Fun Facts about Ecuador

Ecuador is Spanish for the equator that passes through the country. In Quito, you can go to a park where the line for the equator is marked. You can stand with one foot in the Northern Hemisphere and the other foot in the Southern Hemisphere for your photo.

North of the equator (in Quito) toilet water flushes clockwise. South of the equator (in Cuenca) toilet water flushes counter-clockwise. You have to see this to believe it and I saw it.

Ecuador celebrates two independence days. They were liberated from Spain on May 24, 1822 and from Gran Columbia on May 13, 1830.

Spanish is the main language spoken in Ecuador. However, Quechua (the language of the Incas) are other Amerindian languages are also spoken. The Incas did not have a written language. They kept records on quipus, cords with a series of knots. Today, Quechua is a written language. If you want to say "thank you", it is "yupaychani". (That's pronounced "you PIE chen ee".)

The currency of Ecuador used to be the Ecuadorian Sucre. But, in 2001 Ecuador switched to the US Dollar. However, it's not easy to spend larger bills, so bring a lot of $5.00 and $10.00 notes. One dollar coins, which are almost never seen in the US, are very commonly used in Ecuador.

The country is divided into four regions: 1. The Coastal Lowlands 2. The Andes Highlands 3. The Amazon region in the east and 4. The Galapagos Islands.

Quito, the capital of Ecuador, served as the northern capital of the Inca empire in the early sixteenth century.

Although you may consider a guinea pig to be a cute fuzzy pet, in Ecuador they are considered a delicacy. No thank you.

The world famous "Panama" hat is actually made in Ecuador. It got that name because it was popular during the construction of the Panama Canal.

The world's smallest orchid grows in Ecuador. Perhaps some of the 131 kinds of hummingbirds in Ecuador are happy about that. Also, a newly discovered gecko was discovered in Ecuador. A full grown adult can fit on the eraser of a pencil.

Ecuador has one of the world's greatest densities of volcanoes. Mount Chimborazo is the highest at 6,268 meters (20,565 feet). These mountains are so tall that you can see snow while at the equator.

Only two countries in South America, Ecuador and Chile, do not share a border with Brazil.

Copyright 2011 and 2012 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.