Essential Info for Ecuador

Population: 16 million

Capital city: Quito

Neighbouring countries: Ecuador is bordered by Colombia to the north, Peru to the south and east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

Geography: Ecuador has four distinct geographical regions – the Galápagos Islands, the western coastal area (La Costa), the central highlands (La Sierra) and the Amazonian basin (El Oriente).

Political system: Unitary presidential constitutional republic

Major religions: Roman Catholicism

Main languages: Spanish

Money: Following a financial crisis and plummeting exchange rates, Ecuador officially changed its currency from the Ecuadorian sucre to the US dollar in 2000. ATMs are available all over the country. Expats may open a bank account with a local bank but extensive documentation is required.

Tipping: Tipping is appreciated but not necessarily expected.

Time: GMT -5

Electricity: 120V, 60Hz. Plugs have two or three flat blades.

Internet domain: .ec

International dialling code: +593

Emergency contacts: 911

Transport and driving: Public transport in Ecuador consists mainly of a bus system. Cars drive on the right-hand side of the road in Ecuador.