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Traveling in Ecuador

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Location: Ecuador is a multicultural and multiethnic South American country located on the Equator. Ecuador has territories in both the Northern and the Southern hemispheres.

Area: 256,370 square kilometers

Boundaries: Ecuador borders Colombia to the north and shares a border with Peru to the south and to the east. It borders the Pacific Ocean on the west.

Population: Approximately 12.6 million inhabitants. Of these, 44% live in the highlands, 52% live on the Pacific coast, 5% live in the Amazon region and nearly seventeen thousand live in the Galapagos Islands.

Capital: Quito. It is the political heart of Ecuador. Quito has approximately 1.8 million inhabitants.

Language: The official language is Spanish. Quechua is also spoken in areas with large indigenous populations. English is spoken in the majority of tourist locations such as hotels, museums, travel agencies and Spanish schools.

Currency: The currency is the United States dollar. The majority of tourist locations accept traveler's checks, American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Diners Club credit cards.

Religion: The Roman Catholic religion predominates, making up 95% of the population.

Time difference: Ecuadorian time is UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) – 5 hours. To put that into perspective, Great Britain is UTC + 1 hour in the summer.

Climate: The diversity of the four regions has given rise to the evolution of thousands of species of flora and fauna, all of which now thrive in a variety of diverse ecosystems. Due to geographic differences in altitude and the climatic effects of the Pacific Ocean, the Andes, and the Amazon, various regions of Ecuador have very different climates and microclimates. It is possible to enjoy a variety of adventure sports - from diving, to mountain climbing, rafting, to mountain biking – all while in beautiful Ecuador. The temperature varies between 12 and 35 degrees centigrade.

Government: Democracy

Economic Profile: Petroleum has been the main source of foreign trade for the country since the seventies. Other products of economic importance to the country are bananas, coffee, cocoa, shrimp, tuna, and, more recently, flowers. Ecuador has a vast array of natural riches.

Tourism: Tourism is Ecuador's fourth most important export in terms of income. Approximately 500,000 visitors visit Ecuador per year (last 3 years average).

Visas: Citizens of the following countries require a visa to enter Ecuador: Algeria, Bangladesh, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, North and South Korea, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Vietnam, and Yemen. Travelers should have their passports with them during their stay in Ecuador to avoid problems with any authorities that may want to see them. Visitors can stay up to 90 days as a tourist in Ecuador without a visa (except the above mentioned nationalities). Those who wish to stay in the country longer than 90 days have to fill out the corresponding paperwork at an Ecuadorian Consulate.

Safety information: Drink only bottled water rather than water from the tap. Tap water can give visitors stomach problems. Do not forget to reconfirm your international flight at least 72 hours before departure. Be careful with your belongings, especially in places where there are a lot of people (airports, bus stations, etc.). Always keep at least a copy of your passport with you. Keep all important documents and money in a secure place at your hotel or home stay.

The Ministry of Education and Culture of Ecuador, South American Explorers members, and the principal travel guidebooks in the world consider this school to be one of the most prestigious and recommended Spanish Schools in Ecuador and Latin America. Our thousands of former students are our best advertisement.

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