Getting there: Most direct flights to Ecuador’s international airports in Quito: Mariscal Sucre Airport (UIO) and Guayaquil: Jose Joaquin De Olmedo Airport (GYE), are from Latin America supplemented by direct flights from Miami, Houston, Newark and New York in the United States and Madrid and Amsterdam in Europe.
Capital city: Quito.
Population: 16.34 million.
Religion: Roman Catholic.
Currency: United States Dollar (USD).
Climate: There is no real summer and winter in Ecuador but it has four micro-climatic zones, varying by altitude and proximity to the equator. The coastal lowlands are tropical, hot and humid with a rainy season from December to April. The mountainous sierra in the middle of the country is the coolest region, with chilly nights yet still has warm days. The Amazonian rainforest region is hot, humid and has rainfall throughout the year. The Galápagos Islands despite being almost on the equator have a pleasant climate due to the cool waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Transport: Taxis and buses are available in the cities as well as between them. In rural areas, camionetas (pickup trucks) act as taxis.
Best time to travel: This will vary according to the region visited. The coast is warmest from December to May but is the soggiest time for the Amazon jungle. For hiking in the Andes, April to November will be drier but also cooler. December to May is the warmest period with best visibility for diving in the Galápagos.
What to wear: Clothing will vary depending on the region and the activities undertaken e.g. climbing Cotopaxi, visiting Galapagos or trekking the eastern Amazon rainforest provinces. Pack for the climate of the region and nothing too formal.