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Ecuador Geography

Ecuador, one of the smaller countries in South America is bound in the west by the Pacific Ocean. In the South they have a large border with Peru, which is still disputed, and in the north and east with Colombia.

The Ecuador geography is marked by the three regions of the country. The coast is made up out of wetlands and plains that slowly head up to higher altitudes providing more and more cloud forest until you reach the Andes mountain range. This part of the country is the most populated with the biggest city and main national port, Guayaquil as main populated area.

The Sierra or Andes highlands are made up out of a large number of volcanoes, mountain peaks and plains. On the lower slopes of the Andes you can cloud forests, in the west leading to the coast and in the east to the Amazon basin. Ecuador has a large number of active and inactive volcanoes, the most famous being the Cotopaxi located at two hours from Quito. This active volcano is also one of the highest active volcanoes in the world with an altitude of 5897 meters.

In the east one can find the Occidental or Jungle region. This region is made up out of some large rivers such as the Napo and Putomayo rivers which flow down from the Andes to the humid Amazon basin. This part of Ecuador Geography is the least populated, but nevertheless a relatively easy accessible part of the Amazon Rainforest.  There are no large cities in this area and there is still a large presence of indigenous populations.

Ecuador geography, including the Galapagos Islands is one of the most diverse in South America and Ecuador hence belongs to one of the 17 mega diverse countries in the world. This fact is especially amazing looking at the size of Ecuador, more or less the size of the US state of Nevada.

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