Skip to Content

Largest Cities in Ecuador (2020)

Largest Cities in Ecuador (2020)

Photo: Alan Falcony/Shutterstock

Want to know more about the largest cities in Ecuador? Here’s an updated list, ranked by total population and area in 2020.

Ecuador is a country in northwestern South America and ranks as the 66th most populated country in the world with a total population of 17,084,358.

The country is ranked 73rd worldwide with a total area covering 109,484 sq. mi (283,561 sq. km). Ecuador has a total of 28 cities with sixteen cities having a population of over 100,000.

It is a developing country with an economy dependent on petroleum and agricultural commodities. Poverty in the country declined from 36.7%to 22.5% from 2006 to 2016 showing the remarkable progress and growth in the economy.


Guayaquil is the largest city of Ecuador with a population of 1,952,029. The trade and economy of the city mainly dependent on aquaculture and agriculture. The city is surrounded by many industries and its port, the Port of Guayaquil is the most important port of the country.

Seafood dishes are very famous in the Guayaquil. The traditional Arroz Con Menestra Y Carne Asada is the most famous dish from the city. Barcelona Sporting Club and Club Sport Emelec are the two famous football clubs in the city.

Guayaquil is home to many universities and educational institutions with the most notable ones being the Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral, the Universidad de Especialidades Espíritu Santo, and the University of Guayaquil.


Photo: Alan Falcony/Shutterstock


Quito is the capital of Ecuador. Located at an elevation of 2850 meters around the Andes Mountains in central Ecuador, it ranks as the second-highest capital city in the world. Quito has also been declared as one of the World Cultural Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The city has a population of 1,399,814 and covers a total area of 143.78 square miles.

Quito is the main economic hub of the country. The city is home to the major industries of textiles, metals, and agriculture. It is also a major exporter of coffee, rice, bananas, and palm oil. With the largest contribution to the national GDP, the city also has the highest rate of tax collection in the country.

Quito is also the most important cultural center of the country. Museums in the city are the area of interest for the tourists. Museo de Arte Contemporaneas, Casa del Alabado, and Museo de la Ciudad are some of the main attractions and very popular among both tourists and locals.


Photo: Jess Kraft/Shutterstock


Cuenca is located in the Azuay Province of Ecuador with a total population of 276,964. It is located at a height of 2560 meters above sea level. UNESCO declared this city as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the presence of numerous historical buildings.

The existence of this land dates back to 8060 BC. It is a small city covering a total area of 27.25 square miles. Cuenca’s economy is based on manufacturing, textile, furniture, and shoes.

It also exports flowers to various parts of the world. Major crops grown in Cuenca are wheat, oats, rye, and corn. Old Cathedral, New Cathedral, Park Abdon Calderon, Museum of the Central Bank and Church of Santo Domingo are few of the important landmarks of the city.


Photo: Curioso /

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo is a city in northwestern Ecuador with a total population of 200,421 making it the fourth-most populous city of the country. It is located at a height of 625 meters above sea level and covers the total area of 421.97 square miles.

The city is the capital of Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas Province and is the region’s most important industrial center and commercial hub.

Santo Domingo is an important stopover while traveling from Quito to the Pacific Coast. Quevedo, Chone, and Quinindé are also some of the cities connected to the rest by Santo Domingo. Santo Domingo is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santo Domingo de los Colorados.


Machala is located in southwestern Ecuador. It is the capital of the Ei Oro Province with a total population of 198,123 making it the fifth-most populous city of the country. The total area covered by the city is square miles ( square kilometers).

The Port of Machala is the second most important port of Ecuador and the economy of the city is based on agriculture and exports. Bananas, coffee, and cocoa are the main traded commodities. In particular, banana trading is the main contributor to the city’s economy. Machala has been termed as the Banana Capital of the World.

This city is one of the most popular tourist destinations due to its geographical location, the presence of several beaches and also the proximity to the Pacific Ocean makes it an ideal base point for expeditions.


Manta is located in the Manabi Province in western Ecuador. It is a mid-sized city and the most populous in the province with a total population of 183,166. The city covers a total area of 23.36 square miles and its economy of the city relies on the trading of the Tuna Fish.

However, tourism and chemical industries are also one of the main contributors to the economy. Manta is the largest seaport in the country. The main beaches of the city for the tourists are  “El Murciélago”, “Santa Marianita”, “San Lorenzo” and “Barbasquillo”.


Portoviejo is the capital of the province of Manabi in western Ecuador and only 30 kilometers away from the Pacific Coast. The total population of the city is 170,326. It is one of the oldest cities of Ecuador, discovered in 1535, and famous for the coffee, fishing, and cattle.

Tomatoes, onions, peppers, bananas, mangoes and other tropical fruits are the main produce of the city. This city is also known as the city of “The Royal Tamarind Trees” which are commonly found in this region.

Crucita Beach is the most attractive beach in the city which is the tourist attraction point. The Forest Park, Central Park, and Cerro Jaboncillo archeological complex are a few of the other important attractions for the tourists.

Eloy Alfaro

Eloy Alfaro is a city in the western coastal region of Ecuador. It is the eighth-largest city in the country and the second-largest in the Guayas province with a population of 167,784. It is located in the canton of Duran near the junction between the Daule & Babahoyo rivers and is the site where the Guayas River forms.

This town is the capital of Duran canton, which was created in 1986 by a local government decree. The town is officially named Eloy Alfaro for the Ecuadorian ex-president Eloy Alfaro Delgado, named the greatest Ecuadorian in a recent poll.

Most Populated Cities in Ecuador

Here’s a list of the largest cities in Ecuador, ranked by their total population. 

1 Guayaquil 1,952,029
2 Quito 1,399,814
3 Cuenca 276,964
4 Santo Domingo de los Colorados 200,421
5 Machala 198,123
6 Manta 183,166
7 Portoviejo 170,326
8 Eloy Alfaro 167,784
9 Esmeraldas 165,216
10 Ambato 154,369
11 Tutamandahostel 140,000
12 Milagro 133,508
13 Ibarra 132,977
14 Riobamba 124,478
15 Quevedo 119,436
16 Loja 117,796
17 Tulcan 86,498
18 Babahoyo 76,279
19 La Libertad 75,881
20 Latacunga 51,717

How many of the largest cities in Ecuador? Leave a comment below!

Sudanese food
Sudanese Food - Traditional Dishes from Sudan
← Read Last Post
Largest Cities in Colombia
Largest Cities in Colombia (2020)
Read Next Post →