Background: The "Republic of the Equator" was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others are Colombia and Venezuela).
Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors. A border war with Peru that flared in 1995 was resolved in 1999.
Geographic coordinates: 2 00 S, 77 30 W
border countries: Colombia 590 km, Peru 1,420 km
Climate: tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands
Population: 13,547,510 (July 2006 est.)
Languages: Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)
Administrative divisions: 22 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Azuay, Bolivar, Canar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Galapagos, Guayas, Imbabura, Loja, Los Rios, Manabi, Morona-Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Pichincha, Sucumbios, Tungurahua, Zamora-Chinchipe
Independence: 24 May 1822 (from Spain)
National holiday: Independence Day (independence of Quito), 10 August (1809)
The international dialling code for Ecuador is 593.