Ecuador Geography and History

Ecuador Geography and History

North America

The country got its name from the equator, the longest of all parallels, which divides the globe into a northern and southern half. This was measured by a French expedition in 1736. The equator runs only 15 km north of the capital Quito and moves the country “en la mitad del mundo” – “in the middle of the world”, since Ecuador stretches from latitude 2 ° north to latitude 5 ° south Sun, which occurs at the equator, causes a high level of solar radiation, which can affect both plants and humans. Many plants have therefore developed a protective mechanism. Location – General

Located in the northwest of South America, the Republic of Ecuador, the smallest of the Andean states, borders Colombia, Peru and the Pacific Ocean. It has three very different regions on an area of ​​256,370 square kilometers, which extend from the coast 600 km inland over the Andes to the Amazon tributaries and which give the country a diverse climate. Therefore, Ecuador has an extremely diverse flora and fauna that attracts many nature lovers.

A specialty are the Galapagos Islands, which are almost 1000 km off the coast of Ecuador and consist of 13 larger and 17 smaller islands. The islands of 7,844 square kilometers are home to a unique flora and fauna that can only be found here. The archipelago has belonged to Ecuador since 1885.

Time zone

Compared to German time, Ecuador is 6 (winter time) or 7 hours (summer time) behind. So if it is 8 o’clock in the morning here, in Ecuador it is only 1 or 2 o’clock at night! The Galapagos Islands are another 1 hour behind. During our winter time 7 hours, during the summer time 8 hours.


The coastal lowlands of the Pacific Ocean in the west, whose coastline is 650 km for Ecuador, offers the population completely different living conditions than the Amazon basin in the east. Responsible for this is the double mountain range of the Cordillera Real, which forms part of the Andes, which are very narrow here. Between the two mountain ranges lies a 2500 m – 3000 m high plateau, the Sierra. The mountain ridge, on average 3000 m high, runs through the country from north to south and consists of over 20 volcanoes, some of which are still active, such as the Cotopaxi.It belongs to the stratovolcanoes and is the highest active volcano in the world. Its volcanic cone is heavily glaciated and the meltwater that forms during eruptions, mixed with the volcanic ash, forms mud flows that can devastate the fields and pastures of the surrounding area. The highest mountain in the country, however, is the 6310 m high Chimborazo, a bell-shaped volcano that is extinct and has many glaciated craters. In the Amazon lowlands in eastern Ecuador you can find dense rainforest, which is why it is sparsely populated. This is also where the country’s petroleum deposits are found, which are pumped across the Andes after being extracted and then shipped. Visit rctoysadvice for Emigration to Ecuador.


Artifacts from the first time Ecuador was settled have been found in the region around Quito. They date from the Stone Age and are dated to around 9000 BC. Dated. The finds from the Valdivia period date from the Neolithic period (3000 to 1500 BC). The people of this time lived on the rivers of the coastal region of Ecuador and made a living from agriculture and fishing. The first significant archaeological discoveries were made in the small coastal town of Valdivia in the province of Guayas. They also include the “Venus of Valdivia”, small figures in the shape of a woman with clear sexual characteristics. These female statuettes are among the oldest finds on the continent. You can see them today in the museums of Quito and Quayaquil.

The Manta culture (500 to 900 BC), a seafaring people who probably sailed as far as Mexico in their boats made of balsa wood, was very highly developed. The first real great empire was founded by the Caras, who came from the coast and extended their territory into the highlands. Descendants of this Indian tribe still live in Ecuador today. Another important Indian tribe are the Kañari, who had their empire south of the Caras, but whose descendants now also live in Peru due to the resettlement policy of the Incas and Spaniards.

In 1450 the Incas of Peru began to conquer Ecuador, but found bitter opponents in the Kañari, who fought fiercely. It was not until 1480 that the Incas succeeded in defeating this Indian tribe and some of them relocated to Peru. The Kañaris also participated in the subjugation of the Incas by the Spaniards under Francisco Pizzaro in 1532, as they became allies of the Spaniards. In 1534 the conquest of Ecuador was complete and the country belonged to the viceroyalty of Peru. In 1542 Francisco Orella was the first to cross the continent from Quito and discovered the Amazon. In 1563 Ecuador received a largely independent status. In 1739 it became part of the viceroyalty of New Granada . The Spaniards could not be expelled until 1822 after the victory of General de Sucre and Simón Bolívar, who wanted to realize their dream of a united South America. So Ecuador first joined Greater Colombia, which consisted of the merger of Venezuela with Colombia, but broke away from this again in 1830. Years of unrest and upheaval followed, with military governments and democratically elected presidents taking turns. In the meantime, calm has returned to Ecuador, even after the border disputes over the Amazon with Peru were finally settled.

Flora and fauna

Ecuador enables the traveler to experience different ecosystems in a very small space. Over 25,000 plant, 320 mammal, 1,550 bird and 375 amphibian species were counted here. It is considered to be one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. Tapirs, sloths and snakes can be found in the tropical rainforests. The Páramo meadows are located at an altitude of 3,200 m in the Andes and form the habitat for condors, hummingbirds, deer and the last pumas. On the coast there are the typical mangrove forests, which are used as a nursery for crabs, oysters and fish.

The Galapagos Islands are home to many water birds thanks to the Humboldt Current with its high plankton content, which attracts numerous species of fish. From penguins, which come from the southern polar zones, to Darwin’s finches and tropical frigate birds, nature lovers can observe a wide range of bird life.

Ecuador Geography and History