Estimate population 12,471,600 - Capital: Quito
The republic of Ecuador has only been an independent nation since 1830 and with a rich historical and cultural background it is a delightful place to visit. Ecuador has three main regions, the coastal lowlands, the Andean highlands, and the eastern forested plains, also known as Costa, Sierra, and Oriente.
Interesting volcanic peaks such as Cotopaxi at 5,897 metres (19,347 feet) and Chimborazo at 6,310 metres (20,702 feet) can be seen from many miles away. Major rivers to explore are Aguarico, Curaray, Esmeraldas, Guayas, Napo, Pastaza, and Zamora. To experience city life in Ecuador you'll need to visit Guayaquil, Quito, Cuenca, Machala, or beautiful Santo Domingo.