Essential Info for Ecuador

Population: 16.8 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 rapid devaluation of the Ecuadorian sucre, Ecuador officially changed its currency to the US dollar in 2001. ATMs are available all over the country. Expats may open a bank account with a local bank but extensive documentation is required.

Tipping: Service charges are usually already included in bills at restaurants, although an additional dollar or two may be given for exceptional service. Tipping is appreciated but not necessarily expected.

Time: GMT -5 and -6

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.

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