Ecuador acquired its name from the equatorial line on which it is located. As the smallest country in the rugged Andean highlands, it is one of the most rewarding travel destinations in South America. The Andes cordillera crosses the country from north to south, formed by two mountain ranges with altitudes over 16,000 feet. Most of the riding takes place between 9,000 and 13,000 feet above sea level so we encourage you to arrive in Quito a day or two early to acclimate. Mainland Ecuador is the same time zone as Eastern USA.
Most of the population speak Spanish – little English is spoken except in some of the haciendas, hotels and larger shops. Quichua is the Inca language spoken by the majority of the indigenous population.