Ecuador is bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border with Brazil. The country also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 km west of the mainland. The main spoken language in Ecuador is Spanish. Ecuador straddles the equator, from which it takes its name, and has an area of 272,046 km2. Its capital city is Quito, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the 1970s for having the best preserved and least altered historic center in Latin America.
My ride through Ecuador will start in northern Peru as soon as I get off the boat from my boat trip up the Amazon River. I will ride north to Quito and visit the Equatorial Monument and then ride back south back into Peru.
Quito – Quito is the capital city of Ecuador. It is located in north-central Ecuador in the Guayllabamba river basin. With a population of approximately 2,505,000, Quito is the second most populous city in Ecuador, after Guayaquil.
The central square of Quito is located about 25 km south of the equator; the city itself extends to within about 1 km of zero latitude.
Equatorial Monument – The 30-meter-tall monument, built between 1979 and 1982, was constructed to mark the point where the equator passes through the country. A line down the center of the east-facing staircase, and across the plaza, was meant to mark the equator, and countless tourists over the years have had their pictures taken straddling this line.