• “Ecuador” is the Spanish for “equator”. It was chosen as the name of the newly independent country in 1830 after the alternatives, which included “Quito” and “Atahualpa”, proved unpopular.

The Galápagos giant tortoise can weigh up to 250kg, over four times the weight of the average adult human.

Spanish is the official language of Ecuador, but there are more than 20 other native tongues, including several dialects of Kichwa, the language of the Incas.

Ecuador has more species of mammals and amphibians per square metre than any other country on Earth.

In 2015, at the age of 26, Vanessa Arauz, coach of Ecuador’s women’s football team, became the world’s youngest national football coach at a FIFA World Cup – women’s or men’s.

Chimborazo, Ecuador’s highest peak at 6268m, is the furthest point from the centre of the Earth due to the planet’s equatorial bulge.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month