Ecuador is home to a wide variety of scenic and environmental wonders. From the Amazonian rainforest to the tops of the Andes Mountains; and the coastal towns to the Galapagos Islands, there are sights and experiences that are sure to impress. With these 44 facts about Ecuador; let’s gather more information about its history, culture, tradition, economy, food, tourism, people, and more…
Fact 1. Before the Incas created settlements in Ecuador, it was inhabited by its Native American peoples.
Fact 2. Ecuador was founded in 1532 by the Spanish, who drove out the Incans to claim it.
Fact 3. Ruled for 300 years from Peru and then by Spanish governors from Colombia, these Spaniards brought to Ecuador their religion, language and architecture. In 1822, this era ended with the achievement of independence. They first declared independence on August 10, 1809; they finally achieved it from Spain on May 24, 1822.
Fact 4. Simon Bolivar united Ecuador to the territories of what are today Panama, Venezuela and Colombia to form what was called The Gran Colombia (1819-30). This short-lived country collapsed in 1830 and three separate countries were created from it: Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia (which included what later became Panama).
Fact 5. Ecuador was named after the equator which runs through the country, the only country in the world named after a geographical feature. Its official name, República del Ecuador, literally means “the Republic of the Equator”.
Fact 6. Ecuador and Peru battled over control of Ecuador’s Amazon territories for well over a century, in what became the Western Hemisphere’s longest-running dispute over territory. It ended in May of 1999 with both countries signing an agreement.
Fact 7. As the country became a republic, many coup d’état and dictatorships have been part of the country’s more recent history. It has had 48 presidents in its first 131 years of independence.
Fact 8. The world’s very first and second UNESCO World Heritage Sites are in Ecuador. The Galápagos Islands is site number one and the capital city of Quito is site number two. These were named at the inaugural World Heritage conference in 1978.
Fact 9. In spite its border conflicts, Ecuador has been peaceful in recent years. Presently it is one of the safest South American countries to visit.
Fact 10. Ecuador is one of only two South American countries that do not share a border with Brazil.
Facts about Ecuador’s economy, food and tourism
Facts 11. Ecuador is divided into four main and unique geographic regions that have their own diets and contribute to the country’s economy in different ways, according to the natural resources found there. These are the coastal lowlands (La Costa), the mountain highlands (La Sierra); the eastern jungle lowlands (La Amazonia or El Oriente “the east”); and the Galápagos Islands (La Región Insular).
Fact 12. Ecuador is the world’s largest exporter of bananas, exporting 43 trillion worth of them annually.
Fact 13. Oil accounts for 40 percent of all Ecuador’s exports and 33 percent of the country’s revenues.
Fact 14. Ecuador provides the majority of the world’s balsa wood. The country also exports coffee and flowers.
Fact 15. Ecuador has used the American Dollar as its national currency since 2000.
Fact 16. Cuy, or guinea pig, is considered a delicacy in the country. It is roasted whole and its consumption is an ancient tradition. It is said to taste like rabbit.
Fact 17. There is no national food as cuisine varies from region to region. Costeños who live in the La Costa region, favor fish, plantains and beans. Serranos (from La Sierra region) prefer meat, white hominy and rice.
Fact 18. Per square kilometer, Ecuador is the more biodiverse country in the world and offers much for visitors to see and do.
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