Located in the northwestern South America, and known as The land of fire and ice, Ecuador is one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world and has the most biodiversity per square kilometre of any nation, with amazing landscapes and features to explore. It also boasts a rich cultural heritage, mouth watering food and amazing architecture.
Why Visit Ecuador
BIODIVERSITY & LANDSCAPES
Ecuador is one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world and has the most biodiversity per square kilometre of any nation, featuring an astounding array of wonders that include many volcanoes, the Amazon rainforest, beautiful beaches and mountains in The Andes.
We mentioned volcanoes above, but we think they deserve their own section. Ecuador is home to over 27 potentially active volcanoes, highlighting the Cotopaxi, the world’s highest active volcano and the Chimborazo Volcano, the point on Earth closest to the sun. The Cotopaxi National Park is one the most important tourist attraction in Ecuador, after the Galapagos Islands.
Ecuador’s cuisine is as diverse as its landscape. Every region (Coast, highlands, Amazon and Galapagos) enjoys different traditional dishes, each of them equally delicious. Soups are a specialty in the highlands, ceviche and heavily seafood-based foods are typical dishes on the coast, and stewed Guanta and Chontacurro are specialties on the Amazon, and wouldn’t be found anywhere else in the country.
Ecuador enjoys a diversity of cultures as well, a mix between indigenous practices along with European colonial influence. Unique customs and traditions are the result of this mix, and regionalism is a important part of ecuadorians. Each region will have different traditions and gastronomy to enjoy.
ARCHITECTURE & HISTORY
Ecuador enjoys a tumultuous and rich history. Many indigenous cultures lived in what is today Ecuador more than 12,000 years ago. Further on the Incas took over the region and the tribes, and remained there until the 1500s, when the spanish arrived. The first Spaniards landed in northern Ecuador in 1526, and defeated the Incas in 1534. Ecuador’s architecture has seen several influences, as each period has left its remains, and, examples of these cultures can still be found in the country. Several Incan ruins survived and are open for tourist and locals to explore, and spanish colonial architecture can be found in almost every city and town in Ecuador.
What to expect
Spanish is the official language in Ecuador, but Quichua, an Inca language, and 10 other native languages are spoken by the Indian population. English is the most spoken foreign language, especially in big cities and tourist attractions or by younger generations. Still, it will come in handy to learn some basic phrases in Spanish as not everyone will speak english.
In Ecuador the standard voltage is 110 V and the frequency is 60 Hz. That’s the standard voltage in the US, Canada and most South American countries.
Ecuador uses the USD as its official currency. The currency changed in 2000 after the financial crisis. Foreign currencies are not accepted, but they can be exchange at any bank or withdraw directly from the ATM. Debit and credit cards are widely accepted in Ecuador.
Ecuador’s climate is as diverse as its landscape. Pretty much every region has a different weather. The temperature is usually colder in the higher altitudes, and warmer along the coast and in Galapagos. Ecuador has two seasons: a wet season and a dry one. It is recommended to research in deep about the region you will be visiting.
Ecuador is relatively safe to visit. Unfortunately, tourist hotspots, restaurants, shops and public transportation are places where petty crime tend to occur oftenly. Violent crime varies from area to area, but you would rarely experience it in your visit. It is recommended to exercise caution at all times, just like you would do anywhere else.
Visa Policy & Passports
Citizens of the following 25 countries will require a visa to enter Ecuador: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, India, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Nepal, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria and Venezuela.
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