The Republic of Ecuador is located on the Northwest Coast of South America and lies on both the Northern and the Southern Hemispheres, divided by the imaginary Equator line. Ecuador’s continental territory is bordered by Colombia to the North, Peru to the South and East and to the West by the Pacific Ocean. Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America and despite its small size, it is one of the most geographically, biologically, ethnically and culturally diverse countries in the world.
Ecuador’s continental territory is crossed from North to South by the Andes mountain range that divides it into three strongly distinct natural regions: the Coastal Region (Costa), the Inter-Andean Region (Sierra) and the Amazon Region (Región Amazónica). In addition to these regions on the mainland, Ecuador has a fourth region: the Galapagos Islands (Archipiélago de Colón) located 1,000 kilometers from Ecuador’s coastline. The topography of the country ranges from sea level up to over 6.000 meters at the Andean snowcaps and the climate from tropical equatorial rainy weather to perpetual snow.