Ecuador

Ecuador (7)

Ecuador is a country straddling the equator on South America’s west coast. Its diverse landscape encompasses Amazon jungle, Andean highlands and the wildlife-rich Galápagos Islands. In the Andean foothills at an elevation of 2,850m, Quito, the capital, is known for its largely intact Spanish colonial center, with decorated 16th- and 17th-century palaces and religious sites, like the ornate Compañía de Jesús Church.
 
Capital: Quito
Currency: United States Dollar
President: Rafael Correa
Population: 15.74 million (2013) World Bank
Official language: Spanish

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Vilcabamba is a village in the southern region of Ecuador, in Loja Province, about 45 km (28 mi) from the city of Loja. The etymology of the name “Vilcabamba” apparently derives from the Quichua “huilco pamba.” Huilco denotes the sacred trees, Anadenanthera colubrina, that inhabit the region; pamba (cognate with pampa) is a word meaning “a plain”.

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Quilotoa is a water-filled caldera and the most western volcano in the Ecuadorian Andes. The 3-kilometre-wide caldera was formed by the collapse of this dacite volcano following a catastrophic VEI-6 .

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Otavalo is a town in the Andean highlands in the Imbabura province of northern Ecuador. It’s surrounded by volcanoes including the Imbabura Volcano. It's known for its Otavalo Market in the central Plaza de Ponchos, where traditionally clad indigenous townspeople sell colorful textiles and handicrafts.

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Montañita is a village on Ecuador's Santa Elena Peninsula, known for its beaches with strong surf breaks and bohemian vibe. Lively bars, nightclubs and thatch-roofed restaurants line the streets.

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Cuenca (Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca) is a city in southern Ecuador’s Andes mountains. It's known for its Tomebamba River waterfront and handicrafts including Panama hats. Its central plaza, Parque Calderón, is home to the blue-domed Catedral Nueva and the 16th-century Catedral Vieja, now a religious museum.

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Cotopaxi is an active stratovolcano in the Andes Mountains, located in the Latacunga canton of Cotopaxi Province, about 50 km south of Quito, and 33 km northeast of the city of Latacunga, Ecuador, in South America.

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The Amazon rainforest, covering much of northwestern Brazil and extending into Colombia, Peru and other South American countries, is the world’s largest tropical rainforest, famed for its biodiversity.

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