Ecuador is the smallest of the Andean countries. Despite its size (256.370 Km2), Ecuador is one of the most diverse countries (naturally and culturally) of the world. It lies on the Northern and Southern Hemispheres being divided by the Equatorial line, which gives the name to the country. Ecuador borders with only two countries: Colombia to the North and Peru to the South and East.
There are four natural regions: the Andean Range or Sierra, with its mountains (most of which are volcanoes) and valleys; the Pacific Coast, the Amazon Rainforest and the Galapagos Islands. In addition, Ecuador has a great variety of microclimates and ecosystems, each one with its particular weather conditions and vegetation.
The capital city is Quito, the second largest city in the country and one of the highest capitals in the world (2.800m/ 9,350ft). The great spring-like climate can be explained by the fact, that Quito lies only 22km south of the Equator. On a clear day several snow-capped volcanoes can be visible.
Ecuador has two official languages: Spanish and Quichua, the lingua of the Inca Empire.
The Andean Mountains, warm and cold marine currents and its position on the Equatorial line, give Ecuador the great diversity of microclimates and microhabitats, that fascinate every visitor. Instead of the four seasons Ecuador has only “wet” and “dry” seasons, and weather patterns also vary according to geographical regions.
The dry months are June through January; the wet season comes from February through May. However, the weather can be good or bad on any day of the year. The average of temperatures in Quito (where land most flights from Europe and United States) is 18 C during the day, all year round.
... that there are 61 volcanoes in Ecuador. All ten mountains over 5,000 meters are volcanoes and even the Galapagos Islands are volcanic. The origin of the Ecuadorian volcanoes and the whole Andes is the result of collision between the Nazca and the South American tectonic plates.
All the important volcanoes in Ecuador lie in the North, while in Peru the volcanoes appear in the South, close to the Bolivian border. Nine of the Ecuadorian volcanoes have erupted in the last 10,000 years, they are Cerro Negro, Soche, Cuicocha, Imbabura, Pululagua, Ninahuilca, Antizana, Sumaco and Chimborazo. In addition, eight of the Ecuadorian volcanoes have erupted in historic times, since the Spanish arrived in 1,532: Guagua Pichincha, Cayambe, Reventador, Chacana, Cotopaxi, Quilotoa, Tungurahua and Sangay.
21 volcanoes emerged from the Pacific Ocean forming the Galapagos Islands, eight of which have erupted in historic times.