Ecuador is a country in South America with 14 million inhabitants. Neighboring countries are Colombia and Peru. To the west lies the Atlantic Ocean with the Galapagos Islands in it. The landscape can be divided into four zones. The eastern Amazon basin (Oriente) with tropical rainforest, many rivers and waterfalls. The centrally located Andes (Sierra) consists of mountains and volcanoes. The coastal area (Costa) with beaches, vast forests, plantations, cliffs, and rivers. The Galapagos Islands consist of 13 large and 40 small islands. The archipelago is volcanic in origin and consists of steppe-like coastal areas, mountains, rocks, and tropical forest. It is known for Darwin's research and unique species. There is a tropical climate, but in the Andes mountains it is colder. Capital city Quito has 1.8 million inhabitants. The historic city center is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Just like the city of Cuenca, the Sangay National Park and the Galapagos Islands. Other important cities are Ambato, Cuenca, Esmeraldas, Guayaquil, La Libertad, Loja, Machala, Manba, Nueva Loja, Puyo, Puerto Bolivar, Riobamba and San Lorenzo. Places of interest are the pilgrimage town of Baños, the Shuar Indians, the Inca ruins of Ingapirca, the volcano Cotopaxi, the flora and fauna and Aguardiente.

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