  Vilcabamba, also known as the ‘valley of longevity,’ is also a very attractive area for hiking, mountain biking and bird-watching.  There is much to do and see in Ecuador, which more than satisfies even the most discerning visitors with its intriguing cities, towns, national parks and jungles. 

Galápagos IslandsEcuador