If you plan to travel to Ecuador, there is some basic information you need to know, from statistics to an overview of the economic and social situation in the country. Below we present a brief summary with the most frequent tourist’s questions about our country.
Ecuador is an independent Republic, free from armed conflict. Its type of Government is democratic representative. The current President is the social democrat Economist Rafael Correa Delgado and in Vice Presidency, Lenin Moreno Garcés; both of them are in these posts since 2007.
The Ecuador capital is Quito, but Guayaquil is considered the economic capital due to the fact that its sea port receives the majority of imports and exports. Cuenca is the third main city because of its cultural heritage.
Speaking about the location of the country, Ecuador is located on the North coast of the Pacific Ocean, in a relatively small area compared with neighboring countries, 256.000 km.²; This territory is divided into 24 provinces: Azuay, Bolívar, Cañar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Galapagos, Guayas, Imbabura, Loja, Los Ríos, Manabí, Morona-Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Pichincha, Santa Elena, Santo Domingo of the Tsachilas, Sucumbíos, Tungurahua and Zamora-Chinchipe.
The provinces are into one of the four natural regions: Coast, Sierra (mountain range), Amazon and Insular region. Because of this diversity of regions, there are different altitudes and climates. If you will travel to Ecuador is necessary to bring appropriate clothing and accessories for different altitudes and temperatures, like: dry tropical weather in the coast, Humid Subtropical climate in the Amazon, or the different climate floors in the Andean region ranging from temperate valleys with tropical temperature to mountains and Moors with temperatures below 0 °.
Menaces caused by natural disasters are rare. The most common natural phenomena are heavy rainfalls that can cause landslides, and floods in the coast region. Volcanic activity is not constant, and the active volcanoes constantly are under monitoring.
Carry on with geography, the mainly natural resources of Ecuador are: oil, minerals, agricultural products, marine products, and wood. Export products are: petroleum, bananas, shrimp, coffee, cocoa, flowers and fish.
Ecuador has approximately 13 million inhabitants. The birth rate is estimated at 21.54 births/1,000 people. The mortality rate is 4.21 deaths/1,000 people.
95% of the population practice the Catholic religion and 5% other religions.
The ethnic division of the population is as follows: mestizo 65%; Indigenous: 25%; Afroecuadorians: 3%; Other: 7%. Indigenous groups include more than 40 nationalities: Quechua, Huaorani, Shuar, Achuar, Cofán, Siona, Sequoia, Otavaleño, Tchátchilas (Colorado), Záparo, Salasaca, Cañaris, Saraguro and Chachi. The official language is the Spanish, and the native languages in official use for indigenous peoples are Quichua and Shuar.
Other basic information you need to know is the voltage: 120V / 60 Hz. in addition, remember that the telephone prefix, for calls from other countries to Ecuador, is 593, and radio prefix is HCA-HDZ. The time zone is – 5 GMT/UTC, five hours less of difference of the Prime Meridian, and Galapagos is an hour less than the continental Ecuador.
The official currency is the dollar, but you can change any currency at foreign currency exchange office or banks around the country.
All people who travel to Ecuador will need a valid passport except Colombians and Peruvians. They can enter with national identity card. Remember that very few countries require a visa to enter into Ecuador, but this situation varies, so be sure before your trip. For example, citizens of the European Union, United States, Argentina, and other Latin American countries do not need a visa to stay in the country for less than 90 days. If the stay in Ecuador will exceed three months, then you will need a visa.
Whit regard to food, the cheapest lunch you can find is $1.50, depending on the city in which you are, weekends options market are more varied. And if you are going to rent a vehicle for you mobilization remember to drive on right.
Finally, drinking water and basic services access coverage is 80% at national level.
In relation to communication and telephony, ‘ciber –cafés’ and telephone booths with national and international calls are common in Ecuador. You will find these points of service in all major cities.