Religion in Ecuador
The majority of the believing population of Ecuador are Catholics (98%), about 1% are Protestants, and many Indians profess the ancient religion of the Incas and animistic cults.
Transport in Ecuador
The best way to get to Ecuador is by plane with transfers in cities in the United States or the Caribbean. International airports are located in Quito and Guayaquil. You can also get to Ecuador from Peru or Colombia by bus.
The country has a well-developed network of domestic airlines, there are airports in 20 cities. In addition, it is very convenient to travel by bus, the railway communication is also developed, the main routes pass through the highlands and canyons. Inside cities, it is best to use taxi services that are equipped with meters.
You can rent a car if you have an international driver’s license and a credit card.
Plant and Animal World in Ecuador
The plant world has a huge number of species. The slopes of the Andes are covered with forests, the type of vegetation in them depends on the height of the terrain. Below 2000 m, evergreen trees up to 50 m high prevail, higher on the slopes – lianas, epiphytic orchids, parasitic plants, ferns and shrubs, above 3500 m – turf grasses and resinous shrubs, and at an altitude of 4500 m bare rocks and eternal snows begin. Now most of the western slopes of the Andes are occupied by plantations of bananas, palm trees and cocoa. Closer to the deserts of Peru, xerophytic vegetation begins with cacti and crotons, and the palo de balsa tree grows here with the lightest wood from which Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon Tiki raft was built. In the high Andes, paramos grows – herbaceous plants such as espeletia or fraillechon, they can reach a height of 6 meters.
Typical inhabitants of paramos are mountain tapir, small deer (northern pudu), spectacled bear. In addition, large animals such as the jaguar, puma, wild cat, monkeys, and smaller animals – weasel, otter, skunk, raccoon, tayra, grison, kinkajou and coati live on the territory of Ecuador. Of the birds, tanagers, all kinds of parrots, toucans and hummingbirds can be distinguished, pigeons and woodpeckers are also found. The world of reptiles is diverse – frogs, toads, turtles, crocodiles, lizards and snakes. But the most interesting flora and fauna in the Galapagos Islands. Under conditions of isolation, the most incredible species of animals have been preserved here – ground finches, marine iguana (a giant reptile more than a meter long), terrestrial iguana, more than 15 species of turtles. Dolphins and whales live in the coastal waters of the Galapagos Islands,
Minerals in Ecuador
The main wealth of Ecuador is oil, which is extracted mainly from the plains of the Amazon. There are also reserves of gold and natural gas.
Banks in Ecuador
Banks are open on weekdays from 09:00 to 18:30 with a lunch break from 13:30 to 14:30. Exchange offices are open on weekdays from 09:00 to 18:00 and on Saturdays from 09:00 to 12:00.
Money in Ecuador
Until 2000, the national currency of Ecuador was the Ecuadorian sucre, but since September 12, 2000, it was canceled and the US dollar became the state currency of Ecuador. The type of banknotes remains unchanged, and the coins will have the same denomination and weight as the American ones, but they will look a little different.
Currency can be changed at banks and airports. Many tourist centers accept credit cards and traveler’s checks, but traveler’s checks are best purchased in US dollars.
Currency: US dollar (USD)
Political State in Ecuador
Since 1998, Ecuador has been an independent democratic republic. According to politicsezine, the head of state is the president, who is directly elected for a term of 4 years. Legislative power is in the hands of Parliament – the National Congress.
Population in Ecuador
Mestizos make up 41% of the population, Indians (Runa, Jivaro, Achuara, Kofan, Siona, Sekoya and Auka) – 39%, blacks – 5%, Europeans and Creoles -15%.
The official language of Ecuador is Spanish, and many locals continue to speak Indian dialects of Quechua, Jibaro, Kofai Aushiri, Canelo and Saparo.
Cuisine in Ecuador
The cuisine of Ecuador is not similar to the Spanish one; the Indian tribes that lived here since ancient times had the greatest influence on it. All sorts of soups are very popular. The first is usually served with soup “locro” with cheese, avocado and potatoes, chicken soup “caldo de gallina”, “chupe de pescado” from fish and vegetables, specific potato soup “jaguarlocro” with blood or broth “caldo- de pata” with fried veal hooves.
Of the meat dishes, the most popular are “cuy” (fried guinea pig meat, roast suckling pig “lechon”, fried pork “fritada” in lard, baked pork “hornado”, “lomo” steak and beef steak with onions and tomatoes “lomo- saltado”, stewed with rice and avocado chicken “seco de pollo” and fried or stewed carcass of a goat “seco de chivo”. Buttered green Patacones bananas with salt, or Chifles banana slices, rice, potatoes, yams and cassava.
Seafood dishes are very diverse. This is ceviche (raw seafood marinated in lime juice and hot peppers, encosados fish with coconut milk, tomato and garlic sauce, levanta muerto seafood soup, spicy seafood soup supe de mariscos and “sorvina” sea bass. As in any southern country, fruit is served for dessert, as well as sweet corn “humitas”, sweet biscuits and pancakes.
Freshly squeezed fruit juices and herbal teas are most often drunk from drinks. The coffee here is not of very good quality. Local alcoholic drinks – beer “Pilsner”, “Club” and “Biela”, “pisco” or “canelazo” from sugar cane, lemon, sugar and cinnamon and infusion of yucca “chicha”.