Country Listing

Ecuador Table of Contents

Ecuador

GEOGRAPHY

Size: Approximately 280,000 square kilometers.

Topography: Divided into three continental regions--the Costa, Sierra, and Oriente--and one insular region--the Galápagos Islands. Costa, located between Pacific Ocean and Andes Mountains, consists of coastal lowlands and mountains. Sierra composed of two major chains of Andes Mountains--Cordillera Occidental (Western Chain) and Cordillera Oriental (Eastern Chain)--and intermontane basin or plateau between the two chains. Cordillera Occidental contains Ecuador's highest peak, 6,267-meter Mount Chimborazo. Oriente consists of Andean piedmont and eastern lowlands. Galápagos are islands of varied size located 1,000 kilometers west of Ecuadorian coast.

Climate: Tropical climate throughout Costa, although variations in temperature and rainfall result from proximity to warm or cool ocean currents. Sierra climate ranges from tropical to frozen, depending on altitude; notable rainfall variations also occur. Tropical climate and abundant rainfall prevail in Oriente. Galápagos climate varies from tropical and desert-like at sea level to cold and wet at highest point.

Data as of 1989