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Travel guide: Ecuador

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Zapote Festival

Fiestas de Quito, Ecuador
Noviembre/Diciembre

Las Fiestas de Quito son una de las celebraciones tradicionales más importantes de Ecuador. Comienzan a finales de noviembre con la coronación de la “Reina de Quito” y duran hasta el 6 de diciembre, fecha que conmemora la fundación de la ciudad en 1534 por los españoles.

El origen de esta fiesta multicultural se remonta a 1959, año en que un grupo de amigos decidieron revivir las tradiciones perdidas de Quito. Desde entonces, los quiteños toman las calles cada año para bailar por los barrios de la ciudad y por la histórica plaza central.

Parte de las tradiciones son también los campeonatos de “Cuarentena”, los icónicos “Chivas,” y las “Tarimas”. “Cuarentena” es un juego de cartas típico del altiplano de Ecuador muy popular durante las fiestas. En él los jugadores intentan hacerse con las cartas de sus oponentes igualando su valor. “Chivas” son antiguos autobuses de madera, convertidos en pistas de baile móviles, y las “Tarimas” son plataformas instaladas por las calles de la ciudad, donde bailarines, músicos y otros artistas representan sus actuaciones.

Con el popular “canelazo”, una bebida típica hecha a base de aguardiente y canela, los quiteños bailan al son de las bandas del pueblo toda la noche.

Plaza Quinde (Plaza Foch para los locales), un gran espacio con restaurantes, bares, y tiendas, es escenario de numerosos eventos y es uno de los destinos más comunes de la ciudad durante esta semana.

Quito ofrece además vistas impresionantes desde casi todos los rincones. Su centro histórico, patrimonio de la humanidad por la UNESCO, es uno de los mejores conservados de América Latina, lleno de iglesias, capillas, conventos, monasterios y pintorescas plazas. La visita a la línea ecuatorial es otra cita obligada. Este punto equidistante entre los dos polos de la tierra se encuentra a tan sólo treinta minutos en coche al norte de la capital ecuatoriana. ¿Te lo vas a perder?

Featured festival

Quito Celebrations, Ecuador
November/December

Quito Celebrations are one of the most important and traditional celebrations in Ecuador. They begin at the end of November with the crown of “Reina de Quito” (Queen of Quito) and last until December 6, the anniversary of the foundation of the city by the Spaniards in 1534.

The origin of this multicultural celebration goes back to 1959 when a small group of friends decided to revive some of Quito’s lost traditions. Since then, Quiteños take the streets every year to party in their neighborhoods and the city’s historic central plaza.

Part of the traditions are also the “Cuarentena” championships, the iconic “Chivas” and the “Tarimas”. “Cuarentena” is a card game typical of Ecuador’s highlands very popular during the Quito celebrations, where players try to capture their opponent’s cards by matching their value. “Chivas” are old buses, converted into mobile dance floors that drive around the city, and “Tarimas” are platforms installed on the street where dancers, musicians and other artists perform.

Drinking the popular “canelazo,” a traditional Ecuadorian drink made with sugar cane alcohol and cinnamon, Quiteños dance all night to the music of the town bands.

Plaza Quinde (Plaza Foch for the locals), a big open space with restaurants, bars, and shops, is the scene of many special events and one of the most common destinations in the city during this week.

Quito also offers breathtaking views around nearly every corner. Its historic center, UNESCO World Heritage site, is the best preserved in Latin America, full of churches, chapels, convents, monasteries and picturesque plazas. The visit of the equator, the center of the earth, is another must. This equidistant point between the two poles of the earth is only a thirty-minute ride north from the Ecuadorian capital. Are you going to miss it?


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