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Cotopaxi Volcano

  • Ecuador is a country that lays along the Pacific Ocean coastline in Northwestern South America.
  • It sits on the equator between Colombia to the northeast, and Peru to the south and east.
  • Spanish is the official language. English is widely spoken in hotels, restaurants and other businesses that cater to high-end travelers.
  • Ecuador’s capital is Quito, and its largest city is Guayaquil.
  • Cotopaxi, which is just south of Quito, features one of the world’s highest active volcanoes. The top of Mount Chimborazo (6,310 m above sea level) is considered to be the most distant point from the centre of the earth.
  • The majority of the population is Roman Catholic.
  • Ecuador follows the system of Presidential Republic.
  • The country is divided into four geographical regions, namely The Coastal Area (Litoral), The Andean Highlands (Sierra), The Amazon (Oriente) and The Galapagos Islands.
  • Ecuador is one of only two countries in South America that do not share a border with Brazil.
  • Ecuador is the smallest country in the Andean highlands.


  • What is now Ecuador formed part of the Northern Inca Empire until the Spanish defeat in 1533.
  • Quito became a seat of Spanish colonial government in 1563 and part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717.
  • The territories of Viceroyalty – New Granada (Columbia), Venezuela, and Quito gained their independence between 1819 and 1822. They formed a federation known as Gran Columbia.
  • Quito withdrew in 1830 and the name was changed to Republic of the Equator
  • Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors
  • A war with Peru started in 1995 and was resolved in 1999.


    • The second highest point in Ecuador is Cotopaxi, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world.
    • The term Ecuador means the equator in Spanish. In fact, the country has been named after equator, which passes through it.
    • Quito served as the capital of the northern half of the Inca Empire, in the early sixteenth century.
    • Ecuador was a part of the Inca Empire, before the arrival of the Spanish, in 1534.
    • Galapagos Islands make up the first National Park of Ecuador.
    • Majority of the balsa wood in the world comes from Ecuador.
    • Quinine, the first drug used to prevent and treat malaria, is obtained from the bark of the cinchona tree that grows in the Andes mountain range, in Ecuador and Peru.
    • Guinea pig is considered to be a delicacy in Ecuador.
    • Quito is said to have the most pleasant temperature in the world and has been given the name of the “Land of Eternal Spring”.

Avg. Costs


  • Internet cafes can be found nearly everywhere in the major cities and in many of the smaller ones. Cost is from $1 to $2 per hour in the large cities, and the better places have high-speed access.
  • Accommodation: Good value – Average cost: Less than $10. Quito more expensive.
  • Prices vary widely in Ecuador. Costs at upscale hotels and restaurants seem to be close, maybe 10% less, to what they would be in the United States. Outside of tourist areas, costs are much less. It is possible to get a meal at a clean restaurant for under $2US or to pay less than $10US for a clean but basic hotel room.

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Cuicocha Lake

  • Tourists should use common sense to ensure their safety.
  • Avoid problems by not flashing large amounts of money, not visiting areas near the Colombian border, staying away from civil disturbances and not using side streets in big cities at night.
  • Probably the biggest threat in most places is simple thievery: Belongings should not be left unguarded on the beach, and pickpockets can be found in some of the more crowded areas, and in bus terminals.
  • Hotel personnel are generally good sources of information about places that should be avoided.
  • You can always ask tourist police officers, police officers or in Tourist information center for the dangerous regions.
  • Travelers are urged to avoid solo hikes and to go in a large group for safety reasons.

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  • The climate is tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations
  • It is tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands.
  • It is mild year-round in the mountain valleys and humid in coastal and Rain Forests in lowlands.
  • The Pacific coastal area has a tropical climate, with a severe rainy season.
  • Because of its location at the equator, Ecuador experiences little variation in daylight hours during the course of a year.

Places to See


Galapagos Islands

  • An archipelago of volcanic islands distributed around the equator in the Pacific Ocean
  • Located 972 km (525 mi) west of continental Ecuador
  • Wildlife is its most notable feature.
  • The Galápagos Islands and its surrounding waters form an Ecuadorian province, a national park, and a biological marine reserve.
  • The principal language on the islands is Spanish.
  • The islands have a population of around 23,000.

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  • The third largest city in Ecuador by population, which totals 467,000.
  • It is the capital of the Azuay Province.
  • It is located in the highlands of Ecuador at about 2500 m above sea level.
  • The center of the city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Trust site because of its many historical buildings.

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  • The largest and the most populous city in Ecuador
  • The city is the capital of the Ecuadorian province of Guayas
  • Located on the western bank of the Guayas River, which flows into the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Guayaquil
  • Because of its location, the city is the center of Ecuador’s business and manufacturing industries.

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  • A stratovolcano in the Andes Mountains
  • Located about 28 km (17 mi) south of Quito
  • It is the second highest summit in the country, reaching a height of 5,897 m (19,347 ft)
  • Cotopaxi has an almost symmetrical cone that rises from a highland plain of about 3,800 metres (12,500 ft), with a width at its base of about 23 kilometres (14 mi).
  • It has one of the few equatorial glaciers in the world

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Sangay National Park

  • The park illustrates the entire spectrum of ecosystems, ranging from tropical rainforests to glaciers
  • Its isolation has encouraged the survival of indigenous species such as the mountain tapir and the Andean condor. The site is situated in the Cordillera Oriental region of the Andes in central Ecuador.
  • The park is dominated by three volcanoes, Tungurahua (5,016 m) and El Altar (5,139 m) to the north-west and Sangay (5,230 m) in the central section of the park.
  • Tungurahua and Sangay are both still active.
  • Sangay regularly ejects hot rocks and tephra
  • The last violent eruptions of Tungurahua occurred from 1916 to 1925
  • El Altar has an eroded and glaciated caldera and is considered extinct.
  • The park has three landscapes: alluvial fans, eastern foothills and the High Andes.

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Communication Etiquette:
• Most common greeting
– Handshake
– Direct eye contact
– Smile
• Always refer to people by their titles and surname
• Generally only close friends use first names
• Never arrive on time if invited to a home event
– Arrive 30 minutes late
• Don’t discuss business at a social event unless otherwise asked
• Wait until a toast to take a sip of your drink
– If you do not want anymore to drink leave your glass a quarter full
• They tend to stand much closer to each other when speaking
– Fair amount of touching during conversation
• They tend to be indirect communicators

Business Etiquette:
• They are known for being very warm and polite
– Can be very tactical
• Shake hands when arriving and leaving
– Man will extend his hand to a woman
• Business cards are exchanged upon first meeting
– Treat the cards with respect
• Maintain eye contact with your counter part
• Courteous to learn some of the Spanish phrases
– The top executives will probably be fluent in English

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