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Before leaving for Ecuador
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The flight of the harpy eagle: the crisis in the Ecuadorian Amazon
Tsantza Festival: Why Shuar Shrink Heads – Indigenous cultures of the Ecuadorian Amazon
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Earthquake in Ecuador – How to help – April 2016
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Travel and safety tips
Whale watching

Related EE.com pages
Ecuadorian cuisine
Ecuadorian culture and people
Holidays in Ecuador by VVA

Holidays in Ecuador

Ecuador is a country with a flourishing tradition of festivals, festivals and celebrations. Most months include at least one major festival or long weekend, which usually includes colourful ceremonies and sumptuous feasts.

Because Ecuador is more than 90% Roman Catholic, most of the country’s main festivals and celebrations follow the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. The most extravagant festivals of the year are often most popular in the indigenous villages of the highlands, where the days of feasts, drinking, dancing and ancient rituals give traditional Catholic festivals a typically Andean atmosphere. Most other holidays are celebrated to commemorate important political or historical events and achievements.

While holidays offer visitors an extraordinary insight into Ecuadorian culture and a unique opportunity to mingle with the local population, they can also cause frustration by virtually closing the country. Banks, businesses and government offices often close their doors and popular tourist destinations are invaded. Therefore, the experience of visitors during the holidays depends on the quality of their planning. Follow these guidelines to plan your vacation experience:

To help you plan your trip, consult the list below of Ecuador’s main festivals, celebrations and festivities.

The list is far from exhaustive, as many small communities and villages are not included in the national lists. (For a general description of other Ecuadorian festivals and celebrations, please visit our festivals page and our indigenous markets page. The following list includes the most important holidays as well as the corresponding dates and a brief description of the festivities that usually take place there.

The days marked with an asterisk are official holidays on which most government offices and companies close. However, these holidays are rarely celebrated on a fixed date. Often, if an officially recognized holiday falls on a weekend, it is observed on the previous Friday or the following Monday, a three-day weekend. Similarly, if an officially recognized holiday falls in the middle of the week, it may be reopened.