Oh, you’ll definitely get your feet wet this holiday! Those who have lived in Ecuador know that during Carnival if you didn’t get soaked you probably didn’t leave your house… And if you didn’t throw eggs and/or flour; if you didn’t dance, if you didn’t sing with the town bands, if you didn’t root for the beauty pageant contestants, if you didn’t throw carioca at a poor soul passing by, you just didn’t have fun at Carnival. Somewhere in Guaranda, there is a Taita Carnaval who offers you a drink on the street, and in Cacha they bury a rooster up to its head (it’s one of their most anticipated games!); in Totoras, twelve bells ring on the dancers’ backs, and in Ambato, the most beautiful “reinitas” (little queens) parade and throw papayas, pineapples, even watermelons, at their beloved Festival of Flowers and Fruits followers…
So, if you want to experience a traditional carnival, we suggest these four fiestas, that are, according to us, among the most special of the country.
But Carnival is celebrated in every corner of the country. Here are our other recommendations…
A fiesta dedicated to Spring in Peguche, better known as the Pawkar Raymi brings together the Andean towns near Otavalo to honor water, flowers, and Mother Nature. Andean music (on Saturday), electronic music (on Sunday), choreographies and poetry reading are just some of the activities scheduled. This year, it all coincides with Carnival and will extend until March 5.
Esmeraldas would not be Esmeraldas without its beloved marimba. The Afro Music and Dance Festival that takes place on Las Palmas beach, in the city of Esmeraldas, is a celebration of this unique instrument, its music, and of course the dance that accompanies it… You will also hear cununos, drums, guasás and maracas in this colorful party that overflows with joy, tradition and the taste of our Afro-Ecuadorian culture!
In the most tropical side of one of the country’s most diverse provinces, discover the little known Carnival of Moraspungo: a land of waterfalls and a unique fruit liquor, characteristic of the area. Folklore song, traditional cuisine, dancing, floats, the election of the Carnival Queen… the fiesta is complete… Moraspungo even crowns its Miss Tanga (bikini) and Miss Wet T-shirt!