Ecuador is a country that stretches across the equator on the west coast of South America. Its diverse landscapes include the Amazon rainforest, the high Andean areas and the Galapagos Islands of abundant fauna. On the slopes of the Andes, at an elevation of 2,850 m, Quito, its capital, is famous for its Spanish colonial center that has been preserved intact for a long time, with decorated palaces of the 16th and 17th century and religious sites, such as the ornate Church of the Society of Jesus.