Information on Ecuador
Ecuador is a country in Northwestern South America, with a Pacific Ocean coastline, lying on the Equator between Colombia, to the northeast, and Peru, to the south and east.
Cotopaxi is the world's highest active volcano. Many cities and sites in Ecuador are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Such cities and best known places are the Galapagos Islands, and the city of Cuenca.
Ecuador is the most biodiverse country in the world. Ecuador has over one hundred different types of hummingbirds and thousands of orchid varieties. Cuyabeno Wild Life Reserve, Mindo and San Luis de Pambil are all good places to see many types of flora and fauna. The Galapagos Islands are justly famed for their wildlife.
The Cuyabeno Wild Life Reserve is probably the best place to see the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador, even though there are other national parks which are also interesting (such as the Yasuni National Park). It's a place of high biodiversity and nature lovers should feel in paradise. That's a good way to discover the indigenous communities of Ecuador and to eventually meet a local shaman. It's necessary to get to Lago Agrio to reach the reserve. Private transportation is made possible by the local accommodation, which is provided by eco-lodges.
The beaches in Ecuador are amazing, including: Salinas, Bahia de Caraquez, Manta, Crucita, San Jacinto, and San Clemente. They offer very inexpensive hotel accommodations, great food and friendly people. But there are also very upmarket establishments as well.
The "Republic of the Ecuador" was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Colombia and Venezuela). Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors. A border war with Peru that flared in 1995 was resolved in 1999.
Ecuador has many climate zones, from tropical along coast to cooler and dryer inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands. Ecuador is unusual in that one can choose any climate one wishes by where in the country one travels to. Lying on the equator means there is no summer or winter; however, there are typically wetter and drier seasons. The 'wetter' season is usually between December - June, while the drier season runs from July - November.
Ecuador has quickly become the safest country in Latin America (South and Central America). Its violent crime rate is half that of most of the United States with the popular cities of Cuenca and Loja being the safest.
The Environment of Ecuador contains almost 20, 000 species of plants, 1, 500 species of birds, 341 species of mammals and more than 840 species of reptiles and amphibians. It includes World Heritage Sites like the Galápagos Islands, and magnificent parks such as the Yasuni National Park.