From ancient peoples to the incredible Inca Civilisation, the Spanish Conquest, independence, economic crises and Coup d'Etats...a trip to Ecuador will plunge you into a country that has a fascinating history.
It was between 30,000 and 40,000 years ago that people first arrived in Ecuador, having migrated south from Siberia and Alaska. Moving forward in time, to around 5,500 years ago, these lands were occupied by the Valdivia, Machalilla and Chorrera tribes. Numerous civilisations came and went up to the arrival of the Incas. According to legend, the Inca Civilisation surfaced in 1200 in Peru and Bolivia, before colonising Ecuador in 1515. The son of Huayna Capác and a Quito princess, Atahualpa ruled the empire alongside his half-brother, Huascar, who was based in Cuzco. A civil war broke out and Atahualpa executed Huascar during the process. Which allowed him to single handedly rule the empire until the arrival of Pizzaro.
In 1533, the Spanish arrived in Ecuador, seizing Quito before building Guayaquil. The colonists reigned supreme. The country prospered and developed...all seemed well. Or at least for the Spanish; the indigenous population were reduced to slavery and hundreds of thousands died. This brought a growing instability that was heightened by a series of epidemics and subsequent economic decline. From 1809 onwards, Juan Pío Montúfar followed by Simón Bolivar began the fight for independence from Spanish rule. In 1820, Guayaquil was liberated and 10 years on the whole of Ecuador had declared its independence.
From Flores to Correa, Presidents, crises and Coup d'Etats have suceeded one another. Notable dates include 1861, when Gabriel Garcia Moreno abolished slavery, followed by 1925, 1961 and 2010, being three attempted Coup d'Etats. As for the country's great leaders, José Maria Velasco Ibarra, saw himself elected as President of the Republic an impressive five times. In recent times, President Lucio Gutierrez was thrown out by Parliament, whereupon a state of emergency was declared and a new constitution adopted.
So there you go, a short history to better prepare you for your trip to Ecuador.