30+ Interesting Facts About Ecuador

  1. Ecuador is a small country in South America. The imaginary line of the equator passes through more than ten countries. However, Ecuador is the only country named after this line that bisects earth into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
  2. The majority population (around 70%) of Ecuador is composed of Mestizos (mixed European and Amerindian descent). It is one of the highest in South America.
  3. Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is the 2nd highest capital city in the world. It is located at an altitude of 9,350 feet above sea level. (Source)
  4. Galapagos Islands and the city of Quito (both in Ecuador) are two of the 12 earliest UNESCO World heritage sites. The UNESCO ID of these two sites is 1 and 2, respectively. (Source)
  5. In 2008, Ecuador became the first country in the world to recognize the rights of nature. This law makes the ecosystem the defendant.
  6. There are around 25,000 species of vascular plants in Ecuador. Comparatively, there are just 17,000 plant species in the continent of North America.
  7. Ecuador’s national tree, the cinchona, is known as a life-saving tree. It is native to Ecuador and its neighboring countries. It cures malaria with the natural substance quinine. It was the only cure for malaria before the synthetic production of quinine in laboratories.
  8. There is a monument in Ecuador to commemorate the equator. But there was an error in measuring the middle of the earth in the 18th Century. The GPS correctly pinpoints the equator, 240 meters north of the initial point. Now, there is a museum at the correct location of the equator. (Source)
    Monument in Ecuador to mark equator
    The monument to mark equator is at the wrong place

  9. Ecuador is the world’s largest exporter of bananas. It exports over 23% of bananas in the world. (Source)
  10. Ecuador is the world’s largest exporter of lumbar, mahogany, baboen, imbuia, and balsa wood. In 2020, the country exported more than $138 million worth of these woods. (Source)
  11. Ecuador is one of the four countries in South America (along with Colombia, Peru, and Chile) that borders the Pacific Ocean.
  12. In 2013, scientists discovered the first carnivorous mammals in the Western Hemisphere after 35 years. The place of discovery was in Ecuador. (Source)
  13. Ecuador abolished the death penalty in 1906. It makes this South American country one of the initial abolitionist countries. (Source)
  14. Ecuador achieved independence from Spain in 1822. However, the current republic of Ecuador came into being in 1830 after its separation from Gran Colombia.
  15. Quito Astronomical Observatory in Ecuador is the oldest astronomical observatory in South America and one of the oldest in the world. It was founded in 1873.
  16. Galapagos Islands played a vital role in developing the theory of evolution. Both Darwin and Lamarck based their evolution theories on their discoveries in Galapagos Islands.
  17. The Galapagos tortoise in Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) is the largest extant species of tortoise in the world.
  18. There are around 4,000 orchid species in Ecuador, one of the highest in the world. The country has the 3rd highest species density per area after Costa Rica and Panama. (Source)
  19. Ecuador is the 3rd largest exporter of flowers in the world. The share of this South American country in the worldwide export of flowers is 10%.
  20. Due to many endemic species, Ecuador is one of the 17 megadiverse countries. It is the biggest in terms of biodiversity per square km.
  21. Ecuador is one of the few countries with compulsory voting. It is mandatory for literate citizens between 18 and 65 years of age. Compulsory voting was enforced in 1936. (Source)
  22. Ecuador is one of few countries with a scientific research station in Antarctica. It built a summer scientific station in Antarctica in 1990. (Source)
  23. Mount Chimborazo (6,267 m) in Ecuador is considered the highest point on earth. It is because the earth is not perfectly spherical and has an equatorial bulge, making this mountain the farthest point from the earth’s center. (Source)
    Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador from west
    Mt. Chimborazo is the highest point on earth

  24. Cotopaxi (5,897 m) and Sangay (5,320 m) are the 3rd and 4th highest active volcanoes in the world. Both these volcanoes are in Ecuador. The world’s 8th highest active volcano, Galeras (4,083 m), is also present in Ecuador.
  25. Punk frogs in Ecuador are the first known vertebrates that can change the texture of their skin. Later, researchers also found another Ecuadorean frog with the same trait. Previously, this skill was only seen in cuttlefish, octopuses, and some other marine invertebrates. (Source)
  26. Ecuador is one of only two countries in South America (along with Chile) that doesn’t share a border with Brazil.
  27. The origin of the Panama hat is Ecuador. Spanish conquerors initially observed these hats during the 16th Century in Ecuador. (Source)
  28. Ecuador has five sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List. These include three cultural and two natural sites. (Source)
  29. Rosalia Arteaga was the first female president of Ecuador. However, she could govern for just two days, from 9th to 11th February 1997. (Source)
  30. Ecuador fought three wars against Peru in 1941, 1981, and 1995 over a border dispute. Peru remained victorious in all these wars. The border conflict ended in 1998 after arbitration by the USA, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile.
  31. Ecuador is one of the few independent countries and the only country in South America that use the US dollar as the national currency. (Source)
  32. Ecuador is the smallest Andean country. Other countries in this region are Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Chile, and Venezuela.

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