For a country as small as the state of Colorado, Ecuador has a lot of fascinating facts to offer. From nature and culture to cuisine, music, architecture and heritage, Ecuador offers sights to behold for all those who are enthusiastic about traveling and exploring.
In this article, we will share a few mind blowing Ecuador facts that will have you planning your next trip there immediately. Let’s dive right in and take you through the wonderful trip that is Ecuador.
Facts about Ecuador
1. Literally the Middle of the World
The Equator is the central geographical boundary that divides the northern and southern hemisphere. The interesting thing about Ecuador is that it is named after this very line. The name ‘Ecuador’ is Spanish for the word ‘Equator.’ The equator runs through Ecuador making it the geographical middle of the globe.
There is a popular tourist site with a line representing the Equator. However, modern calculations have shown that the true equator is actually 240 meters north of that marked location, which makes for another fascinating fact about this wondrous country.
2. The Theory of Evolution came into inception here
In 1835, Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. He later mentioned that his visit to the Islands and the discoveries made there are what inspired his theory of evolution. In essence, Ecuador is the birthplace of one of the most revolutionary theories in science.
3. Ecuadorians speak more than 13 languages
Even though Spanish is the official language of the country, Ecuadorians are much more diverse in languages in reality. The country recognizes as many as 13 indigenous languages spoken by people in different parts of the country.
4. Record biodiversity per square kilometer
Did you know that Ecuador is one of the 17 megadiverse places on Earth? The interesting fact doesn’t just end here. Ecuador is also the most bio-diverse per square kilometer than any other place or country in the world.
5. Home of Bananas
Yes, you heard that right. Bananas are a staple fruit in Ecuador, and it is also the largest exporter of bananas in the world.
In 2011, as much as 29% of all the world’s banana exports were made by Ecuador. It is called the home of bananas because around 300 types of bananas grow here. So, if you’re ever in Ecuador, don’t forget to taste some of their banana varieties.
6. Closest to the moon, sun, and space
Even though Mount Everest is the tallest structure in the world, it is still not the closest to space, the moon, or the sun.
In fact, it is Mount Chimborazo in central Ecuador, also the equatorial bulge that is the closest to space. This is because the mountain is located on Earth’s Equator, making it the farthest point from the core of Earth.
So, if you want to be closest to space, the sun or the moon while staying on the planet, then you need to plan a hike up Mount Chimborazo soon. It is surely a sight to behold in this beautiful country.
7. The most birds per square kilometer
Did you know that Ecuador is also a paradise for enthusiastic birdwatchers? The country is considered the ultimate destination for birdwatchers as it is home to as many as 1632 different species.
Moreover, Ecuador holds the record for the most birds per square kilometer than any other country on the planet. So, if you’re a bird lover, this is the place for you to be.
8. First Country to give constitutional rights to nature
Ecuador is the first country in the world to give rights to nature in its constitution. In 2008, Ecuador officially recognized the rights of nature ‘to exist, persist, maintain, and regenerate its vital cycles.’
This means that nature is not simply considered as a property in the Ecuadorian constitution, but as an entity with rights of its own.
9. Rich History with Chocolate
Chocolate is a staple in Ecuador because its history with cacao runs deep. People in Ecuador have been consuming cacao for over 5000 years. It has also been used as an anti-inflammatory ingredient for thousands of years.
Some historians even believe that this might have been the place cacao originated thousands of years ago.
10. First UNESCO World Heritage Site
Did you know that Galapagos Islands were the first world heritage site designated by UNESCO because of its biodiversity and natural and heritage preservation? Quickly after that, Quito, which is also in Ecuador, became the second world heritage site due to its excellent heritage preservation.
11. Origin of Panama Hat
The famous Panama hat was in fact an invention of Ecuadorians who used to make and ship them to the Panama Canal for mass distribution. How interesting is it that the stylish cultural staple of Panama originated in Ecuador, right?
12. High Human to Phone Ratio
Another very interesting fact about Ecuador is that it has a surprisingly high human-to-phone ratio. Currently, this small country tops the charts for more phones than people. Although there is no study on why that is the case, it is a testament to how tech-savvy the Ecuadorians are.
13. Top Choice for Expats and Retired
Did you know that Ecuador was twice voted the best country for retirement and expats? Even today, it is in the top 10 countries with high quality of life, low cost of living and financial freedom. This is the reason why most people choose to spend their post-retirement life there or live as expats.
14. High Geothermal Activity
Ecuador is known for having one of the highest densities of geothermal activity of volcanoes in the world.
15. No Death Penalty
Ecuador is the first country in the world to abolish the death penalty. They took this huge step as early as the beginning of the 20th century.
16. Unique Geographical Divisions
Ecuador is divided into four unique geographical regions. La Costa is ‘the coast.’ La Sierra is ‘the highlands.’ La Amazonia or El Oriente is ‘the East.’ Finally, La Region Insular is the region with Galapagos Islands. Each region has its unique characteristics and offers high biodiversity.
17. US Dollar Currency
If you’re an American traveling to Ecuador, you don’t have to worry about currency exchange because Ecuador uses US dollars as its national currency. This has been the case since 2000, so you’ll see dollars all around.
18. Guinea Pig Gourmet
Ecuador’s famous delicacy is called the “cuy,” which is basically a roast of an entire guinea pig. So, don’t be surprised when you’re served some cuy at the local restaurants.
19. Mandatory Voting
In Ecuador, citizens above 18 years of age are mandated to vote. This means that they don’t have a choice to not participate in an election.
20. Consistent Daylight Hours across the Year
Another interesting thing about Ecuador is that the sun rises and sets at approximately the same time throughout the year. This means that the country has 12 hours of daylight consistently.
Check out this cool Ecuador travel guide video to prepare for your next trip there:
Top 10 Things to Do in Ecuador (Ecuador Travel Guide)
This list of top 10 things to do in Ecuador shows you the highlights of the country along the avenue of the volcanoes in the Andean region.
Ecuador is a beautiful country that offers biodiversity as well as cultural heritage. It needs to be on the list of all those who are enthusiastic about travel.
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Hi I’m Jay. I grew up in Seattle, Washington and live in Los Angeles, California. I have travelled to 23 countries so far and planning to go explore more countries soon! My Favorite trips so far have been to Israel, Japan, Rome, Iceland and Australia. I started this site to share my love of travel with everyone and build a community of like-minded, free thinking, free exploring people.