If Ecuador is on your list of countries to visit, you are in the right place, keep reading these 30 fun facts that will make you want to get on the first plane and tour this beautiful country.
1. Did you know that Ecuador is the country with the highest number of species of orchids?
There are 4,250 species of orchids and 1,301 are endemic to the country.
2. Did you know that Ecuador is on the world list of countries with the most volcanoes?
98 active and inactive volcanoes have been registered in the country. 31 of these volcanoes are potentially active and erupting, including the volcanoes in the Galapagos Islands.
3. Did you know that when Humboldt climbed Chimborazo, he thought he had reached the highest point on Earth?
While Chimborazo isn’t actually the highest mountain in the world, studies have shown that the Chimborazo volcano (with an elevation of 6,268 m) is the highest point in the world when measured from the center of the earth.
4. Did you know that “the most difficult train track to build” in the world, is located in Ecuador?
The construction of the Ecuadorian railway started with the Gabriel García Moreno’s government in 1861 and was completed by Eloy Alfaro in 1908. During the construction of the train, several people died due to the complex geography of the sector, hundreds of landslides, some dynamite explosions and a wide spread of diseases. This masterpiece of railway engineering was completed thanks to the Harman brothers, whose zigzag strategy allowed the tracks to climb the mountain we now know as “The Devil’s Nose.”
5. Did you know that 97% of the Galapagos Islands are national parks?
The Galapagos archipelago is perhaps one of the most biodiverse places on earth.
6. Did you know that Yasuni National Park is home to almost 10% of all the species on the planet?
At the heart of the Amazon, Yasuni National Reserve covers 9,820 square kilometers, or 3,792 square miles.
7. Did you know that Quito is the highest constitutional capital in the world?
Quito sits at 2,850 m above sea level! Even though La Paz in Bolivia is the highest city in South América, it is not the capital of the country (the capital of Bolivia is Sucre.)
8. Did you know that the Andean moorland ecosystem stores organic carbon in the soil, and also supplies and regulates water?
These ecological functions provide irrigation to the crops, and generate energy for domestic consumption. Without these ecosystems, the survival of millions of inhabitants would be at risk.
9. Did you know that the name “Sangay” (Sangay Volcano) comes from the indigenous word “Samkay” which means scare away?
Sangay perfectly cone-shaped crater makes it especially beautiful but its level of activity and remote location make the volcano almost inaccessible.
10. Did you know that the Polylepis tree, also known as a paper tree, can measure up to 15 meters?
Its bark also has medicinal properties that cure respiratory and kidney diseases.
11. Did you know? Recent scientific studies show evidence of the cultivation and consumption of cacao by Ecuadorian inhabitants more than 5.00 years ago.
The culture of cacao in Ecuador is ancient, the use and knowledge of it took place long time ago before the arrival of the Europeans.
12. Did you know that there are 14 indigenous nationalities in Ecuador?
All 14 indigenous nationalities of them are scattered throughout the three regions of the country.
13. Did you know that there are 11 National Parks and 51 protected areas in Ecuador?
14. Did you know that San Francisco Church has more than 3,500 artistic pieces from the colonial era?
It also has an extraordinary Franciscan library, with great cultural wealth and wide variety of artistic manifestations representative of the “Escuela Quiteña”.
15. Did you know that the “Devil’s Cauldron” is actually named Rio Verde or Green River Waterfall?
The name “Devil’s Cauldron” has become popular, but it isn’t the waterfall’s original name. Devil’s Cauldron was born as a result of the shape of the rocks that seem to resemble a devil’s face.
16. Did you know that Guaragua means picturesque or beautiful place in Kichwa?
You surely recognize the name “La Guaragua” because it appears in the famous song “El Chulla Quiteño,” paying homage to one of the most beloved neighborhoods in Quito. Artists, illustrators and politicians frequented this street, whose name changed to “Galápagos” Street in the nineties.
17. Did you know that the most famous artisanal fair in Ecuador takes place in Otavalo?
The Otavalo fair is world-renowned and visited by several tourists, both national and international. Two fundamental things make this fair attractive: its exceptional offer and its wide range of products that have preserved the Otavaleño craft and culture, despite the passing of time.
18. Did you know that the name of the Cayambe Volcano means “Mountain of the Sun” in Caranqui language?
Cayambe Volcano, located in the Eastern Cordillera of the Ecuadorian Andes, is the third highest volcano in Ecuador, with a height of 5,790 meters above sea level.
19. Did you know that hummingbirds are the only bird species that can fly backwards?
Hummingbirds or “Quindes” in Kichwa, are also the smallest birds in the world!
20. Did you know that the female condor only lays eggs every 18 months?
The Andean condor, emblematic bird of Ecuador, is currently in danger of extinction.
21. Did you know that Lojano coffee has an unparalleled attribute?
The soil on which it grows is unique, and can’t be compared to the soil anywhere else, giving this coffee a rich quality and taste.
22. Did you know that green marine turtles get their color from their diet based on algae?
You can spot marine turtles in the beaches of Galapagos during the month of January when they come to the sand in order to lay their eggs.
23. Did you know curvivies birds commit suicide at Lake Ozogoche?
It seems as if these birds are commiting suicide by diving into the lake, but there are other theories as to why these birds suddenly fall to the lake when flying above Ozogoche. They say it could be because they are tired from their migratory journey, and once they approach the lake to drink water, they feel weak, and fall to their death.
24. Did you know that giant manta rays travel long distances to mate in Ecuadorian waters?
Usually, this event occurs from the months of july to mid october.
25. Did you know that Mica lagoon sources more than 2,000 liters of vital water to the city of Quito?
Mica lagoon, located between the provinces of Pichincha and Napo, has marvelous landscapes showcasing mountain ranges and breezy paramos.
26. Did you know that almost 98% of the world’s Guayusa can be found in Ecuador?
Guayusa infusions have been consumed for more than 1,000 years by the indigenous people of Ecuador as an antioxidant and a source of energy.
27. Did you know that the Virgen del Panecillo or Virgen de Quito is the only virgin in the world with angel wings?
This 41-meter-high statue was made by the artist and sculptor Bernardo de Legarda. His work was inspired by chapter 12 of the Apocalypse.
28. Did you know that the Galapagos marine iguana is one of the few reptile species in the world that has managed to adapt to underwater life?
This peculiar creature of is able to submerge as deep as 30 feet inside the water to look for food, and has a great ability to swim and move in the water.
29. Did you know that the Andean Chocó Biosphere Reserve is home to over 300 species of trees?
The reserve of chocó is composed of 12 different types of forests, and each hectare of forest is capable of absorbing up to 250 tons of carbon, renewing the air we breathe!
30. Did you know that Frailejones can reach up to 7 meters high?
Andean frailejones are an endemic plant species of the paramo ecosystem. They grow at high altitudes of approximately 3,000 meters above sea level!