Sunday, April 12, 2015

Reasons to Love Ecuador

The capital, officially named San Francisco de Quito, but often referred to as Quito was a component of the Inca Empire at one time; therefore, it has some of the best-preserved early colonial architecture in South America. UNESCO has determed that Quito has the largest, best-preserved, and least-altered historic center (320 hectares) in Latin America. It is the first of all World Cultural Heritage Sites, receiving the honor in 1978.

Ecuador is divided into four geographical regions: Pacific Coastal Area (Litoral), Andean Highlands (Sierra), Amazon Rain Forest (Oriente) and The Galapagos Islands.

There are 25 000 species of plants present in the country, which represents approximately 10% of all plants known in the world.

The world's smallest orchid (miniscule orchid measuring 2.1mm wide) was discovered in Ecuador.

The number of orchid species is calculated at 4,100.

Roses are quickly becoming one of Ecuador's major exports as well as other flowers such as orchids & bromeliads.

This is home to more than 1,600 species of birds, which is more than twice the number found on any one of any of the entire continents of North America, Europe or Australia.

There are 131 species of hummingbirds here, creating the world's highest diversity of hummingbird species.

Ecuador's insect species number more than a million, including 4,500 species of butterflies.
There are three species of vampire bats found in the world; all exist here.
The Humpback whales (megaptera novaeangliae) migrate from the Antarctic South Pole to tropical waters off the coast of Ecuador (June to September) to mate and give birth to their calves.

In Ecuador, there was a newly discovered species of gecko, small enough at its full-grown size to rest comfortably on the eraser of a pencil.

Farms surrounding the coastal city of Guayaquil have an output of 60 per cent of the world's high-grade fine cocoa making it the world's capital of the sweet delicacy.

Ecuador exports more bananas than any other country in the world.

Manta, Ecuador claims to be the Tuna Capital of the World.

Quinine, the first drug used to prevent and treat malaria, is obtained from the bark of the cinchona tree that grows in Ecuador.
Panama hats are of Ecuadorian origin - the world's finest Panama hats are handmade in Montecristi, Ecuador

Vilcabamba is called the Valley of Longevity - locals assert that it is not uncommon to see a person reach 100 years of age and it is claimed that many have gotten to 120, even up to 135, which would make it an area with the oldest inhabitants in the world.

Ecuador has many active volcanoes and also has one of the greatest densities of volcanoes in the world; Cotopaxi is the highest active volcano in world.

It is also home to ten mountain peaks over 5000 meters (16,000 feet). Mount Chimborazo at 6,268 meters (20,565 feet)  is the highest mountain in Ecuador. Because the Earth is not a perfect sphere, but bulges at the Equator, the peak of Chimborazo is also the furthest point from the center of the Earth and the closest to the sun.

Pros and Cons of Ecuador Living  
Direct TV

Low utility bills - $30 mo gas, electric, water
Small living space
Rent $450 month including WiFi, phone
Difficult to ship things in
Fresh produce very inexpensive
Butter expensive and difficult to find

Longer distances to travel outside of S.A.
Cheap public transport 25¢ a ride
Apostilles needed for Visa
Buses are easy, Cuenca getting a tram
Cannot flush toilet paper
Free or very low cost museums
Hot water not always available in sinks
Free cultural events we understand

Lots of gay ex-pats our own ages

Numerous cultural events in English

Numerous volunteer opportunities in English

Locals are friendly

Installing fiber optics cable for WiFi

Can get Netflix here

Country is gorgeous

Cheap buses between cities

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