About the size of Oregon, Ecuador is located in far western South America, the second smallest South American nation. Its topography is dramatic. Two cordilleras split the nation into coastal, Andean, and Amazonian regions.
The Galápagos Islands lie 600 miles (965 kilometers) off the Pacific coast. The nation is flanked on the north by Colombia and on the east and south by Peru. The coastal region ranges from a tropical rain forest in the north to a mixed wet–dry monsoon region for the rest of the region. A third fairly low cordillera runs intermittently along the coastal strip.
The Andes region has a number of snow–capped volcanic mountains, dominated by Chimborazo (20,596 feet; 6,278 meters) and Cotopaxi (19,613 feet; 5,978 meters). Rich, fertile valleys, or basins, lie in the inter–Andean region known as the Corridor of the Volcanoes.
The Amazonian topography is highly varied, ranging from mountainous regions that tower well over 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) to Amazonian biotopes.