is located in the north west of South America, on the equator,
which divides it between the two hemispheres. The Andes, the sea
current and the Amazon region all give rise to significant variations
in climate. Ecuador has four regions. The Pacific Coast has a
hot, dry climate in the south and a humid, tropical climate in
the north. In the Andes there are hot, temperate and cold areas:
there are valleys of varying altitudes and climates. In contrast,
in the Amazon region high temperatures prevail, with high rainfall
and frequent showers. Finally the Galapagos islands, made famous
by Charles Darwin and his Theory of Evolution, offer a pleasant
The enormous biodiversity of the four regions has given way to
thousands of species of flora and fauna among rich, untouched
land. Ecuador is home to approximately 1640 kinds of birds, of
which about 500 live in the Mindo-Nambillo woodland reserve, north-west
of Quito. There are about 4500 species of butterflies, 345e reptiles,
358 of amphibians and 258 of mammals, to name but a few. So it
is not without reason that Ecuador is considered one of the planet’s
top 17 countries for its biodiversity. From North to South and
East to West, there are National Parks such as Cotopaxi, Sangay
and Machalilla. Snow-capped mountains, lakes and beaches are set
among more than 20 areas protected by the State, whilst dozens
of woodland areas make up vast green belts.
Ecuador is a multi-racial and multi-cultural nation. It has a
population of over 12.5 million. Throughout its three mainland
regions, 13 indigenous groups still survive in the mountains,
forests, jungle and coastal region, each with their own cosmo-vision.
The Amazon region is home to the Eastern Quechuas, Huaorani, Achuar,
Shuar, Cofan, Siona, Secoya, Shiwiar and Zaparo groups. The Highland
Quechuas live in the Andes. The Coast is the native territory
of the Chachis, Cayapas, Tsachilas and Awa. The urban areas are
inhabited by mestizos (mixed race), whites and Afro-Ecuadorians.
The official language is Spanish but other native languages, such
as Quechua or Awapit, are also spoken. The predominant religion
is Catholic, yet many groups still hold their age-old beliefs
and worship the earth, the snow-capped peaks or the sun.
is a small but geographically diverse country. Although covering
just 256,370 sq. km. (99,130 sq. miles) Ecuador contains one of
the most varied geographies in South America. There are four distinct
regions: the Andean highlands, the coastal tropical plains, the
Amazon Basin and the Galapagos Islands, located 1,000 km. (600 miles)
off the coast in the Pacific Ocean. Quito, on the highlands, is
the capital city; Guayaquil, on the coast, is the main port and
the largest city in the country.
Legally and morally, everyone is equal in Ecuador, irrespective
of race or gender. In reality, blacks and indigenous people are
discriminated against and treated as second-class citizens.
The gay community in Ecuador is very small, and discrete. It doesn't
appear in public, but there is still a lot of prejudism. The gay
businesses in Ecuador are: a travel Agency (www.gaytraveller.biz),
restaurants, a hostel, saunas, Hairdressers, escort agencies, and
GAY NGOs, but also there are gay friendly restaurants, hotels and
discotheques in most of the big cities.
Nightlife is best on weekends, and the trendy, slightly bohemian
Mariscal district (an area no bigger than 5 km2 between Patria avenue
and Orellana), is where you'll find the hot spots. The establishments
in this area of the city are requested to close at 2:30am, normaly
this request is not respected and establishments stay open untill
Ecuador's predominat religion is Roman Catholicism (95%). The
ecuadorian population is of more than 12 million inhabitants,
those in the highlands are mainly meztizo, a mixture of European
and Native South American extractions. Indigenous people live
mainly in the Andean highlands and in the Amazon regions. Coastal
dwellers are descendants of Native South Americans, Europeans
The official languages of Ecuador are Spanish and Quechua. English
is spoken in the major visitor centers and European Languages
may be spoken in some establishments catering to tourists in Quito
and the more popular tourist destinations.
Ecuador's climate is so varied that it makes any time of the year
the right time for a visit. In the highlands, the weather remains
at a perfect, spring like climate year round. Every valley seems
to have its own microclimate. In general, however, the average
temperature in the Sierra rises to a dry 22° C / 72° F
at midday to a cool 8° C/ 46° F in the early morning and
evening. Generally, the driest months in the Northern and Central
Andes are from June to September. In the southern highlands, the
driest months are from August to January. Rain tends to appear
along the Pacific Coast, so although it may rain in northern Esmeraldas,
it seldom does so near the Peruvian border. In spite of the rainfall,
the coast can be enjoyed year-round, with cooler temperatures
more common from June to September. In the Oriente or the Amazon
basin, heavy rain can fall at any time, but it is usually wettest
from April to September. The Galapagos and the coast are both
hot (averages of 31° C / 88° F) from January to April,
when heavy showers are likely. From May to September is the islands'
cooler misty season.
Local time on the mainland is Greenwich Meridian Time minus 5
hours (Eastern Standard Time in the United States). Galapagos
time is GMT minus 6 hours.
One of Ecuador's best attractions is its food. You can taste and
enjoy the freshest and most complete variety of common and exotic
fruits and vegetables, many of which are available only at these
latitudes. The typical dishes of Ecuador are delicious and highly
recommended. Try some of the Ecuadorian specialties: humitas and
tamales (made of corn and wrapped in leaves), llapingachos (fried
mashed potato patties with cheese), ceviche (a saucy shrimp dish),
and locro (a soup of stewed potatoes and cheese topped with an
avocado). There are many excellent restaurants in the main cities
and a restaurant guide is distributed free to all visitors upon
arrival in Ecuador. Quito has a wide variety of excellent restaurants
that offer not only typical but also international and ethnic
Since September 2000, the US dollar is the official currency of
Ecuador. US dollar bills circulate in the following denominations:
$1, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Ecuadorian coins of $0.01, $0.05,
$0.10, $0.25 and $0.50. These Ecuadorian coins have no value outside
Most businesses are open from 9.00 AM to 12:30 AM and from 14:30
PM to 18:30 PM Monday through Friday. Some businesses open from
09:00 AM through 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. Currency exchange
facilities are open week days and saturday morning in major hotels.
Banking facilities are not available in remote areas. U.S. dollars
are accepted throughout the country.
Shopping Centers open from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday trough saturday
and from 10:00 AM to 19:00 PM on Sundays.
* Shopping hours are for information purposes only and are subject
to change without notice.
Ecuador has some of the best and most interesting handcrafts in
all of South America. And, although part of the fun is buying
them in local Indian markets, almost all of the best examples
can be found in Quito. Among the country's best and most popular
buys are: hand woven sweaters and tapestries, Panama hats, ponchos,
fringed shawls, ethnic jewelry, straw goods, bread-dough figures,
ceramics and modern and primitive paintings.
Passport And Visas
All visitors to Ecuador must have a passport valid for at least
Only citizens of the following countries require a consular visa
to visit Ecuador as tourists: Algeria, Bangladesh, South, Korea,
China, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India,
Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Sri Lanka, Sudan,
Syria, Tunisia, Vietnam and Yemen.
Upon entry, all visitors are required to complete a brief international
embarcation/ disembarcation card, which is stamped along with
your passport. Keep this card in your passport, as it will be
requested when leaving the country.
In the highlands region, it is best to dress in layers since temperatures
vary, beginning and ending the day quite cool but becoming warm
in the midday sun. Wear a sweater over a light shirt and T-shirt,
and carry a light, preferably water resistant jacket and umbrella,
especially during the rainy season.
In the tropical climates, light cotton clothing is recommended.
Bring along a sweater or light jacket since it can cool down in
the evenings. In the jungle regions, long-sleeved shirts and long
cotton pants, as well as a good pair of walking shoes, are recommended.
110 AC. Most outlets are for two flat prongs.
International country code: 593.Quito code: 2. Guayaquil code:
4. Cuenca code: 7.
TRAVEL FACTS AND INFORMATION MAY BE FOUND ON:
(593 2) 2955.939, Guayaquil N9-59 y Oriente.- Quito Ecuador.
articles about tourisim in Ecuador click
The 1998 constitution prohibits discrimination on
the basis of sexual orientation and attitudes have gradually become
more liberal towards gay life in Quito and Ecuador in general has
undergone a great change in the last few years. Before 1998 the
Ecuadorian Constitution considered homosexuality a crime punishable
by prison. Long before the Constitution was changed there where
important changes in peoples tolerance towards homosexuals. These
changes in the Constitution had a very positive effect on gay life.
Since this change, gay life is much more open and new bars, discotheques,
saunas, theaters etc., have opened. The gay life is much more visible
There are: a travel agency, restaurants, a hostel, saunas, hairdreesers,
escorts agencies, and Gay NGOs. There are gay friendly restaurants,
a hotels and discotheques. Nightlife is best on weekends, and the
trendy, slightly bohemian Mariscal district (area no bigger than
5 km2 Patria avenue and Orellana), is where you'll find the hot
spots. The establishments in this area of the city are requested
to close at 2:30 AM, normally this request is not respected and
establishments stay open untill dawn.
Avoid drawing people’s attention when you are in the streets,
a bit of discretion is never bad.
Usually drunk people or large teenager groups are the trouble
makers and the ones that discriminate and abuse homosexual the
in most latin countries, effeminate behaviour in men is condemned,
and the derogatory term “maricón” is commonly
used to describe such a person, irrespective of their sexual
couples travelling in Ecuador should avoid public displays of
Quito and Guayaquil the two largest cities, values are still
intensely conservative and there remains a general bias, even
hostility, against gay people.