Note: This year Carnival has been moved to March. The holiday starts on Saturday 1 March and runs through Tuesday 4 March 2014.
Around the world, Carnival is a time for parties and celebrations and Ecuador is no exception. Throughout the holiday, Ecuadorians enjoy the company of their friends and family as they relax and let loose.
Many of the Andean cities have their local Carnival traditions and this is a great opportunity to visit and experience vibrant local cultures. The cities of Ambato and Guaranda (Bolivar Province) are well known for their special traditions: Ambato for its spectacular flower displays and Guaranda for the interesting experience of being pelted with flour, water and crazy foam!
Many head to the beaches, which are generally packed at this time year. Sun, sand and surf are found at the following popular beach locations—Atacames, Tonsupa, Same, Súa, Francisco del Cabo, Mompiche, Muisne, Montañita.
Here you can enjoy a wide range of activities including: diving, soccer, surfing, volleyball, basketball, paragliding, hang gliding or, of course, simply bask in the sun. At night the party continues with music and dancing at the many beach-front bars.
Carnival means planning and you will need to make sure you get all of your banking, paperwork and shopping done before the holiday starts as everything shuts for the duration. If you plan to go away during this week, remember to make your reservations for busses, airlines and hotels well in advance.