Brief History of Ecuador

The history of Ecuador is a captivating narrative that traverses centuries of cultural richness and political evolution. Before the arrival of Europeans, Ecuador’s territory was home to various indigenous cultures, leaving behind remarkable archaeological legacies.

The Inca Empire expanded into the region in the 15th century, influencing its culture and society. However, the Inca rule was short-lived, as the Spanish conquistadors, led by Francisco Pizarro, arrived in the early 16th century, subjugating the land under Spanish colonial rule.

Ecuador gained independence on May 24, 1822, after a decisive victory in the Battle of Pichincha. It was initially part of the Republic of Gran Colombia, which later dissolved, leading to Ecuador becoming an independent nation.

The 20th century saw periods of political instability, economic challenges, and territorial disputes. Ecuador’s contemporary era has been marked by progress and difficulties, with various presidents and social movements shaping its path.

The country’s multicultural heritage and diverse landscapes, including the iconic Galápagos Islands, contribute to its unique identity as it continues to address present-day challenges and embrace its rich history.

About Ecuador

Country Code: +593.

Crime: Ecuador, like any country, has faced its share of crime-related challenges. Crime rates can vary significantly across different regions and cities within the country.

Ecuador has experienced issues with violent crime, including assaults, robberies, and homicides. Cities like Guayaquil and Quito, being the most populous urban centers, have historically seen higher crime rates compared to more rural areas.

Robberies and thefts, particularly in public places and public transportation, have been a concern.

Ecuador’s geographical location makes it vulnerable to drug trafficking, with its proximity to major drug-producing countries in South America. As a transit country, Ecuador has struggled to combat drug trafficking organizations that use its territory as a route for illegal drug shipments.

Corruption has been a significant issue in Ecuador and has had an impact on law enforcement and the judicial system. High levels of corruption can undermine the effectiveness of law enforcement efforts and contribute to a sense of impunity among criminals.

While kidnappings have become less common in recent years, they were a serious concern in the past, particularly involving foreigners or wealthy individuals as targets.

Petty theft, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, is relatively common in tourist areas and crowded public spaces. Travelers and tourists are often targeted by scammers and con artists.

Like many countries, Ecuador also faces challenges related to domestic violence, which includes physical, psychological, and sexual abuse within households.

The Ecuadorian government has implemented various measures to combat crime, including increasing police presence in high-risk areas, improving law enforcement capabilities, and promoting community policing initiatives. Additionally, there have been efforts to address social and economic disparities that can contribute to crime.

Currency: U.S. Dollar.

Electricity: Type A (2-pin flat), Type B (2-pin flat, grounding pin).

Language: Spanish.

Latitude and Longitude: 1.8312° S, 78.1834° W.

Population: 17.8 million (2021).

President: Guillermo Lasso.

National Parks

Ecuador is a country blessed with incredible biodiversity and stunning natural landscapes, making it home to several remarkable national parks. These protected areas play a crucial role in conserving the country’s unique ecosystems and wildlife.

Galápagos National Park: Perhaps the most famous of Ecuador’s national parks, the Galápagos National Park encompasses the Galápagos Islands, an archipelago located about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) off the coast of mainland Ecuador. The islands are renowned for their diverse and endemic species, most notably the Galápagos giant tortoises, marine iguanas, and blue-footed boobies.

The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a vital center for scientific research and ecotourism.

Cotopaxi National Park: Situated around the majestic Cotopaxi volcano, which is one of the world’s highest active volcanoes, this national park boasts breathtaking landscapes of rugged Andean terrain, high-altitude lakes, and páramo ecosystems. It’s a popular destination for hiking, mountain climbing, and admiring the stunning vistas.

Yasuní National Park: Located in the Amazon rainforest region, Yasuní National Park is recognized for its extraordinary biodiversity. It is home to an astonishing array of plant and animal species, including various monkeys, jaguars, and an extensive variety of birds and insects.

The park is also home to indigenous communities, making it a site of cultural significance as well.

Machalilla National Park: Found along Ecuador’s Pacific coast, Machalilla National Park offers a mix of landscapes, including dry forests, sandy beaches, and small islands. The park is home to the Isla de la Plata (Silver Island), which is often referred to as the “Poor Man’s Galápagos” due to its diverse wildlife, including blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds.

Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve: Encompassing parts of the Ecuadorian Andes, this reserve is notable for containing the Cayambe volcano and its permanent snowline, which is the highest point on the Equator with snow cover. The area supports unique Andean flora and fauna, making it a great destination for trekkers and nature enthusiasts.

Podocarpus National Park: Situated in the southern Andes, Podocarpus National Park is a haven for cloud forests and an abundance of plant and animal species, including the endangered spectacled bear. The park’s pristine landscapes offer opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and exploring the diverse ecosystems.

Top Tourist Attractions

Ecuador is a country with a diverse range of tourist attractions, offering visitors a wealth of natural wonders, historical sites, and cultural experiences.

Historic Center of Quito: Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, boasts a beautifully preserved historic center. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Old Town is a maze of cobbled streets, colonial architecture, and impressive churches and plazas.

Notable sites include the Plaza Grande, the Basilica del Voto Nacional, and the Church of the Society of Jesus (La Compañía).

Cotopaxi Volcano: The Cotopaxi volcano, located within Cotopaxi National Park, is one of Ecuador’s most iconic landmarks. It’s the highest active volcano in the world with a snow-capped peak, making it a popular destination for climbers and hikers.

The surrounding landscapes, including the Limpiopungo Lagoon, offer fantastic vistas for nature lovers.

Baños: Baños de Agua Santa, commonly known as Baños, is a picturesque town surrounded by lush mountains and waterfalls. It’s a hub for adventure activities such as hiking, biking, and white-water rafting. The nearby Pailon del Diablo waterfall and the Swing at the End of the World are must-visit attractions.

Ingapirca: This archaeological site, located in the Cañar Province, holds the remains of an Inca fortress and temple complex. Ingapirca is the most significant Inca site in Ecuador and offers a glimpse into the region’s pre-Columbian history.

Otavalo Market: The Otavalo Market is one of the most famous indigenous markets in South America. Held in the town of Otavalo, it offers a colorful array of textiles, crafts, and traditional goods made by local artisans. It’s an excellent place to shop for souvenirs and experience Ecuadorian culture.

Mindo Cloud Forest: Mindo is a cloud forest located just a few hours from Quito. It’s a paradise for birdwatchers, as it hosts over 500 species of birds. The forest also offers opportunities for hiking, zip-lining, and exploring stunning waterfalls.

Quilotoa Crater Lake: Quilotoa is a volcanic crater lake with turquoise waters situated in the Andes. It’s a popular destination for hikers who trek down to the lake’s edge or take in the breathtaking views from the rim.


Ecuador’s weather is incredibly diverse due to its unique geographical location and varying altitudes. Despite being located on the equator, the country experiences a wide range of climates, from tropical coastal regions to chilly highland areas and humid rainforests.

Generally, Ecuador is divided into four distinct regions, each with its own weather patterns:

Coastal Region: The coastal region, also known as the “Costa,” has a tropical climate with high humidity and temperatures ranging from 23°C to 32°C (73°F to 90°F) throughout the year. The wet season typically runs from December to May, known as the “winter” or “rainy season,” characterized by frequent rainfall.

The dry season, or “summer,” lasts from June to November with less rainfall.

Andean Highlands: The Andean region, or “Sierra,” includes the highlands and the famous Avenue of the Volcanoes. The weather in the highlands varies with altitude. In cities like Quito (2,850 meters or 9,350 feet above sea level), the climate is generally spring-like year-round, with average temperatures ranging from 7°C to 20°C (45°F to 68°F).

It’s essential to be prepared for sudden weather changes, especially if traveling to higher altitudes.

Amazon Rainforest: The eastern part of Ecuador, also known as the “Oriente,” is covered by the Amazon rainforest. Here, the weather is hot and humid, with average temperatures around 26°C to 30°C (79°F to 86°F) throughout the year.

The region experiences frequent rainfall, and there is no specific dry season.

Galápagos Islands: The Galápagos Islands have a subtropical climate with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F) year-round. The islands experience two distinct seasons – the cool and dry season from June to November, and the warm and wet season from December to May.

The water temperature varies, and snorkeling and diving are popular activities throughout the year.

Due to Ecuador’s diverse climate zones, the best time to visit depends on the specific region and activities you plan to engage in.