283,560 sq km (109, 483 sq mi)
Population (2009 est.):
Capital (2003 est.):
Quito - 1,780,700 (metro. area)
Guayaquil - 2,597,600 (metro. area); Cuenca - 285,700
Spanish (official), Quichua (Kichwa), other Amerindian languages
Roman Catholic 95%
GMT-5; Galapagos Islands: GMT-6; DST is not observed
AC 120V/60Hz; standard American plugs are used (two flat blades with or without a third round grounding pin)
Ecuador is situated on the Pacific Ocean, in the northwest part of South America. The country is borders Colombia to the north and Peru to the east and south. The Galapagos Islands (Colón Archipelago) in the Pacific Ocean, lying about 970 km (603 mi) west of the South American coast, are also part of Ecuador.
Ecuador lies on both sides of the equator and it comprises three mainland regions and one offshore region:
- Amazon rainforest (La Amazonía, or El Oriente) - low populated jungle that makes up 36% of the country's area,
- Andean highlands (La Sierra) - dominated by two very high mountain rages of the Andes, running from north to south in the center of Ecuador; the mountains include tall volcanic peaks, with the world's tallest volcano, the Cotopaxi (5,897 m / 19,347 ft), located 45 km (28 mi) from Quito; La Sierra also includes the highest peak of Ecuador, Chimborazo, at 6,272 m (20,577 ft),
- Coastal lowlands (La Costa), on the west, with the Pacific coastline,
- Región Insular, which includes the Galapagos Islands.