Ecuador’s geographic location alone, ideally located along the center of the Earth, would have you scratching your head in amazement.
Surrounded by the Amazon as well as the Andean highlands, Ecuador boasts its own natural wonder: the Galapagos Islands. The archipelago alone is home to many native species.
In addition to its rich natural resources, Ecuador also holds a centuries-old heritage that dates back to the earliest settlements of South America. Discover the country’s culture with these facts about Ecuador.
The value of the Ecuadorian Sucre fell in 2000.
Ecuador changed its currency from the sucre to the US dollar because their local currency lost most of its value in 2000.
In just a month, the price of sucres fell from 25,000 sucres per 1 dollar to 90,000 sucres per 1 dollar. On September 11, 2000, sucres officially ceased to be used as money.
The President of Ecuador ordered the closure of all banks and the exchange of sucres for dollars.
During the instability in Ecuador’s Sucre, citizens worried that their banks would fail.
As a result, the country experienced bank runs, which had an impact on the economy and contributed significantly to the collapse of most banks in 1998.
As a result, Ecuadorian President Jamil Mahuad was forced to order the closure of all banks and the exchange of sucres for dollars.
Jamil Mahuad served as President of Ecuador from August 10, 1998 to January 21, 2000.
Former President of Ecuador Jamil Mahuad was born in Loja, Ecuador on July 29, 1949.
Although his presidency was filled with controversy, one of his most notable feats was the signing of a historic peace agreement with Peru, resolving long-standing border disputes.
After serving a relatively short term as president, Mahuad resigned after a week of demonstrations led by indigenous Ecuadorians and a military uprising led by Lucio Gutiérrez.
Encebolado is the national dish of Ecuador.
From a culinary point of view, Enquebollado is considered the national dish of Ecuador. The dish is a fish stew (usually tuna, albacore, billfish or bonito) served with boiled cassava, pickled red onion rings and ripe avocado.
The Galapagos Islands are located in Ecuador.
The Galapagos Islands make up a significant part of the Ecuadorian archipelago, located 1,000 kilometers west of the mainland.
Ecuador borders two countries.
Ecuador borders Peru to the south and east, and Colombia to the north. In addition, on the western side, Ecuador is washed by the Pacific Ocean.
Charles Darwin formulated the theory of evolution while studying the Galapagos Islands.
During his 5-year voyage on HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin spent 5 weeks in the Galapagos Islands. However, he left the islands with a discovery that will be remembered for a lifetime.
While observing the flora and fauna of the island, Darwin noticed differences in the beak structure of native birds depending on the environment and food source on each island.
The English naturalist later used these findings as the basis for the theory of evolution presented in On the Origin of Species . Definitely one of the coolest facts about Ecuador.
The Galapagos Islands are home to over 9,000 different species.
With around 20 islands and byways, the Galapagos Islands are considered one of the most unique places in the world. In total, the Galapagos Islands are home to over 9,000 different species, with many of these species native to the islands.
The area of the Galapagos Islands is 8010 square kilometers.
About 95% of its territory is a national park or inhabited by wild animals. By comparison, the island’s residential area occupies only a small portion of this land, which is home to a population of 30,000 people.
The Galapagos Islands currently charges tourists a $100 entry fee to Galapagos National Park.
Ecuador is home to the world’s largest turtle.
True to its namesake, the Galapagos tortoise is the “signature animal” of the archipelago. The Galapagos tortoise is the largest living species of tortoise. on average weighs more than 408 kg with a height of 152 cm.
Although 15 species have been found on the island, 4 species have become extinct, while the IUCN classifies the rest as Vulnerable or Endangered.
Cinchona is the national tree of Ecuador.
It is a flowering plant with 23 varieties of shrubs and trees. At its peak, it can reach a height of 15 meters. The bark of the Chinquin tree produces ‘quinine’, which became the world’s first cure for malaria.
Some believed it could also cure leg cramps, promote the release of digestive enzymes, increase appetite, and treat bloating and other stomach problems.
The Andean condor is the national animal of Ecuador.
The Andean condor, a member of the vulture family, has represented Ecuador as the national animal since 1958.
With an average weight of 7-5 kilograms and a wingspan of 240-300 cm, it is the largest flying bird in the animal world. Definitely one of the amazing facts about Ecuador.
Catholicism predominates in Ecuador.
As in most countries with a history of Spanish occupation, 77% of Ecuadorians are Catholic, followed by Protestantism (14%). Meanwhile, 7% of residents have no religious affiliation, and representatives of other religions make up only 2% of the country’s population.
There are only two seasons in Ecuador.
The winter season in Ecuador lasts from June to September, and the summer from October to May. Since most of Ecuador is located in the southern hemisphere of the Earth, winters are mostly dry.
The climate of Ecuador is generally warm.
Typically, the coastal lowlands of Ecuador experience warm weather of around 25°C. The average temperature in Ecuador every year is 17.8°C. Definitely one of the warmest facts about Ecuador.
It rarely snows in Ecuador.
Although it is winter season in Ecuador, snow rarely falls – even in the highlands. The snow-capped peaks of Chimborazo are the only exception, remaining covered with snow throughout the year.
Mount Chimborazo is the highest point in Ecuador.
Chimborazo is the highest mountain in Ecuador. Reaching 6,263 meters, it is only 2,585 meters from Everest. What’s even more amazing is that Mount Chimborazo is actually an inactive volcano that last erupted around 550 AD.
The peak of Mount Chimborazo is the most distant point on Earth from its core.
It may not be the highest peak in the world, but Chimborazo achieves another extreme feat by reaching the furthest distance from the Earth’s core.
Chimborazo’s location places it along the Earth’s equatorial ridge, making its summit the furthest point on Earth from its core. How do you like interesting facts about Ecuador?
There were many Native American groups living in Ecuador.
During the early years of Ecuador, various groups of Indians settled in its regions. In the 15th century, the Inca Empire invaded Ecuador and gradually ushered in the emergence of new civilizations.
Francisco Pizarro brought an end to the Inca Empire in Ecuador.
In 1531, the Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro landed in Ecuador with his troops.
When Pizarro learned of the civil war between the locals and the Inca Empire, as well as the diseases they were suffering from, he took advantage of the weakened state of the settlement.
In September 1532, the Spanish conqueror ended the reign of Atahualpa, the last ruler of the Inca Empire.
Spain colonized Ecuador in the 16th century.
Since the 16th century, Ecuador has been under Spanish rule. It was not until 1820 that Ecuador achieved independence as part of Gran Colombia (known today as Colombia). After this, Ecuador became a sovereign state 10 years later.
Ecuador gets its name from the equator.
Ecuador is named after the imaginary line dividing the northern and southern hemispheres of the Earth. In fact, the name is borrowed from the Spanish “El Ecuador”, which directly translates to “The Equator”.
After the War of Independence, the name “El Ecuador” was changed to “Republic of Ecuador”. To this day, it is the only country in the world named after a geographical feature. Definitely one of the most interesting facts about Ecuador.
Ecuador is the world’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1978, the first UNESCO World Heritage Conference published a list of 32 World Heritage Sites. On this list, the Galapagos Islands appeared first, which essentially gives Ecuador the honor of being chosen first.
Ecuador is still a developing country.
Despite its wealth of wildlife, Ecuador is a middle-income developing country that is largely dependent on agricultural products, commodities and oil.
Ecuador leads the world in banana exports.
With annual banana sales exceeding $3 billion, Ecuador is the world’s largest banana exporter. In total, Ecuador’s annual income accounts for 22.6% of the world’s total banana exports. In second place are the Philippines with 13.2% and Colombia with 11%.
It is one of the only two countries in South America that does not border Brazil.
All South American countries border Brazil, with the exception of Ecuador and Chile. Being coastal regions, they are located far from the largest country in South America.
Ecuador is home to the “variable rain frog.”
In 2009, scientists discovered a unique species of frog known as the “variable rain frog” or “punk rocker” in the rainforests of Ecuador. This native Ecuadorian species is unique in its ability to turn smooth skin into prickly skin in a matter of seconds.
Since its discovery, the changeable rain frog remains the only vertebrate that can change the texture of its skin.
Ecuador’s economy began to grow in 2006.
Despite being a developing country, Ecuador managed to lower its poverty line from 2006 to 2016. During this period, the country’s poverty rate fell from 36.7% to 22.5%, while annual per capita gross domestic product gradually increased.
Ecuador has a low murder rate.
Overall, Ecuador has the fifth lowest murder rate in the Americas. However, petty crimes such as pickpocketing still occur regularly in the country, as in other places in the world.
Ecuador has a multi-party political system.
In terms of political structure, the President of Ecuador heads a cabinet that has executive power. Moreover, the president is both the head of state and the head of the army.
The Constitution of the central government of Ecuador establishes a unicameral representative democracy with presidential elections for a term of four years.
There are more than 10 indigenous groups living in Ecuador.
Ecuador is home to many indigenous peoples, such as the Tzachila from Santo Domingo and the Chachi from the coastal lowlands of western Ecuador. Besides the Shuar people , other indigenous peoples of Ecuador include: the Achuar, Shiviar, Zapara, Secoya, Waorani, Cofan, Siona, Epera, Quichua and Awa-Quaiker .
Ecuador has had an ongoing border dispute with Peru.
For decades, Ecuador and Peru have argued over where their border should lie. In 1941, the conflict ended thanks to the Rio de Janeiro Protocol, which established peace between Ecuador and Peru.
However, the conflict flared up again in 1981 and 1995. The conflict finally ended in 1999 after both governments signed an agreement to demarcate the border.
Ecuador administers part of Peru’s territory.
Throughout the border dispute between Ecuador and Peru, one strange condition was put forward. Ecuador has agreed to a permanent lease of one square kilometer of Peruvian territory. As a result, Ecuador established a military base on Peruvian territory, which it administers to this day.
Ecuador was once part of Venezuela and Colombia.
From 1822 to 1830, Ecuador was part of the state of Gran Colombia, along with Venezuela and Colombia. Following Ecuador’s independence from Spain, Ecuador united with Gran Colombia. However, the alliance did not work out, and Ecuador seceded and became a Republic in 1830.
The famous Panama actually comes from Ecuador.
The Panama hat gained popularity when former President Theodore Roosevelt and his delegates wore it upon their return to the United States. However, one of the little known facts about Ecuador is that, despite the name, the famous Panama hat actually originates from Ecuador.
Panama hats were mass-produced in the cities of Montecristi and Cuenca.
Local Ecuadorians from the cities of Montecristi and Cuenca produced these handmade Panama hats en masse. Despite the place of origin, the hats were named after Panama due to the huge volume of imports into the country from Ecuador in the 19th century.
There are 10 different languages spoken in Ecuador.
Although Spanish is the national language of Ecuador, 10 local languages are still used in the country, such as Quichua , an Incan language spoken by the indigenous people of South America.
In 1997, Ecuador elected Rosalia Arteaga as its first female president.
In 1996, Rosalia Arteaga served as Abdala Bucaran’s vice-president. On February 6, 1997, the Ecuadorian Congress dismissed President Abdala Bucaran. In the midst of the dispute over the assumption of the presidency, Congress leader Fabian Alarcón took charge on the same day.
However, Arteaga opposed his rule, knowing that she should be next in line. Arteaga successfully assumed the presidency on February 9, 1997, also becoming the country’s first female leader.
Rosalia Arteaga served as president for only two days.
Two days after taking office, Congress leader Fabian Alarcón tried to take the oath of office again. This time he succeeded with the support of Congress as well as the army.
After this, Rosalia Arteaga was forced to resign. In 1998, she ran for president but received only 3% of the vote. Definitely one of the facts about Ecuador that shows its eventful political history.
Ecuador’s Yasuni Park is one of the most unique national parks in the world.
Yasuni Park, located in the Ecuadorian province of Napo y Pastaza, is one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth. Parque Yasuni is a government-protected Ecuadorian national park that is home to many endemic species found nowhere else in the world.
Yasuni Park also has significant oil reserves.
In addition to Yasuni Park’s diverse ecology, it is also estimated to contain 1.7 billion barrels of crude oil, representing 40% of the country’s oil reserves.
The cocoa may have originated in Ecuador.
Cocoa has been grown in Central and South America for centuries. Today, Ecuador ranks 7th among the world’s largest cocoa producers.
Therefore, the importance of cocoa to Ecuadorian heritage cannot be denied. However, some research suggests that cocoa may actually have originated in Ecuador 5,000 years ago.
Quito, Ecuador, is the orchid capital of the world.
Thanks to many natural reserves, Ecuador is home to more than 4,000 plant species. In particular, Quito has earned the title of “Orchid Capital” for its abundance of orchids.
These charming flowers are planted throughout the Quito metropolitan area, including its city limits.
The Quito Orchid Conservatory covers an area of about 800 square meters.
The main attraction of the Quito Botanical Garden is the Orchid Conservatory, which covers an area of about 800 square meters and is entirely dedicated to the cultivation of orchids.
Technologically, it also uses an advanced greenhouse system that reproduces the warm, humid “mini-cloud” environment of a forest.
Ecuador has well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture.
Ecuador also has some of the best colonial architecture in the world, especially in its major cities. Having survived many natural disasters, Ecuador has the best preserved Spanish colonial architecture in all of Latin America.
Ecuador has more birds than any other country.
On a per square meter basis, Ecuador is home to more birds than any other country in the world. Home to over 1,600 different bird species, Ecuador is literally a birdwatcher’s paradise. How do you like interesting facts about Ecuador?
Ecuador has the most species of hummingbirds.
Ecuador also holds the world record for the most hummingbird species in the world. A total of 350 species of hummingbirds are found exclusively in the Western Hemisphere. Ecuador alone is home to more than 160 species of hummingbirds.
Football is the most popular sport in Ecuador.
Of all sports, football is considered the most popular in Ecuador. For more than 15 years, Ecuador has been actively involved in sports, holding an annual marathon in Guayaquil. The Guayaquil Marathon is attended by 1,000 people from Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Colombia.
Carlo Alban from Sesame Street is from Ecuador.
Carlo Alban played on “Carlo on Sesame Street” from 1993 to 1998. Other famous Ecuadorians include footballer Christian Benitez, tennis champion Andres Gomez and philosopher Eugenio Espejo.
Guinea pig is a delicacy in Ecuador.
Besides Ecuadorian Ensebollado , other popular dishes in the country are Caldo de Gallina (chicken soup), Locro de Papa (potato stew), Cuy Asado (roasted guinea pig), Churrasco Equatoriano (Ecuadorian grilled meat) and Ceviche de Camarón (raw shrimp cocktail).
The national flag of Ecuador has three main colors.
Its main colors are red, blue and yellow. The blue color of the flag symbolizes independence from Spain, and the yellow color symbolizes the Federation of Gran Colombia. Finally, the color red symbolizes courage and the memory of the lives lost during the country’s struggle for independence.
The flags of Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia have great similarities.
The design of the flag of Ecuador is very similar to that of Venezuela and Colombia due to their history as part of the former constituent territories of Gran Colombia.
The flag of Ecuador can be identified by its coat of arms.
The main difference between the flags of Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela is that the flag of Ecuador features the coat of arms of Ecuador – an oval shield with the sun at the top and the historic Mount Chimborazo below, with the river as a symbol of trade and navigation.
Some people go to Ecuador to study Spanish.
One of the reasons people go to Ecuador is to learn to speak Spanish. With Spanish being their primary language, only 55% of Ecuador’s population can speak English fluently.
There are 3 common misspellings of the word Ecuador.
Some of the common misspellings in the name of Ecuador are “Ecuador”, “Equator” and “Equator”.
Life expectancy in Ecuador is steadily increasing.
Not long ago, the average life expectancy in Ecuador was 71 years. However, as of 2020, the country’s current life expectancy has risen to 77.10 years.
Additionally, Ecuador has been voted by many as one of the best places in the world to live after retirement.