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The geography of Ecuador is determined by its location, western South America, on the Equator, parallel 0 °. The Mainland is bounded on the South and East by Peru, on the North by Colombia, and on the West by the Pacific Ocean.
Galapagos Islands form part of the maritime territory and are located approximately 1000km away from continental coastlines.
The most extreme geographical points of the continental Ecuador, and which are used as geographical delimitation with neighboring countries, are: at the North the mouth of the River Mataje 01 ° 27′ 06 "; at the South the confluence of San Francisco and Chinchipe Rivers 05 ° 00′ 56 "; at the East the confluence of the rivers Napo and Aguarico 75 ° 11′ 49 "and the tip of Santa Elena peninsula 81 ° 00′ West 40"
As Vázquez and Saltos point out, Ecuadorian geography is principally determined by Cordillera de los Andes. From the Nudo de Pasto at the North, on the border with Colombia, two large ranges of mountains come up: Cordillera Occidental and Cordillera Oriental, crossing our country until the Nudo de Loja, southward, nearly the border with Peru. A third mountainous branch and smaller is the Suboriental mountain range, Cordillera Suboriental.
The three mountains ranges are alienated, North to South, along the territory. They form high and pointy peaks, steep elevations, mountains, snow-capped mountains and volcanoes.
The mountain system has divided the geography of Ecuador in the following way:
The Cost region, which is located at the West of the Andes, consists of vast plains and small mountains, extension of the Cordillera Occidental.
These geographical conditions have developed some ecosystems such as: rainforests, tropical savannas, humid lowland forests, mangroves and beaches. It’s a plane and fertile area with low altitude. Here is located the most populous city of Ecuador, Guayaquil, and major tourist centers such as the beaches of Ruta del espóndilus, route of espóndilus, and Ruta del Sol, Sun route.
The geographical composition of the mountain range, Sierra, is determined by the mountain system of the Andes which comes from Colombia, and passes through Ecuador a strip of land of 600kms.
Continuing with precise information of Vázquez and Saltos, the cordillera, which in Ecuador is subdivided into two parallel chains, is joined by Nudos, in whose interior are the hoyas, valley, that recreated sub regions and small ecosystems. In this geography you can see from small to immense elevations, active and inactive, snow-covered volcanoes and mountains, as well as river rainfall and small valleys.
among other volcanoes and highest mountains, in Ecuador you will find: Chimborazo, 6.310 m; Cotopaxi 5,897 m, the highest active volcano in the world; Cayambe, 5.790 m; Antisana, 5.758 m; Altar, 5,320 m and Illiniza, 5.248 meters above sea level, among others. It also has several active volcanoes: Tungurahua and the Reventador.
The Amazon is bordered on the West by the Cordillera de los Andes, on the southern eastern part by Peru and Colombia. In its entirety extension the mountain range forms long plains and valleys of tropical rain forest. The geography of this region of the Ecuador is characterized by the presence of variety of rivers such as the Napo, the Pastaza, Tigre, Morona, flowing into the Amazon River. The Amazonian ecosystem is formed by tropical rain forest where live variety of plants and animals.
The geography of the Galapagos Islands, round off, even more, the variety of Equatorial ecosystem. Galapagos is situated at a distance of 1000 km away from the continent and is made up of Islands and islets. The volcanic origin Islands have a very rugged geography, with elevations, craters, cones and volcanoes. The larger islands are 13, accompanied by 6 smaller islands and 107 rocks and islets. The highest elevation of these islands is the Wolf volcano with 1,707 m.
Ecuador, according to its geography is divided into four regions: coast, mountain range, Amazonia and Galapagos.
These four regions are very different with each other, which enriches natural and ethnic Ecuador diversity.
In the coast of Ecuador you will find the beauty and warmth of its beaches, in the sierra will meet with the majestic avenue of volcanoes, in the Amazon you'll see the exoticism, and the Galapagos Islands will bewitch you.