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Destination Guides
Study in Ecuador

For nature-lovers, Ecuador has always been pretty much impossible to beat. This country in the northwest corner of South America is renowned worldwide for its incredible biodiversity. Add in a vibrant cultural fusion of indigenous, European and African traditions, and the result is a unique study-abroad experience. The Andes mountain range runs through Ecuador, while the Amazon rainforest also takes up a sizeable portion of its land mass.

Ecuador also incorporates the Galapagos Islands, or the Archipiélago de Colón as they are known locally, which are recognized as one of the most biologically unique sites in the world. In fact, the country as a whole is considered to be ‘megadiverse’ – a term used to describe nations with extremely high levels of biodiversity – and is believed to have the world’s highest rate of biodiversity per square kilometre.

Fast Facts

  • Borders with Peru, Colombia and the Pacific Ocean
  • Capital city is Quito
  • Population: 16.38 million (2016 estimate)
  • Owns the Galápagos Islands, famed for high number of endemic species (plants and animals found nowhere else in the world)
  • One of the most biodiverse countries in the world
  • Main language is Spanish
  • Major exports include oil, bananas, flowers, shrimp, coffee and cocoa
  • Currency used is the US dollar
  • Relatively small by South American standards - but still larger than the UK
  • Declared independence from Spain in 1809