Among the 24 provinces of Ecuador there is a great natural mega-diversity, since the privileged location of this country makes it unique, with hundreds of different ecosystems. The environmental conditions of Ecuador are highly variable in space, that is why natural regions with very different properties have been developed. Anyone who has traveled the Andes from the Amazon to the coast will have been aware of the great natural diversity of the country.
If you want to know what the natural regions of Ecuador are and what they offer, continue reading this interesting AgroCorrn article in which they will be explained in detail. Also, in this image you can see a map of the natural regions of Ecuador .
The Coast (Pacific coast)
The Ecuadorian Pacific Coast region is located 500 meters above sea level and its territory is made up of hills, sedimentary basins and low elevations. Rivers that start in the Andes pass through this area until they flow into the Pacific Ocean. The Coast has 300 miles of beaches where small fishing villages are located and is divided into 7 provinces , these being: Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, Los Ríos, El Oro, Santa Elena, Manabí, Esmeraldas and Manabí.
The Ecuadorian coast is home to a great diversity of flora and fauna thanks to its equatorial tropical location and the two great ocean currents that are traveling along its entire coast. Roses predominate among its flora, which in fact are one of Ecuador’s main natural resources , as well as orchids and mangrove forests . Regarding its fauna, you can find species such as pelicans, swallows, terns, blue-footed boobies, toucans, robins, sea cucumbers, croakers, shrimp, sea lions and giant tortoises, among other animal species.
La Sierra (Andean mountain range)
The Sierra del Ecuador region runs from north to south through the Andes and is situated at a latitude between 1,800 and 6,310 meters above sea level, characterized by high mountains, high volcanoes and snow-capped mountains. It is a region made up of 5 provinces : Chimborazo, Imbabura, Cotopaxi, Punchicha and Tungurahua. Its climate has an average temperature of about 14 ºC throughout the year and in terms of rainfall it presents two very marked periods: the dry one that occurs between the months of January to May and the rainy one that occurs from September to November.
Among the flora of the Sierra del Ecuador are grasses, moss-covered trees, daisies, sunflowers, heather, multi-colored flowers and giant frailejones, among other plants. However, regarding the fauna of the Sierra del Ecuador , species such as the puma, the condor , the llamas , the vicuña, the bears and the Andean weasel, among others , are very common .
Here you can discover much more about the Andean Region: characteristics, flora and fauna .
The East (the Amazon rainforest)
The Amazon rainforest , or also known as the lung of the Earth, is a territory with exuberant vegetation that occupies approximately 5.5 million km² and characterized by a humid tropical climate.
The Amazon of Ecuador contains a rich biodiversity. On the one hand, its fauna is made up of animals such as the puma, the jaguar , the Conga ants, alligators, pink dolphins and other unique and fascinating species. In these other articles you can learn more about +30 animals of the Amazon and Animals in danger of extinction in the Amazon .
However, the vegetation in the area is made up of mosses , vines, ferns , palms, large-leaved plants, bromeliads and lilies, among others. In addition, some of the trees that are found are Tajibos, Cuta barcina, Caricari, Itahuba, Almandrillos and others. Here you can discover more about the Plants of the Amazon .
Insular Region or Galapagos
Outside the continental zone is the Insular Region or also called the Galapagos Islands , it is located in the Pacific Ocean 1,000 km from the Ecuadorian coast . The archipelago is made up of 13 large volcanic islands, these being the main ones, 6 medium islands and 40 small islets that have arisen as a result of different volcanic eruptions. The main islands are: Isabela, Fernandina, San Cristóbal, Española, Pinta, Pinzón, Baltra, Santa Cruz, San Salvador, Floreana, Marchena, Santa Fe, Genovesa and Rábida.
The beaches of this region are characterized by their fine white sand, marking a great contrast with the crystal clear water of the sea and the dark stones. The climate of the Galapagos is hot from the month of December to the end of May, the cold season however begins from June to November.
In the Galapagos there can be more than 180 species of endemic animal species and more than 500 species of native plants. Its fauna includes species such as land and marine iguanas, whale sharks, blue whales, red and blue footed boobies, sea lions, flamingos, penguins, among others. As for its flora, there is Darwin’s cotton, species of shrubs, the endemic daisy, the Galapagos tomato, the lava or candelabra cactus, among others.
In this link you will see an article about the Flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands .
Once the characteristics of the 4 natural regions of Ecuador have been mentioned and explained , a different classification will be shown below, indicating 10 natural regions of Ecuador , making a more specific division taking into account forests , moorlands and scrublands :
- Dry Scrub of the Coast
- Deciduous Forest of the Coast
- Chocó Tropical Humid Forest
- Western Piemontano Forest
- Western Montane Forest
- Interandean scrub
- Eastern Montane Forest
- Eastern Piemontano Forest
- Amazon Rainforest
Now that you know the Ecuadorian natural regions, we recommend you read this other article about What are the ecosystems of Ecuador .
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