Ecuador is one of the major tourist destinations in the Americas, offering unparalleled colonial architecture, dramatic landscapes and the eco-tourist mecca of the Galapagos Islands. But behind its colourful markets and mountain scenery lies a more complex country, divided by geography and race and facing serious environmental threat. With the rise of activism and the controversy surrounding the impact of oil companies in the Ecuadorean Amazon, this nation of eleven million faces an uncertain future. A legacy of military involvement and a volatile political culture makes Ecuador one of the region's most fascinating nations. This book is part of the "In Focus" series which looks at the countries they discuss with students and independent travellers in mind.