Jungles, Coastal Plains and Highlands - The Diverse Geography of Ecuador
The geography of Ecuador is quite diverse for a country that only covers a total of 283,560 square kilometers - of which 6,720 square kilometers is made up of water. These statistics include the Galapagos Islands which form part of Ecuador. As the name Ecuador might suggest, the country is located on the equator, with its neighboring countries being Columbia to the north and Peru on the south and east border. To the west of Ecuador is the beautiful Pacific Ocean and the country features an ocean territory of 200 nautical miles. Clearly there is much to learn about Ecuador's geography!
Ecuador can be divided into three types of terrain, namely: the Sierra, which is the central highlands, the jungles of the Oriente and the coastal plains, which are known as the Costa. Due to the various elevations of the land, Ecuador experiences a difference in climate between the coast and inland areas. The coast and the lowlands feature a lot of jungle and enjoy a tropical climate, whereas the higher inland elevations have a cooler climate. The Andes Mountains, for instance, are decorated by white snowcaps - as are the number of volcanoes that are significant feature of the geography of Ecuador. The tropical Amazonian areas receive approximately 500 centimeters of rainfall a year and this enables the forest vegetation to thrive and remain dense and green.
Large cliffs and ridges are found closer to the border of Peru, while the volcanoes are scattered across the country. The most popular and visited volcanoes in Ecuador include the Cotopaxi Volcano, which is an active volcano and is 5 897 meters in height, the Pichincha Volcano at 4,784 meters and the Chimborazo at 6,267 meters. The coastal region of the Ecuadorian geography has extremely fertile plains, basins and breathtaking valleys. Coastal lowlands are relatively flat and run into the rain forests.
Unfortunately, Ecuador often falls victim to floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and landslides that sometimes affects the geography of the country. At times Ecuador also experiences drought-like conditions. However most of the environmental concerns are caused by pollution, erosion and deforestation. The highland region of Ecuador consists of the Cordillera Central Range and the Cordillera Occidental Range. The ranges are the cause of many basins and a deep valley alongside, which farmers allow their herds to graze. Agricultural areas are found next to the rivers and at the foot of the Andes. With a varied geography, Ecuador is an interesting country to explore - there is literally almost always something new to discover waiting just around the next corner.