Ecuador

Straddling the equatorial line in northwestern South America, Ecuador has territories in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. At roughly the size of the U.S. state of Nevada, Ecuador is 283,561 square kilometers in size and has an extremely diverse geography. Natural landscapes make up a good deal of Ecuador’s landmass, with the Amazon jungles alone taking up about 50% of the nation’s area. Ecuador is geographically divided into four distinct natural regions: The Galapagos Islands, the Coastal Lowlands, the Andean Highlands, and the Amazon Rainforest. The backbone of the country is the Andes mountain range, which traverses the country from north to south and divides Ecuador into the western coastal lowlands and the eastern jungles of the higher Amazon. Though you could theoretically visit all four regions in one day, to truly experience any on of these areas requires you to stay awhile.