Learn a little about Ecuador with our "fun facts for kids" - its geography, history and a little bit more. It's a very interesting country! Then download our printable flags and colouring flag.
Cotapaxi volcano in the Andes mountain range, Ecuador
A little geography:
- Ecuador is a small country in the north west of South America bordering Colombia to the north and Peru on the south and east. The Pacific Ocean forms the west coastline.
- The Amazon River was navigated in 1541 by de Orellana, a Spaniard looking for cinnamon and ‘El Dorado’ gold.
- Descendants of the Incas, the Kichwa, live across the central Andes. A quarter of the 15.5 million population are indigenous whilst the majority are of mixed Spanish-Indian descent.
- Quito is the world’s 2nd highest capital city, at 2850 metres. In 1978 Quito was the first city to be named on the Unesco Heritage list, thanks to the well preserved historical centre which covers 320 ha.
Ecuador on map of South America. Printable version here.
- Visitors flock to stand on the red line marking the equator at the ‘Mitad do Mundo’ monument, north of Quito. Nearby Cayambe Volcano is the only place on earth where snow is found on the equator.
- Cotopaxi is the world’s highest active volcano. Towering over 5890m, Cotopaxi forms part of the Avenue of Volcanoes in Cotopaxi National Park.
- The Amazon rainforest in eastern Ecuador is called El Oriente. It covers half of the country and is home to 10% of the world’s trees.
- The Galapagos islands are 1,000 km offshore. The 13 volcanic islands form the world’s 2nd largest nature reserve. There are no predators for the wildlife, which are unafraid of humans.
- Ecuador is one of the the world’s largest exporters of quinoa. An ancient seed, predating the Spanish colonisation, quinoa was eaten by Inca warriors to increase their stamina in battle.
Inca ruins at Ingapirca, Ecuador
A little history:
- The Inca Empire, which dominated the region in the 16th century CE, included most of Ecuador as well as Peru and Colombia.
- In 1531, Spanish conquistadors, led by Francisco Pizzaro, arrived in the area. From then on Ecuador was a colony until independence in 1830.
And some fun facts:
- Ecuador is the world’s most biodiverse country for its relatively small size.
- There are 1,600 species of bird, about 16% of the earth’s total!
- There are over 130 species of hummingbird in Ecuador. The hummingbird is the only bird that can fly backwards!
- Another bird found in Ecuador is the Hoatzin, also known as the Stinky Turkey!
- The Andean condor is Ecuador’s national symbol and world’s second largest land bird, with a wingspan of 3 metres. They are an endangered species whose habitat is protected by the reintroduction of llamas and alpacas to grasslands.
- A community of iguanas live wild in downtown Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city, in Iguana Park.
- Charles Darwin learnt about evolution and the origin of species when he saw how tortoises and finches adapted to their surroundings in the Galapagos in 1835.
- Giant tortoises weigh up to 400 kg and reach 1.8 metres in length. They can live for over 100 years in the wild.
- The blue footed booby is named after the Spanish word for clown, bobo, because it waddles around and has large funny looking feet!
- Silver Island, off the Manabi coast, is said to be where Sir Francis Drake hid his pirate treasure. Every year humpback whales arrive from distant Antarctica to have their calves in the warm water.
- Highland Ecuadorians like guinea pigs…for supper. This local rodent originates in the Andes and is roasted with garlic and potatoes!
- Panama hats, made of woven straw, actually come from Ecuador and were exported via Panama, which is how they got their name.
Blue footed boobies!
The Ecuador Flag
The Ecuador flag consists of a double width yellow stripe, a blue stripe and a red stripe. In the centre sits the Ecuador coat of arms, on top of which a condor stretches his wings.
Our Ecuador Resources
This fact-finding worksheet will help your children find out some information about Ecuador and is a useful way to start your studies, and compare countries in South America and elsewhere.
There are four pages in this printable, each with a different size of Ecuador flag on it, ranging from almost A4 size to very tiny (perfect for cupcake toppers!)
Help children work out and remember the location of Ecuador within the South American continent with the help of our location worksheets.
Write about Ecuador on our notebooking page - choosing from two versions below. Notebooking page 1 has space for a map, illustration or photo.
This outline map of South America has the position of Ecuador highlighted. The countries and capitals are annotated.