In the heart of South America, high on the equator, there is a country of eternal spring and constantly flowering plants and flowers – Ecuador. Huge volcanoes with snow-capped peaks rise above the country. Below are green valleys, shining clear lakes, local Indian villages and haciendas that were once the backbone of Spanish colonial society. Tourists can choose to vacation in the Galapagos Islands, on the Pacific coast, or sightseeing tours inland to the majestic Andes mountain system and the Amazon rainforest.
Geography of Ecuador
Ecuador is located in the northwest of South America. Ecuador borders Colombia to the north and Peru to the south and east. In the west, the country is washed by the waters of the Pacific Ocean. The state also includes the Galapagos Islands, located 1,000 kilometers from the mainland. Total area – 283,560 sq. km., and the total length of the state border is 2,010 km.
Geographically, Ecuador is divided into three regions and islands in the Pacific Ocean. These are the lowlands near the coast in the west of the country, the Andean highlands, stretching from north to south through the center, and the Amazon region, a rainforest region in the east.
There are several extinct and active volcanoes in Ecuador. Extinct volcanoes, for example, include the Chimborazo volcano (6310 m), and the active ones include Cotopaxi (5896 m) and Tungurahua (5023 m).
According to simplyyellowpages.com, Quito is the capital of Ecuador. More than 2 million people now live in this city. Quito was founded by the Spaniards in 1534 on the site of an ancient Indian city.
Official language of Ecuador
The official language is Spanish.
About 70% of the population are Catholics, about 11% are Protestants.
State structure of Ecuador
According to diseaseslearning.com, Ecuador is a presidential republic. The President is elected by popular vote for a term of 5 years. Executive power is vested in the President, Vice President and 25 ministers. The unicameral local parliament is called the National Assembly.
The main political parties are PAIS, the Social Christian Party, the Patriotic Society Party, the Democratic People’s Movement.
Administratively, the country is divided into 24 provinces, each of which has its own capital. The provinces are divided into cantons and further into parishes.
Climate and weather
The climate in Ecuador is very diverse, depending on the region and altitude. In the coastal areas, in the lowlands and in the Galapagos Islands, the climate is subtropical or tropical, and in the highlands of the Andes it is temperate.
In coastal areas and the Galapagos, the wet season continues from January to April with heavy rainfall. The average air temperature there reaches +30C. From May to December there is a dry season, although it is often damp and overcast.
In the highlands of the country, the dry season lasts from June to September. The wettest month is April. The average annual air temperature in Quito is +21C.
In the east of the country, the dry season is December-March, and the rainy season is April-June.
Seas and oceans of Ecuador
In the west, the country is washed by the waters of the Pacific Ocean. The length of the sea coast is 2,237 km. The average annual water temperature near the shore is +24C.
Rivers and lakes
Almost all Ecuadorian rivers originate in the mountains. The largest of them are Pastaza, Esmeraldas, Napo, Guayas, Putumayo, Aguarico. On the Pastaza River is the largest Ecuadorian waterfall – Agoyan, whose height reaches 61 meters.
The culture of Ecuador is a mixture of traditions and customs of the pre-Columbian Indians, the Spaniards and the Roman Catholic Church. In the Ecuadorian mountains, the Inti Raymi Indian harvest festival is especially popular.
Every year, local Indians on the rivers and waterfalls celebrate the summer solstice. It is believed that this holiday helps the Indians to cleanse their souls and be in harmony with nature.
Almost every month in Ecuador they celebrate a holiday in honor of a Catholic saint.
Every year in September, the city of Otavalo celebrates the grand Yamor Feast. Festive events (parades, dance performances, musical and theatrical performances, fireworks) in Otavalo last for 2 whole weeks.
One of the most important Ecuadorian holidays is called “Mama Negra” (“Black Mother”). It is celebrated every year on November 7th in the city of Latacunga. During this holiday, colorful parades take place in all the streets of Latacunga.
In March or April, another interesting holiday is celebrated in all corners of Ecuador – Carnival. The meaning of this event is clear from the name itself.
Food in Ecuador is simple but delicious. Most local dishes, as in other Andean countries, are meat with rice, lentils, potatoes or salad. In coastal areas, fish and seafood dishes are naturally popular (they are most often served with lentils and rice). Hot sauces are served with many local dishes.
Tourists are advised to try Locro (thick soup with potatoes and cheese, often served with avocado), Caldo de gallina (chicken soup with potatoes), Llapingachos (potato pie with cheese), Churrasco (beef with french fries, rice and fried eggs), “Fritada” (fried pork, often served with corn), “Ceviche” (thick fish soup with tomato-lemon sauce), “Choclo con queso” (warm corn with cheese), “Helado de Paila” (is a kind of sorbet).
Traditional non-alcoholic drinks – fruit juices, “Naranjilla” (fruit juice), herbal tea from various local plants, coffee.
Traditional alcoholic drinks – Pisco (local brandy), Canelazo (sugar cane alcoholic drink with lemon and cinnamon), Chicha (fermented alcoholic corn drink), beer.
Sights of Ecuador
The main attractions of Quito include the Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace, the medieval church of El Sagrario, the Government Palace, the Church of La Merced, the Church of La Compagna, the convent of La Merced, the medieval monastery of San Francisco and the Church of Santo Domingo.
In addition, in Quito, tourists can visit very interesting museums – the National Museum of Colonial Art, the Fray Pedro Bedon Museum, the Museum of Archeology, the Numismatic Museum and the Museum of Natural History. These museums contain unique collections of ceramics and gold items from pre-Columbian America, as well as fine and religious art.
South of Quito is the “Valley of Volcanoes”, where you can see the most famous Ecuadorian volcanoes (for example, Chimborazo, whose height reaches 6,310 meters).
Scientists say that the national parks and reserves of Ecuador rank first in the world in terms of the diversity of the species composition of animals, birds and plants. The most popular Ecuadorian national parks and reserves are the Sangay National Park (150 thousand hectares), the Podocarpus National Park, the Cotopaxi National Park, the Mindo Nambillo Reserve and the coastal Machalilla National Park.
Cities and resorts
The largest cities are Guayaquil, Quito, Cuenca, Santo Domingo, Machala and Duran.
The beaches of Ecuador, located on the Pacific coast, are considered one of the best in all of South America. Note that the high season in beach resorts in the north of Ecuador (Atacames, Same, Súa, Muisne and Mompiche) lasts from August to December, and in beach resorts in the south of the country – from December to July. Most of the local white-sand beaches are great for surfing. The most popular Ecuadorian beaches include the following:
- Atacames (well-developed recreation infrastructure);
- Súa (mostly bungalows, but there are also a few hotels);
- Muisne (some tourists may find this resort too quiet);
- Mompiche (increasingly popular in recent years, there are several excellent seafood restaurants);
- Canoa (the city is small, but has a well-developed tourist infrastructure);
- Manta (busy, bustling port city with lots of tourists).
Tourists in Ecuador buy handicrafts, alpaca ponchos, alpaca socks, “Sangre de Drago” (“Dragon’s Juice” is the red sap from the small Croton lechleri and Treenative trees growing in the east of the country. Local Indians have used this juice for thousands years to treat cuts), traditional Ecuadorian hats, panama hats, chocolate and coffee.
Mon-Fri: 09:00-13:00 and 14:30-16:30
Most banks, shops and museums are open on Saturdays from 10:00 to 14:00.
Ukrainians who want to travel to Ecuador for tourism purposes for up to 3 months do not need a visa.
Currency of Ecuador
The official currency in Ecuador is the US dollar. The commission for the exchange of a check is from 1% to 4%. Credit cards are accepted in prestigious restaurants, hotels, souvenir shops, car rentals, travel agencies. The most common cards are Visa and MasterCard.
You can import and export US dollars and foreign currency without any restrictions.
Firearms and ammunition can only be imported by citizens of Ecuador and the United States (if they have a special permit for this). The importation of meat, canned meat products, vegetables and plants requires permission from the relevant Ecuadorian authorities. Cats and dogs must have an international veterinary certificate.
It is allowed to export a reasonable amount of cigarettes, tobacco and national Ecuadorian alcoholic beverages free of charge. It is forbidden to export archeological items, antiquities, antiques, gold bars, as well as rare animals.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Honorary Consulate of Ecuador in Ukraine:
Postcode: 01033, Kiev, st. Saksaganskogo, 52 A T:
mail: [email protected]
The interests of Ukraine in Ecuador are represented by the Embassy of Ukraine in Brazil:
SHIS, QІ-06, Conjunto-04
Casa-02, LAGO SUL, CEP 71615-040 Brasilia-DF
T: (8 10 5561) 3365
1457 mail: [email protected]
101 – National Police
102 – Fire Brigade
911 – All emergencies
Time in Ecuador
Behind Kyiv for 8 hours. Those. if, for example, in Kyiv 13:00, then in Quito – 05:00.
Ecuador is a poor country. Therefore, its inhabitants are happy to receive tips from foreign tourists. Upscale restaurants usually add a 10% service charge to the bill.
Before traveling to Ecuador, doctors recommend that you make several preventive vaccinations in advance (for example, against cholera, diphtheria, tetanus, typhoid fever, hepatitis A). If you plan to visit the Amazon region, it is recommended that you get vaccinated against hepatitis B.
The crime rate in Ecuador is quite high. Most often, foreigners become victims of pickpocketing, theft. In 99% of cases, tourists themselves are to blame for this, because. showed carelessness, wore expensive jewelry, demonstrating their wealth to criminals. Ecuador is a poor country, so there is no need to show your wealth there.