Capital: Quito Population: 17 million Language: Spanish Time: GMT-5, GMT-6 (Galapagos Islands) International Dialling Code: +593 Money: United States Dollar Visas: Not required by UK nationals Further Information: The Ecuadorean Ministry of Tourism Ecuadorean Embassy in London: 0207 584 1367 Further Reading: Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands (Lonely Planets, 2006) When to go: Another year round destination. There is less rainfall at Quito between June and September and warm clothing is suitable for high altitude destinations, the coast is tropical with the rainy season running during the UK summer. Ecuadorian cultural icons: Julio Jaramillo, Segundo Rosero, Alex Aguinaga, Ulises de la Cruz. Music: Pasillo, Rockolo, Sanjuanito; Segundo Rosero’s gentle ballads are immensely popular with all Ecuadoreans, Jaramillo is an eternal legend who is still revered 30 years after his death. Ecuador, a hidden gem in South American travel lore! As ever, Globe at One has been there and checked it out, we’ve drawn up two tours, one traversing the highlands and western Amazon region, and the other trekking through the central highlands. Ring or email us for any other aspect of this delightful place dubbed the original banana republic and yes, there are still many banana plantations there!