Most of the coastal region is lowland at an altitude of less than 300m
and there is only a hilly belt, which runs west from Guayaquil to the
coast and runs northwards.
In the extreme north you find a typical tropical rainforest with two
rainy seasons. The time of the rains merge into one as you continue
further south, running from December to June. The further south you go
the shorter the rainy season becomes and the dryer the country. The
southwestern coast near Peru and the Santa Elena Peninsula has little or
almost no rainfall. Also vegetation changes from the lush green in the
north to thorn and savannah in the south.
The shoreline offers long stretches of relatively unspoilt beaches,
lined with coconut trees. The cooler and drier central and southern
coast regions offer popular beach resort destinations like Mantanita,
Punta Blanca, Playas and Puntas Arenas. The beach of Los Frailes in the
Machalilla National Park is arguably the most perfect beach on South
America's Pacific coast.
Ecuador's main agricultural exports come from a small area of lowland to
the southeast and north of Guayaquil and from its foot of mountains
rising out of the plain. There, between the coastal hills and the Andes,
the annual rainfall, temperature and humidity is high, ideal for the
growth of tropical crops. In these Guayas lowlands, which get partly
flooded, you find bananas, rice, coffee, cocoa and sugar. Guayaquil is
Ecuador’s largest city and main port. It is more known as a commercial
centre than a vacation spot.
It is located astride the equator on the north-western coast of South
America. The Andean Sierras traverse the country north-south comprising
two major ranges (East and West Cordillera). The highest point is
Chimborazo at 6267m.
Climate : Tropical, Varies with altitude, though predominantly
hot and humid.
Capital Quito (pop. 1.1 million)
Population : 11.5 million, 57% in urban areas. Ethnic groups:
Indian 25%, Mestizo 55%, Spanish 10%, African 10%.
Language : Spanish (Official)