Despite its small size compared with the other neighboring countries, Argentina and Brazil, Ecuador is home to many wonders, including the Amazon rainforest, picturesque colonial towns, the fragile yet alluring Galapagos Islands, and the spectacular peaks of the Andes.
Moreover, this country is even famous for its wildlife, natural beauty, language, culture, and many more that can impress numerous people around the globe.
Ecuador is also the first UNESCO Cultural Heritage City in the world. So, in this article, let us discuss some of the really interesting facts about this amazing country, Ecuador.
Interesting Ecuador facts
The Equator runs through this country.
An interesting fact about Ecuador is that the equator splits this country in two. The official name of Ecuador is “Republica del Ecuador,” or the Republic of the Equator. In fact, it is the only country on the planet officially named after a geographical feature.
Due to its location on the equator, Ecuador’s sunset and sunrise remain virtually the same throughout the year.
Here, the sun rises at 6 am and sets at 6 pm. Thus, it gets twelve hours of the day and twelve hours of the night.
The highest official capital city
Ecuador’s capital city, Quito, is located 2850 m above sea level, which makes it the highest official capital city on the planet.
Though La Paz, located in Bolivia, is higher, it didn’t get this title as it is not the constitutional capital and is only the seat of government.
The official language
Like many other South American countries, Ecuador’s official language is Spanish. However, many other pre-colonial languages are still used widely among its population.
Other than Spanish, some of the native languages are Shuar and Quechua. These languages are spoken by 2300,000 people out of its total population, 18200,000.
The first country to recognize the rights of nature
In 2008, this little country, Ecuador, was the first nation to recognize nature’s rights officially.
Instead of treating nature as property, this country recognizes that nature has constitutional rights and also the “right to persist, exist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles.”
Also, this country highlighted the government’s responsibility to protect nature.
Chocolate is a staple here.
In Ecuador, chocolate is a staple for most. With cacao being grown in Central and South America for many years, the history is deep and interesting, including the fact that cacao has been used for its anti-inflammatory properties in the past.
For more than 5000 years, chocolate has been consumed in this country. The country Ecuador might even be the originator of cacao.
This country was part of the Inca Empire.
Another interesting fact about Ecuador is that this country, though centered in Cusco and with the home base mainly in Peru, the Inca Empire stretched really long. Ecuador was one of those places.
Ecuador became a part of the famous Inca Empire in 1463; however, the indigenous people of this area didn’t surrender without a fight.
The tribes here were reasonably developed and also weren’t interested in being ruled by outsiders. Thus they fought really hard.
Here, the Spanish captured the Incan Emperor.
In 1533, the new emperor Atahualpa was ransomed, in which a “Ransom Room” was stacked with gold and silver; however, he wasn’t released.
The Spanish held a mock trial and then executed Atahualpa; hence, the rest of the Inca Empire fell. In 1822, Ecuador gained independence after a two-year war.
The first and second UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Ecuador has the first and second UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the world. At the inaugural UNESCO World Heritage Conference.
In 1978, about 32 sites were initially designated as every World Heritage Site has a number; the sites of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, and the city of Quito stand in first and second place, respectively.
Ecuador is an incredibly biodiverse country.
Another interesting fact about this country is that this country is home to a lot of species. It is one of the world’s 17 most biodiverse nations.
Also, it tops the world for the density of its biodiversity. For example, this country is home to tens of thousands of bird species alone, about 15% of the world’s bird species.
Also, here, you can find many endemic species. The Galapagos alone has 38. However, there are also 138 amphibians and 106 reptiles endemic to Ecuador.
Charles Darwin came here.
Charles Darwin visited this country’s Galapagos Islands in the year 1835, and his theory of revolution is largely based on the discoveries he made here, as Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world.
Looking at the various types of finches that lived in the Galapagos Islands, He had a moment of eureka when he saw their beaks were all specialized to what they needed to eat while living on that island.
The famous Galapagos
In Ecuador, you will find the famous Galapagos Islands. They are located around 1000 kilometers west of this country’s mainland in the Pacific Ocean.
These islands are biodiverse and incredibly famous for their endemic species, like the Galapagos penguin, the Galapagos iguana, and even the largest living tortoise, the Galapagos tortoise, which is only a few examples.
The world’s highest exporter of bananas
An interesting fact about Ecuador is that this country is famous for exporting bananas. In fact, this country is the world’s highest exporter of bananas.
It is possible that the banana you enjoy every day is from Ecuador. Though it might not be, it still has a high probability of being from this little country.
The very first female president
This little country, Ecuador, is famous for having the very first female president, Rosalie Arteaga, who only served for two days.
Also, in Ecuador, giving votes is mandatory for citizens aged between 18-65.
The tallest mountain in Ecuador is Mount Chimborazo
The summit of this mountain is 20,560 feet above sea level.
However, due to the shape of our planet, which is an oblate spheroid, not a sphere, and also being on the widest part of the world, the summit of Chimborazo is the furthest place you may possibly get from the center of the Earth.
There is a community of African Descent in Ecuador.
In the 17th century, a Jesuit slave ship bound for this country, Ecuador and ran around. Those on board were transported to be used as slaves, swam ashore, and then escaped through the jungle, led by their chief called Anton.
They maintained their freedom, and their descendants lived in the Chota Valley. This valley spans the Esmeraldas, Carchi, and Imbabura provinces.
Popular street food of Ecuador
A fun fact about this country is that its popular food is Hornado, which is pork. In fact, it is a pig cooked whole on a spit, served with fried potato pancakes or IIapingacho and corn, along with some vegetables on the side as well.
There are some other types of street food in Ecuador as well, such as refried plantains or patacones and even goat stew or seco de chivo.
Another popular food here is ‘cue’, which is a local dish made with guinea pigs.
Pasillo: The ‘National Genre of Music
Pasillo blends Latin and indigenous musical traditions with mixed European flavors. This unique music has a nostalgic, broken-hearted feeling, often describing the country’s beauty.
Pasillo is still popular today, and villages and towns across Ecuador have their own take on this music, as well as unique dances to go with it.
Ecuador, an exporter of crude oils
Ecuador has a lot of oil, and hence, oil is a significant part of the economy of this country. Ecuador produces 520,000 barrels of oil daily; however, much of it goes to the USA.
It was partly the impact and actions of the oil industry that made Ecuador recognize the rights of nature. Also, almost 40% of this country’s exports consist of crude oil.
It has a very tall volcano.
Cotopaxi is not only the second-highest peak in Ecuador but also one of the tallest volcanos on the planet, with a height of 19,347 ft.
Thus, it can be like an Ecuadorian Fuji. In the last 50 years, this volcano erupted more than 50 times, which is actually more than one eruption per year.
The work of Jacinto Collahuazo
The 1600s was a time in which the native ‘language’ called quipu, which included the art of talking via knots, was banned by the Spanish.
The chief of a village in Ibarra, Jacinto Collahuazo, taught himself to write and then decided to record Inca stories in the Quechua language.
However, he was imprisoned, and his works were found and burned. Centuries later, a manuscript written by Collahuazo was found by masons in the walls of a church in Quito.
It depicted the Inca people’s sorrow due to the execution of their emperor, Atahualpa.
The Flag of Ecuador
Ecuador’s flag features the coat of arms of this country. The design of this flag includes a shield, a condor, a river, a sun, a steamship, a wreath, fasces, and hanging flags.
The official currency of Ecuador
Even though Ecuador is not within the US territory, this country’s official currency is still the US dollar.
In 2000, a bill was signed, making the US dollar the country’s main currency. It successfully replaced the sucre, 25000 of which actually has a worth similar to just $1.
The national fruit of Ecuador
The national fruit of Ecuador is called the guanabana, which is a green, spiky, sour fruit, also known as a “soursop” in English.
However, Ecuador, being a tropical country with a good amount of volcanic soil, is pretty well-suited to grow different kinds of tasty fruits.
Some of those are mangos, avocados, plums, yellow-colored dragon fruit or pitahaya, and even more which is fruit like a blackberry.
So, Ecuador is an amazing country with all its historical facts, beautiful nature, interesting wildlife, and many more.
At the end of this article, we have learned 23 interesting facts about Ecuador that offer us a clear picture of this little but unique country. To get some additional amazing facts, you can see our website.
I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for creating engaging and educational activities for children. I strongly understand child development and know how to create activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.