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General Information

Full country name: Republic of Ecuador
Area:
283,520 sq. km. (175,780 sq. mi.)
Population:
12,920,092 (growth rate: 2.1%)
Capital city:
Quito (pop 1.5 million)

*People
Language: Spanish, Quechua, other indigenous languages
Religion:
Over 90% Roman Catholic, small minority of other Christian denominations
Racial breakdown: 40%
Mestizo, 40% Indian, 15% Spanish descent, 5% African descent
Age breakdown:
0-14 years: 35% (male 2,250,690; female 2,172,302) 15-64 years 60% (male 3,745,390; female 3,833,841) 65 years and over: 5% (male 261,090; female 299,183) (1999)
Population density:
42 people per sq. km. (one of the highest in South America)
Population growth rate: 2%
Birth rate:
22.26 births /1,000 population (1999)
Death rate: 5.06 deaths /1,000 population (1999)

*Political and Economical
Government:
Democracy
President:
Lucio Gutierrez
GDP:
US$58.7 billion
GDP per person:
US$4,800
Legislative branch:
The National Congress has 82 seats
Independance:
Gained independance from Spain, 24 may 1822
Administrative divisions:
Ecuador has 22 provinces: Coast: Guayas, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Los Ríos and Manabí. Highlands: Azuay, Bolívar, Cañar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, Imbabura, Loja, Tungurahua and Pichincha. Rainforest: Morona-Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Sucumbíos and Zamora-Chinchipe.Galápagos Islands: Galápagos Archipielago de Colón
Inflation:
43%
Major trading partners:
US, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Caribbean
Major industries:
Oil, bananas, shrimp, fish, coffee, textiles, metal work, paper products, wood products, chemicals, plastics, fishing, lumber.

* Miscellaneous
Time:
GMT/UTC minus 5 hours
Electricity :
10/120V AC 60 Hz
Int. Dialing Code :
Country 593, Quito 02, Guayaquíl 04, Cuenca 07
Driving license: International driving license is required.
Weight and Measurement :
Metric system
National Anthem :
Written by Antonio Neumane and considered one of the best written (music and lyrics in the world). Click here to read the lyrics in Spanish and English.
Food: There is a really wide selection of foods here, but you have to try some of the local dishes. Click here for more info about the food in Ecuador.
Driving Distances: Click here to see a table of driving distances between 20 cities in Ecuador.

* Health Risks
No innoculations are required for entry. However, it is reccomended to get vaccinations for hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and there is a minor risk of cholera and rabies. It is strongly recommended to get a yellow fever vaccination if you plan to visit the rainforest during rainy season.

* Taxes and Surcharges

  • No domestic departure taxes.
  • Airport Departure Tax, US$25 dollars is charged for international flights departing from Ecuador but there is no departure tax for flights within the country.
  • Most packages tour have already included hotel taxes (12%) and service charges (10%).
  • Galapagos Park tax US$ 80 Other National Parks tax US$ 20 except for the following: El Angel, Pululahua, Cotopaxi, Boliche, Chimborazo and Cajas which charge US$ 10.

* Passports
Always carry your passport while travelling on a bus to another city in Ecuador, as military and police check points are semi-frequent and sometimes there could be trouble if you are caught without your documents. However, if you are staying in Quito, Guayaquil or another large city for an extended period, it is reccommended that you carry only a copy of your passport. For a reasonable fee most foreign embassies provide their citizens with an "official" copy of their passport that is recognized by Ecuadorian law. Check with your embassy or consulate for details. Also, report lost or stolen passports immediately to your embassy or consulate.

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