Regions of Ecuador
Ecuador is divided geographically into four basic regions.
The coastal region consists of the provinces to the West of the Andean range -, Esmeraldas, Guayas, Los Ríos, Manabí, El Oro, Santa Elena. It is the country's most fertile and productive land, and is the seat of the large banana exportation plantations of the companies Dole and Chiquita. This region is also where most of Ecuador's rice crop is grown. The truly coastal provinces have active fisheries. The largest coastal city is Guayaquil.
The sierra consists of the Andean and Interandean highland provinces - Azuay, Cañar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Imbabura, Loja, Pichincha, and Tungurahua. This land contains most of Ecuador's volcanoes and all of its snow-capped peaks. Agriculture is focused on the traditional crops of potato, maize, and quinua and the population is predominantly indigenous Kichua. The largest Sierran city is Quito.
The oriente consists of the Amazon jungle provinces - Morona Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Sucumbíos, and Zamora-Chinchipe. This region is primarily made up of the huge Amazon national parks and indigenous intangible zones, which are vasts stretches of land set aside for the Amazon indigenous tribes to continue living traditionally. It is also the area with the largest reserves of petroleum in Ecuador, and parts of the upper Amazon here have been extensively exploited by petroleum companies. The population is primarily mixed indigenous Shuar, Huaorani and Kichua, although there are numerous tribes in the deep jungle which are little-contacted. The largest city in the Oriente is probably Lago Agrio in Sucumbíos, although Macas in Morona Santiago runs a close second.
The insular region of Ecuador consists of the Galápagos Islands.