The official languages of Ecuador are Spanish and Quichua; the language of the Incas, still spoken by over 10 million Native Americans in the region. Ecuador achieved independence from Spain on May 24, 1822; but most big cities celebrate their own day of liberation, rather than the country’s. Cuenca was liberated from Spain on November 3, 1820. It’s a national holiday, during which many Ecuadorians and tourists travel to Cuenca.
Loja was Ecuador’s first city to be electrified, in 1897, using power from an early hydroelectric dam.
|Information Type||Ecuador Data|
|Population||15,868,396 (July 2015 est.)|
|Gross Domestic Product PPP (GDP)||US$183.4 billion (2015 est.)|
|GDP Per Capita||US$11,300 (2015 est.)|
|Inflation Rate||4% (2015 est.)|
|Exchange Rate Versus U.S. Dollar||N/A|
|Language||Spanish (Castilian) 93% (official), Quechua 4.1%, other indigenous 0.7%, foreign 2.2%|
|Population of Capital City||1,726,000 (2015 est.)|
|Time Zone||GMT – 5|
|Seasons||Coastal area is tropical—wet, warm/hot year-round. Andean Highlands is temperate—four seasons. See climate in Ecuador.|
|International Dialing Code||593|
|Electricity||120-127 V/60 Hz, Plug Types: A & B (U.S. style)|
|System of Goverment||Presidential Republic|
|Current Leader||President Rafael Correa Delgado (since 2007)|
|Income Tax Rate for Residents||5% to 35%|
|Property Tax||0.025% to 0.5%|
|Capital Gains Tax||5 to 10%|
|Inheritance Tax||0% to 35%|
|Rental Income Tax||Taxed as regular income, up to 22%|
|Restrictions on Foreign Ownership of Property||Permission needed (usually granted) to acquire land within 30 miles of the coast.|
|Local Chamber of Commerce||http://www.lacamaradequito.com/
Av. Republica y AmozonasEdif. De las Camaras, Pisos 5 y 6
|American Chamber of Commerce||www.ecamcham.com
Av. 6 de Diciembre y La NinaEdf. Multicentro, Piso 4
|Primary Exports||Petroleum, bananas, cut flowers, shrimp, cacao, coffee, hemp, wood, fish.|
|Residency and Visa Requirements||Tourist Visa: When you arrive at the airport, you’ll receive a T-3 visa allowing you 90 days in the country.
Residency: Ecuador offers a number of attractive residency options, with low thresholds of qualification. If you intend to live in Ecuador and would like to come and go as you please, you should get a residency visa.
Citizenship: Three uninterrupted years of legal residency.
|Special Benefits for Foreign Residents or Retirees||Holders of residency visas may only be out of Ecuador for a maximum of 90 days per year, for each of the first two years. After that time, you may not be out of the country for more than 18 consecutive months. The process for revoking visas is much more efficient than for obtaining them.If you can live with the in-country time restriction, obtaining residency is well worth the effort because you have almost all the rights of a citizen.|
I've spoken with lots of potential expats who are trying to choose between Cuenca, Ecuador, and Medellín, Colombia... even though these two cities are actually very different in key ways. But, as I've lived in both places (and both are among my favorites in Latin America), I'm frequently asked to compare the two. Let's take a closer look... Weather Both Medellín and Cuenca enjoy great weather all year. My home didn't have heat or air conditioning in either city, which...Read more