Overland Journeys: Along the Andes, Gringo Trail, Northern Trail

QuitoBanos and Sangay National ParkCuencaSanta CruzNorth SeymourSouth PlazaSanta FéBartoloméSombrero ChinoFloreanaEspanolaSan Cristobal

Like its Andean neighbours Peru and Bolivia, Ecuador boasts some spectacular natural landscapes, from the Andes mountains in the centre of the country to the western edges of the Amazon rainforest in the east. Ecuador also boasts a strong and colourful indigenous culture and a colonial heritage in cities like Quito and Cuenca. But you have to go 1000km off Ecuador's coast to find its most amazing and unique attraction - the Galapagos Islands. The isolated archipelago that inspired Darwin's Theory of Evolution is home to a fantastic array of unique and fascinating wildlife, including giant tortoises, marine iguanas and numerous bizarre and wonderful bird species. The chance to get close to these intriguing creatures amidst a beautiful and barren landscape is one of the great wildlife and travel experiences in the world. Explore in depth highlights of Ecuador.

Travel Information for Ecuador
Time zone:GMT -5 (Ecuador standard time) Daylight savings:    None
Main languages:Quechua, Spanish
Currency: US dollar (USD)

1 = $1.11, £1 = $1.32

(rates as of Sep 2016)

Internet Domain:.ecInternational Dialling Code:    593

For help planning your trip to Ecuador including visas, vaccinations, currency exchange, flights, accomodation and insurance, see our Ecuador trip planning page.

Further information on Ecuador

Discover more about Ecuador - the country's geogrpahy and natural features, an assessment of its status on freedom and rights and data on the country's population and economy.

Geography & Natural Features

Map of ecuador

Total area: 283,560 sq km (6,720 sq km under water)

Coastline: 2,237 km (Pacific Ocean)

Neighbours (border lengths): Colombia (590km), Peru (1,420km)

Climate: Tropical climate along coasts and in Amazonian jungle lowlands. Cooler in highland mountain ranges, though its position on the Equator keeps temperatures up, with main rainy season between February and April. The Galapagos Islands are hot and wet between January and April, cooler and drier between May and December.

Highest mountain: Chimborazo (6,267m)

Freedom & Rights

Summary status and rankings for Ecuador from classifications of different organisations measuring political and economic freedom, democracy and civil rights. See more details of these rankings.

Freedom in the WorldPartly Free -
Democracy IndexHybrid regime 79/167
Economic FreedomRepressed 156/179
Press FreedomNoticeable problems 106/179
ILGA LGBT rightsBroad rights -
Corruption PerceptionsMedium corruption 110/174
Overall Ranking:    78/195

Other Data & Links

Full name: Republic of Ecuador     Status: Independent Country

Population: 15,654,411 (rank: 67/196)     Density: 55.2 people/sq km (rank: 122/196)

Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 65%, Amerindian 25%, Spanish and others 7%, black 3%

Religions: Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%

GDP (PPP): $157.6 billion       GDP per capita: $10,600 (rank: 92/195)

Information derived from the CIA World Factbook. Other country profiles: BBC News.