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La vida en estado puro Ecuador Life at its purest

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  General Ecuador Info

The Republic of Ecuador - Ecuador has an estimated 13.4 million in population. 95% of Ecuador's population is Roman Catholic. Spanish is the official and dominant language in Ecuador. There are several Amerindian languages, but Quechua is widely spoken. Over 65% of Ecuadorians are mestizo (Amerindian and white mixed), 25 Amerindian, 3% black and 7% other.

The Republic of Ecuador has three major cities, Quito the Capital, Guayaquil the Economic capital and Cuenca the Cultural capital.

Geographically speaking, Ecuador consists of four geographical regions: the Pacific coastal (Costa) lowlands in the west, the Highlands (Andes - Sierra) in the center; and the eastern lowlands (Oriente). The last, Galapagos Islands which are 600 miles west in the Pacific ocean. 

Ecuador's four regions are broken down to into twenty two (22) provinces. (Azuay, Bolivar, Canar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Galapagos, Guayas, Imbabura, Loja, Los Rios, Manabi, Morona-Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Pichincha, Sucumbios, Tungurahua, Zamora-Chinchipe).

Ecuador is the smallest of the Andean countries. It has the highest average population density in South America and the highest percentage of native Americans. As it names indicates, Ecuador (equator in Spanish) extends over both sides of the equator. It is bordered in the north by Colombia and in the east and south by Peru.

When we talk about weather in Ecuador we talk about trends. Most of the country has a dry season and a wet season. No matter the season, typically, the best of the weather in the Andes will be around the full moon. Normally for about three or four days each side of the full moon the weather will be better. And shortly after the full moon the weather return to its previous pattern. This phenomenon benefits the snow climbers who climb at night. By planning your ascent around the full moon you can benefit from the extra light and the improved weather conditions.

Being on the equator gives Ecuador it's weather conditions, it also allows it to have 12 hour days year round.  In the morning it gets light within 20 minutes of 6 am and at night it is dark around 6 p.m. There is no long dusk.

The Republic of Ecuador is comprised of four (4) regions and twenty two (22) provinces. (Azuay, Bolivar, Canar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Galapagos, Guayas, Imbabura, Loja, Los Rios, Manabi, Morona-Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Pichincha, Sucumbios, Tungurahua, Zamora-Chinchipe).

Picture of el Oriente Ecuador Amazon JungleEcuador Amazon Jungle Travel - There are innumerable varieties of flora, including many of Ecuador's 4,500 species of orchids, and many plants with medicinal value.  Wildlife such as butterflies, bats, monkeys, sloths, parrots, macaws, river dolphins and caimans are all relatively easy to view.  The Ecuadorian Amazon offers a wide range of activities including swimming, canoe journeys, rain forest walks, bird watching, animal spotting and visits to local jungle communities.   The Amazon also has some of the finest white water rafting and kayaking routes in the country. Within and around the huge protected areas of the Amazon Rain Forest several indigenous ethnic groups live side by side, still living traditionally, each group maintaining its distinct customs and traditions.

Galapagos Islands - 16th-century Spanish seafarers called this strange archipelago Picture of Land Iguana Galapagos Islands Ecuador - Cerro Dragon"Las Encantadas". But today the Galapagos Islands, straddling the Equator 1,000 km (625 miles) west of Ecuador, hold a different fascination for scientists and tourists alike: aquatic, bird and animal life flourishes here as nowhere else in the world. Formed by a series of eruptions below the surface of the ocean, millions of years ago, the 13 main islands and countless rocky outcrops are sere and barren, with great lava cliffs and moonlike craters contrasting with cool green mangroves and blue lakes. Since the islands were never joined to the mainland, the animals could only arrive by flying, swimming or floating on rafts of vegetation. Thus isolated they evolved, adapting to local conditions. Charles Darwin was thunderstruck by the fauna he observed when he first saw the islands in 1835 on his world-wide exploration aboard HMS Beagle. He noted that not only did the species differ from those on the South American mainland, but they even varied from island to island in the shells of the tortoises changed shape and the bills of the finches adapted according to the food available.

As you scramble over the black lava rocks among the basking iguanas and observe the giant tortoises (galapago in Spanish means "tortoise"), you may well imagine yourself back in the Age of Reptiles. Some 10,000 residents share space with the wild creatures, so unafraid that they hang around humans like familiar pets: originally there were no carnivorous mammals on the island so the animals had no reason to fear predators. But, during the era of European exploration and whaling, the Galapagos provided sailors with an excellent source of fresh food: tortoise meat, treasured as more delicious than chicken or beef. The giants were methodically slaughtered, and now only 11 out of 14 original species of this tortoise survive. Both England and Spain were interested in the Galapagos, and the main islands bear both Spanish and English names: Isabela-Albemarle, Santa Cruz-Indefatigable, Santiago-James, and so on. Today most serious research parties check in with the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz. The biggest island is Isabela, 120 km. (75 miles) long. Man seems hardly to have encroached here, and the capital, Baquerizo Moreno, on San Crist-bal-Chatham, can easily be seen in a day. The Government of Ecuador, which administers the islands, is strongly aware of their ecological importance. The entire area is now protected as a national park and tourism is restricted to small vessels and select groups. But, like Darwin, those who do have the chance to visit the Galapagos will marvel at the variety of animal life here, and the primitive beauty of the world these creatures inhabit.

The Main Galapagos Islands
Genovesa (Tower) Island is a bare and desolate place, where only a few cacti and low trees and shrubs are able to grow on the harsh volcanic crags. But, as you enter Darwin Bay, the landscape comes alive with a wealth of birds and animals. Red-and-orange crabs scuttle over the wet rocks and grinning sea-birds called boobies with electric blue feet nest in the tangle of springy undergrowth. Here the sea lions and fur seals have their breeding grounds, and the vertical cliffs are host to thousands of birds with curious names like brown noddies, red-billed tropicbirds and Audubon's shearwaters. Santa Cruz (Indefatigable) Island is the main centre for commerce and tourism in the Galapagos. If you go ashore at Academy Bay, you must visit the Charles Darwin Research Station at Puerto Ayora, where there is a museum and a captive breeding centre for giant tortoises and iguanas. Leaving the arid, rocky coastline behind, a 40-minute bus ride in the highlands will take you up 2,000 ft into dense, humid vegetation, where eight of the 13 species of Darwin's finches breed and the rare dark-rumped petrel nests in burrows. There is also a giant tortoise reserve on the island where these huge creatures can be seen lumbering along at their habitual pace of four miles a day. By far the largest island in the archipelago, Isabela (Albemarle) Island stretches 75 miles from north to south. It is made up of six huge volcanoes, with Volcano Wolf at 1,706 m (5,600 ft) the highest volcano in the Galapagos. Tagus Cove on the west side of Isabela, an ancient crater surrounded by steep hills, provides a pleasant anchorage.

There are two settled areas on the south side of the island. On a lagoon close by you can see herons, egrets and flamingos. Fernandina (Narborough) Island is one of the world's most active and impressive volcanoes, having erupted at least 10 times in the last 150 years. Along the entire coastline you can see colonies of flightless cormorants and penguins. The main feature of Floreana (Charles) Island is Post Office Bay, where a mail box made of a wooden barrel was erected by British whalers sometime before 1793 for letters to be picked up by passing ships. It is still used casually by visitors and if you post a letter there, it may eventually reach its destination. On San Crist-bal (Chatham) Island, the administrative capital of the Galapagos, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, nestles in Wreck Bay, the wooden houses standing out against the yellow beaches and black lava. The Chatham mountains nearby are relatively green and fertile, and wild horses graze and run on the heights, descendants of animals left by whaling ships. In the distance is Chatham's highest peak, San Joaqu'n, at 700 m (2,490 ft.). San Crist-bal also has some quite good beaches.




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