Ecuador

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Additional Information
Capital Quito
Currency USD
Timezone America/Guayaquil
Total States 24 provinces
Airport City Mariscal Sucre International Airport, José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport, Seymour Airport, Eloy Alfaro International Airport, Mariscal Sucre International Airport
Ruling Type Government
Offical Languages Spanish, Kichwa, Shuar, Spanish,
National Animal Andean condor
Food Arroz con pollo, Ceviche, Tripe
Seasons Autumn  : Mar - Jun
Summer : Dec - Mar
Winter     : Jun - Sep
Sprint      : Sep - Dec


Destination



1 ) Guayaquil
Popular - Metropolitan City     Location - Guayaquil, -Guayas, -Ecuador

Guayaquil  officially Santiago de Guayaquil, is the largest city in Ecuador. It is also the nation's main port. The city is the capital of Guayas Province and the seat of Guayaquil canton.

The city is located on the west bank of the Guayas River, which flows into the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Guayaquil.

Guayaquil was founded on July 25, 1538 with the name Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de Santiago de Guayaquil (Most Noble and Most Loyal City of Santiago of Guayaquil) by Spanish conqueror Francisco de Orellana. Even before it was founded by the Spaniards, it already existed as a native village.

In 1687, Guayaquil was attacked and looted by English and French pirates under the command of George d'Hout (English) and Picard and Groniet (French). Of more than 260 pirates, 35 died and 46 were wounded; 75 defenders of the city died and more than 100 were wounded.

In 1709, the English captains Woodes Rogers, Etienne Courtney, and William Dampier, along with a crew of 110, looted Guayaquil and demanded ransom; however, they suddenly departed without collecting the ransom after an epidemic of yellow fever broke out.

In colonial times Guayaquil was the chief Spanish shipyard in the Pacific, yet some navigators expressed that Valdivia had better conditions.


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2 ) Quito
Popular - High Tech City     Location - Quito, -Pichincha, -Ecuador

Quito formally is the capital of Ecuador, and at an elevation of 2,850 metres (9,350 ft) above sea level, it is the second highest official capital city in the world, after La Paz, and the one which is closest to the equator.It is located in the Guayllabamba river basin, on the eastern slopes of Pichincha, an active stratovolcano in the Andes Mountains.

In 2008, the city was designated as the headquarters of the Union of South American Nations.

The historic center of Quito has one of the largest, least-altered and best-preserved historic centers in the Americas.  Quito and Kraków, Poland, were among the first World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO, in 1978.The central square of Quito is located about 25 kilometres (16 mi) south of the equator; the city itself extends to within about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) of zero latitude. A monument and museum marking the general location of the equator is known locally as la mitad del mundo (the middle of the world), to avoid confusion, as the word ecuador is Spanish for equator.

The oldest traces of human presence in Quito were excavated by the American archaeologist Robert E. Bell in 1960 on the slopes of the Ilaló volcano, located between the eastern valleys of Los Chillos and Tumbaco. Hunter-gatherers left tools made of obsidian glass dated back to 8000 BC. The archaeological site herein designated by the name of EI Inga was brought to the attention of Bell by Allen Graffham. While employed as a geologist in Ecuador, Mr. Graffham followed his amateur archaeological interest, and he made surface collections at the site during 1956. The discovery of projectile points, particularly specimens exhibiting basal fluting, stimulated his interest, and several visits were made to the site for collecting surface materials. Graffham's previous interest in Paleo-Indian remains and his experience with early man materials found in Kansas and Nebraska in the Central Plains led him to believe that the site was an important discovery.


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3 ) Cuenca
Popular - Architecture     Location - Cuenca, -Azuay, -Ecuador

Santa Ana de los Cuatro Ríos de Cuenca, commonly referred as Cuenca, is the capital and largest city of the Azuay Province of Ecuador. Cuenca is located in the highlands of Ecuador at about 2,560 metres (8,400 feet) above sea level, with an urban population of approximately 329,928 and 661,685 inhabitants in the larger metropolitan area. The center of the city is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its many historical buildings

According to studies and archeological discoveries, the origins of the first inhabitants go back to the year 8060 BC in the Cave of Chopsi. They were hunters, hunting everything the Páramo offered them, and nomads, following the animals and seasons. Their culture is represented by tools such as arrows and spears, which have been found throughout the Andean valley. The culture was most present about 5585 BC.

Later the early indigenous people used the stable climate, fertile soil and abundant water to develop agriculture. They grew potatoes, melloco, chocho, squash and quinoa. They also domesticated animals such as cuys (guinea pigs) and camelids: llamas and alpacas.

Their technology was also advanced. For example, they started creating ceramics. In fact, ceramics constitute the greatest number of artifacts which archeologists use to study their culture. The period from 5000 BCE to 2000 BCE is not represented well in the archeological record. Beginning around 2000 BCE, the people developed a more highly organized society, demonstrating delegated responsibilities, such as the managing of water and control of plagues. People were specialized as administrative and religious authorities (known as shamans). This occurred during the periods of Chaullabamba, Huayco, Pirincay, Monjas, Putushio, Huancarcucho and Jubones. From then until 500 AD began the periods of Tacalshapa III and the Cañari people, who were absorbed into the Incas in the 15th century


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4 ) Santo Domingo De Los Colorados
Popular - Temple / Church / Mosque     Location - Santo Domingo De Los Colorados, -Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas, -Ecuador

Santo Domingo de los Coloradossimply referred to as Santo Domingo, is a city and seat of the canton that bears its name. It is the fourth most populous city in Ecuador with a population of over 305,000, is an important commercial and industrial center, and serves as the capital of the Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas Province.

The name, "de los Colorados", refers to a local ethnic group, the Tsáchila, and the custom of men in that tribe to dye their hair with extract of the achiote plant; hence "Santo Dominigo de los Colorados" or "Santo Domingo of the Dyed." This group, which is indigenous to the area, is recognised with a substantial statue near the town center.

In c1936, Sr. Mario Borja, a surveyor and civil engineer for the government of Ecuador, son of Senator-General Philemon Borja, was hired to survey a road from Quito to a settlement within the Tsachila community. After several months, the survey crew arrived at a settlement at the Tuacha River. Mario Borja, as delegate to the Ecuadorian government, officially founded the town of Santo Domingo del Los Colorados and designed the town center.

Santo Domingo is located approximately 133 km west of Quito at an altitude of 625 m. Santo Domingo lies in the foothills west of the Andes. It is important stopping point on the road from Quito to the Pacific coast. The city also connects other lowland cities like Quevedo, Chone, and Quinindé.

The city is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santo Domingo de los Colorados.


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5 ) Machala
Popular - Food     Location - Machala, -El Oro, -Ecuador

Machala is a city in south-west Ecuador. It is the capital of the El Oro Province, and is located near the Gulf of Guayaquil on fertile lowlands. Machala has a population of 241,606 (2010 census); it is the fourth-biggest city in the country, and the second-most important port. It has been referred to as the Banana Capital of the World.

Machala is a commercial center for the surrounding agriculture industries. There is a large trade in bananas, coffee and cocoa. The banana industry is especially oriented for exportation, and plays a huge role in the city's economy. Bananas are shipped out from nearby Puerto Bolívar mainly to North America. Machala's geographical position near Guayaquil also makes it an important transportation center. Many travelers heading south to Peru or north to Guayaquil funnel through the city. It is not known as a tourist destination among Ecuadorians or international tourists, though its proximity to the Pacific Ocean positions it close to beaches. Machala has a growing economy that was marked in 2007 by the inauguration of its first mall, with a movie theater, on the outskirts of the city.

The center of Machala is dominated by a large Catholic church and a central plaza. The plaza was built in the early 2000s to include a large fountain. There are many hotels situated in the center of the city. Las Brisas, located nearly a mile from the central plaza, is another popular place in Machala; it is a wealthier neighborhood which used to serve as a popular hangout for local teenagers. But the remodeling of La Zona Rosa, as well as the decreased safety of the area, have led to its becoming less popular.


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6 ) Duran
Popular - High Tech City     Location - Duran, -Guayas, -Ecuador

Durán, is a canton located in the province of Guayas, Ecuador, near the confluence of the Daule & Babahoyo rivers, where the Guayas River enters the ocean. Its township or capital is Eloy Alfaro. The canton was created in 1986 during the presidential period of Leon Febres Cordero through a presidential decree. The name "Eloy Alfaro" was chosen because of the Ecuadorian ex-president Eloy Alfaro Delgado. According to the National census in 2010, there are 235,769 people residing within the canton limits. Many of its inhabitants commute to other places for work and it can be considered a "dormitory town". However, many people who live in Durán find work within the canton by opening "comedores" or small restaurants, selling produce at the market, or even opening little stores with basic produce and house necessities. The towns Durán, Samborondón, and Guayaquil are connected by the bridge Rafael Mendoza Avilés.

Durán is also well known for being the first railroad hub in Ecuador. Since July 2007, a government program for the railroad reactivation began as well as the railroad connecting Duran with other cities located in the highlands of Ecuador.

Durán is also well known for being the first railroad hub in Ecuador. Since July 2007, a government program for the railroad reactivation began as well as the railroad connecting Duran with other cities located in the highlands of Ecuador.


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7 ) Manta
Popular - Beach     Location - Manta, -Manabi, -Ecuador

Manta is a mid-sized city in Manabí Province, Ecuador. It is the second most populous city in the province, the fifth most populous in the country. Manta has existed since Pre-Columbian times. It was a trading post for the Mantas. According to the 2001 census, the city had 192,322 inhabitants. Its main economic activity is tuna fishing. Other economic activities include tourism and a chemical industry with products from cleaning supplies to oils and margarine.

Manta possesses the largest seaport in Ecuador. The port was used by Charles Marie de La Condamine upon his arrival in Ecuador when leading the French mission to measure the location of the equator in 1735. From Manta, Condamine started his trip inland towards Quito.

Manta has an international airport, Eloy Alfaro International Airport with passenger airline service, and an important military base (known as Manta Air Base or Eloy Alfaro Air Base). Between 1999-2009 Manta Air Base was used by U.S. air forces to support anti-narcotics military operations and surveillance flights against Colombian drug trafficking cartels. The lease was not renewed by the Ecuadorean government.

Manta is recognized thanks to its international film festival featuring groups from different places in the world. The Ecuadorian actor Carlos Valencia, once invited to Cannes Film Festival for his performance in Ratas Ratones y Rateros (1999) directed by Sebastián Cordero, who was born in the capital city of Quito.


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8 ) Ibarra
Popular - Cane Sugar Production     Location - Ibarra, -Imbabura, -Ecuador

Ibarra   is a city in northern Ecuador and the capital of the Imbabura Province. It lies at the foot of the Imbabura Volcano and on the left bank of the Tahuando river. It is about 70 kilometres (43 mi) northeast of Ecuador's capital Quito.

Ibarra was founded in 1606 by order of the President of the Royal Audience of Quito, Miguel de Ibarra. The development of the city included the systematic construction of public buildings including an important number of churches but an earthquake in 1868 destroyed most of them. After the devastating earthquake of August 16 1868 the city was re-settled in 1872. Based on its newest date of foundation, Ibarra is the youngest city in Ecuador.[citation needed] The Inca ruler Atahualpa is said to have been born in the Inca settlement of Inca-Caranqui about 2 km from the city.

Helados de paila (handmade ice cream or sorbet and still sold in the markets today) was first made in Ibarra during Incan times (but not by Incas; by the native indigenous), using snow or ice from the nearby Imbabura Volcano (which is no longer snow bound). Using a large bronze pan surrounded by ice shavings, the juices of various fruits are stirred into the pan to freeze.

Today, Ibarra is a market town popular with tourists. It has mild weather, colonial white-washed houses (giving it the nickname The White City), and cobbled streets.[1] The Santo Domingo church houses a museum holding paintings. The town is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ibarra.


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9 ) Loja
Popular - Music     Location - Loja, -Loja, -Ecuador

Loja  Loxa and fully City of the Immaculate Conception of Loja (Spanish: Ciudad de la Inmaculada Concepción de Loja), is the capital of Ecuador's Loja Province. It is located in the Cuxibamba valley in the south of the country, sharing borders with the provinces of Zamora-Chinchipe and El Oro, and with Peru in the south. Loja holds a rich tradition in the arts, and for this reason is known as the Music and Cultural Capital of Ecuador. The city is home to two major universities.

The city has a population of about 181,000, and is situated 2060 m (6758 ft) above sea level. It has a mild Andean climate, ranging between 16 and 30 °C.

The Pan-American Highway runs past Loja.

The city of Loja was founded by Field Marshal Alonso de Mercadillo in 1548, and it is named for his hometown of Loja in Spain. Originally located near La Toma in the Catamayo canyon since 1546, the city was relocated to its present location (about 35 km east) after a devastating earthquake and problems with Malaria. At nearly 500 years, it is one of the oldest cities in Ecuador. One of its founding-reasons for the Spanish colonizers was to have a fortified town next to the region of Zaruma, which was in that time rich in gold. It was as well a departure point for the Amazon Basin to search for the mystic town of El Dorado. The city was also visited by Simón Bolívar in his campaign to unite Gran Colombia. It declared its independence from Spain on November 18, 1820.

The city of Loja has the distinction of being the first city in Ecuador to be wired for electric power provided by a hydroelectric dam that was completed in the 1890s.


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10 ) Ambato
Popular - Wines     Location - Ambato, -Tungurahua, -Ecuador

Ambato  is a city located in the central Andean valley of Ecuador. Lying on the banks of the Ambato River, the city also sits beneath several tall mountains. It is the capital of the province of Tungurahua, at an elevation of 2,577 meters above sea level. It is variously nicknamed "City of Flowers and Fruit", "Cradle of the Three Juans", and "Garden of Ecuador." Inhabitants of Ambato are called Ambateños, Guaytambos (after a type of native peach that the valley is famous for producing). The current mayor of Ambato is Javier Altamirano.

The city has been fully or partially destroyed by earthquakes several times in its history, most recently on 5 August 1949 when the city and its cathedral were almost completely leveled. The city was rebuilt in the two years following. In honour of the tenacity of the resident Ambateños, the city celebrates the Festival of Fruits and Flowers during Carnival in February. Today, the Festival of Fruits and Flowers is one of the most important in Ecuador.

The city is referred to as "Cradle of the Three Juans" as it was the birthplace of three notable Ecuadorians: Juan Montalvo, a noted essayist of the 19th century, Juan León Mera, the author of the country's national anthem, and Juan Benigno Vela, a key figure in the Ecuadorean independence movement. The city is well known for its production of fruit, tanneries, food products and textiles. It also serves as a main transportation hub, especially for travelers moving south on the Pan-American Highway.


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Activity

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Festival

1 ) La Diablada de Píllaro (The Devils of Pillaro)

Festival Month - January

This bizarre celebration is held in Píllaro (north of Tungurahua Province, near Baños City) between the 1st and the 6th of January of each year.


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2 ) Carnival (Ecuadorian Mardi Gras)

Festival Month - February

The date when Carnival takes place varies from year to year.


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3 ) Semana Santa (Holly Week)

Festival Month - April

A deeply theatrical tradition, Holly Week in Ecuador gathers iconic characters in a procession recreating Christ’s journey to the cross.


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