• Colombia!

    Colombia: Caribbean Sea coast. Go Now!

    Colombia
    Although most of the people live inland, Colombia also has its share of coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea (pictured). Go Now!

  • Ecuador!

    Ecuador: Sally Lightfoot Crab. Go Now!

    Ecuador
    The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador are home to incredible wildlife, such as the famous Galapagos Turtle and the lesser known, but more common Red Rock or Sally Lightfoot crab (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Chile!

    Chile: Torres del Paine National Park. Go Now!

    Chile
    The Andes dominate much of Chile, including the breath-taking Torres del Paine National Park (pictured). However, the country also hosts the world's driest desert and a thriving metropolis. Begin Your Journey!

  • Venezuela!

    Venezuela: Los Roques. Go Now!

    Venezuela
    Rooted in Europe, Venezuela boasts an impressive history, culture, and beauty, including the Caribbean Coast (pictured). Explore Venezuela!

  • Bolivia!

    Bolivia: Salt flats. Go Now!

    Bolivia
    This hidden gem is full of surprises, from the impressive salt flats (pictured) to the migrating flamingos. It also clings to the most historic indigenous culture on the continent. Explore Bolivia!

EcuadorThe name Ecuador is literally translated from the Spanish to mean "Equator," which is a fitting name since the country sits on the Equator.

Introduction:

Ecuador is a mountainous country that makes settling the lands quite difficult in many areas. However, for those who did settle the lands, many created unique cultures and lifestyles that developed over time with few outside influences. This changed with the arrival of the Incan Empire, who took over the region and unified the people.

The Incans spread their influence to the people of the region as Incan culture, technology, and their lifestyle took over many of the local people. However, this rule was short-lived since the Spanish arrived shortly after the Incans and their effect on the culture was much stronger and more permanent. This began with the spread of European diseases, which killed many of the indigenous people.

The Spanish dominated most cultural aspects, including language and religion. Plus the Spanish and indigenous people often intermarried, creating a new ethnicity and culture, which was generally Spanish-dominated. However, the indigenous people maintained their languages to varying degrees as well as other cultural aspects of life. This was especially true in the more rural and mountainous parts of the country where Spanish influence was less pronounced. Even today many of the Quechua speakers as well as groups of people who live along the Amazon River continue to keep many cultural traditions, languages, and lifestyles alive today.

The Spanish dominance is best seen today, and in the past, in the cities, where Spanish culture, language, lifestyle, and architecture rule. Additionally, many of the mestizos also tend to cling more closely to Spanish traditions than indigenous cultures, making the Spanish culture of the past still present and dominate in the country today.

Information for Ecuador was last updated: March, 2014 ● View our: Sources & Special Thanks