Local traditions and culture in Ecuador

  • Local Customs
    by MalenaN
  • Local Customs
    by MalenaN
  • Local Customs
    by MalenaN

Most Viewed Local Customs in Ecuador

  • swesn's Profile Photo

    PASILLO

    by swesn Written Dec 24, 2007

    'Pasillo' is a indigenous latin musical genre very popular in Ecuador, especially in the mountainous regions (including some parts of Colombia, Panama and Venezuela).

    This is very sad music from the mountains, my friends explained. Sad old men would drink their nights away listening to the tearful moans of pasillo.

    Was this review helpful?

  • swesn's Profile Photo

    BANDA DEL PUEBLO

    by swesn Written Dec 24, 2007

    'Banda del Pueblo' (Village’s Band) are groups of musicians playing trumpets and drums.

    To my untrained ears, they seemed to be playing horribly yucky tunes with no beats, no rhythms.

    But to my surprise, my friends told me these were traditional music, some of which even have lyrics, all singing praises of Quito, Ecuador and other Ecuadorian delights. They were being played during all festivals.

    Was this review helpful?

  • swesn's Profile Photo

    CASTILLOS

    by swesn Written Dec 24, 2007

    I came across this typically Ecuadorian celebration by chance! It was the evening of 23 September and they were celebrating the Virgen de La Merced on the plaza in front of La Merced.

    In the evening, these guys started preparing some form of structures with bamboo sticks. These tall structures are called 'castillos' (castles) which have a series of fireworks that get ignited from the bottom to the top by one light.

    At 8pm, the first of the fireworks soon got ignited. Gosh, I had never seen anything like this before! There were about 3 or 4 layers of fireworks. As the first one lights up, there may be a display of spinning or normal fireworks. As that gets burnt off, somehow, the next level of display will be lighted up automatically and another set of display will continue. So, we had words commerating the event being lighted up, a rabbit that dances as the fireworks lit up around it, then, structures that appeared to fall down, but were actually ‘flowers’ opening up upon being lighted… Wow, it was such a fascinating sight!!!

    We screamed and hid from the spits of fire as the fireworks advanced through the structure, and then, oohed and aahed over the beautiful spinning or twirling or dancing or whatever displays. At the very end, there would be fireworks being shot into the sky, seemingly endlessly! I could not believe how dangerous this was, because some of these fireworks that shot up into the sky, had burning sticks that fell back down to earth! Imagine, being struck by one such stick-on-fire!! I did not think there were any paramedics around.

    The second structure got lighted up in pretty much the same way, to more shouts and delights. I was thoroughly floored by how these structures with fireworks were created. They were made of bamboos!!! And yet they opened up into displays like a church with a scroll of the Virgin unfolded, display of a star, etc… Terribly impressive!

    Was this review helpful?

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    live animal trade alive & kicking

    by richiecdisc Written Nov 20, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Andes are still very much a barter society. The local markets are full of not only colorful images and intense smells but also a cacophony of noises and not all of them are coming from the livestock. People yell to announce what they are selling but what makes the most commotion are people arguing over prices or what they quite vocally consider an unfair trade. It can become quite heated but we never saw anything come to fisticuffs. Oh, and pigs squealing another competitor for most dissonance but then again their fates are probably worth all the uproar!

    a family probably not together much longer
    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Budget Travel
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • StephanB's Profile Photo

    Santa Semana, Easter in Quito

    by StephanB Written Jun 11, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    During the Week of easter there are many religious ceremonies around all of South America. In Cuenca they have an incredible procession through the streets that you have to see. There are countless men dressed in ornate costumes. Some are dressed as Jesus and are carrying huge crucifixes through the city. After that, each church parades their statue of Jesus, ornately decorated and carried by a group from the church (or organization). It was a amzing experience.

    The procession Crowd gathers at the cathedral Ouch! That is a serious crucifix The streets were packed
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Festivals

    Was this review helpful?

  • alza's Profile Photo

    Border town market

    by alza Written Mar 25, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I was walking along Main Street in the Ecuadorian border town to Peru. The place was totally messy and disorganised, extremely lively and colourful maybe for that very reason... I was amazed to see this pineapple stand without a stand! Is that a way to sell pineapples?! I wasn't sure whether they were on sale or remains of the day. Cuz I got there late, the stalls were closing one after the other. It was 1 p.m. after all!

    Mamacita, pick up your pineapples will you?

    Was this review helpful?

  • SexyRedLips's Profile Photo

    New Year's Eve?? Just set your dummies on fire!!!

    by SexyRedLips Updated Jan 15, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On new Years, one of the popular traditions in Ecuador is the traditional "Quema del Ano Viejo" which means Burning of the Old Year. Many people start to design and create these dummies (Anos Viejos) late november, which are made from paper or wood and filled with a lot of fireworks and explosives. The imagination go beyond the limits at the time to create these dummies; You can find everything from goverment people to the most popular cartoons and sport personalities. This is considered an art and as you see in the pictures, people make a living of this. At midnight neighbors, family and friends get together to say farewell to the old year by burning them on the streets.

    Related to:
    • School Holidays
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • tejanasueca's Profile Photo

    Juramento de la Bandera

    by tejanasueca Updated Dec 18, 2005

    Every 7th grader have to swear their loyalty to the Ecuadorian Flag. This is an imporant event in every Ecuadorian's life! As the seventh graders swear the loyalty to the flag, the highest ranked students in each class is are also honored. The student who is ranked number one, gets the honor of being the "bandera," i.e. the person that holds the flag. The ceremony involves marching, the singing of the national, provincial, and municipial anthems, as well as the official pledge and kissing of the flag. As I said, this is an important event!

    Related to:
    • Work Abroad
    • Study Abroad
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • tejanasueca's Profile Photo

    April Fool's Day = December 28th

    by tejanasueca Written Dec 18, 2005

    Yep! Could be good to know...in Ecuador, and the rest of South America as well I think, what we in Europe and the USA call April Fool's Day lands on December 28th. Of course, it's not actually APRIL Fool's day when it's in December, but it's the same concept...

    Related to:
    • Business Travel
    • Study Abroad
    • Work Abroad

    Was this review helpful?

  • Sex and advertisement

    by CaptainAmerica Updated May 6, 2004

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Advertisements is very often connected to sex in Ecuador. Pay particular attention to the advertisements for the local bear, they are quite funny!
    Thanks to the reminder of Globerover, you can now see an illustration.

    A donde esta la diversion ?

    Was this review helpful?

  • Watching the gringos

    by CaptainAmerica Written May 4, 2004

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you take the train in Riobamba, seating on the roof of the train, you will contribute to a funny local custom: the gringo's watch by inhabitants of the Andes. It shall be admitted that this is a strange spectacle!

    Strange gringos

    Was this review helpful?

  • Maillekeul's Profile Photo

    Banos : Fried guinea pigs - Cochons d'inde grilles

    by Maillekeul Written Mar 22, 2004

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I have already told you about this ecuatorian and peruvian custom : eating the cuys, sort of guinea pigs could be considered as gross... if it was not that awful to eat !

    Je vous ai deja parle de cette coutume equatorienne et peruvienne : manger des cuys, sorte de cochon d'inde, pourrait etre considere comme purement degueulasse.. si c'etait pas si mauvais a manger !

    Related to:
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Maillekeul's Profile Photo

    Sex in Ecuador - Le sexe et l'Equateur

    by Maillekeul Written Feb 28, 2004

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    People can't even forget to think about it : in the newspapers, in the adds on TV or in the shops... It's everywhere : here, the leaflet says "do you doubt that they're good ?" talking about painting rolls !!!!

    Les gens ne peuvent pas oublier d'y penser : que ce soit dans les journaux, dans les pubs a la tele ou dans les boutiques... Il est partout : ici, la pancarte dit "vous doutez qu'elles soient bonnes ?" et ils parlent de pinceaux !!!!

    Related to:
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • yu4ick's Profile Photo

    Phoning Home

    by yu4ick Written Oct 9, 2003

    Communication on the Galapagos is very difficult. You can't use you cell phones and the boats have no phones--only ship to shore for emergencies. So when you go to one of the two inhabited islands you will need a phone card and then you need to find a working pay phone. Leave yourself some time to do this, as everyone else is trying to the same thing and there are not that many phones.
    Also, keep your conversation short and to the point as a courtesy to others waiting to call home also.

    Me & a Giant Turtle
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • lenoreva's Profile Photo

    A birthday cake in your face

    by lenoreva Written Apr 22, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ecuadorians have a fun little custom - on your birthday they like you to "morder el pastel" (bite the cake). This basically means they gang up on you and shove a cake into your face. Don't worry, you'll still be able to eat your cake too - they usually make two cakes, one for eating and the other for shoving!

    my 19th birthday

    Was this review helpful?

Ecuador Hotels

See all 332 Hotels in Ecuador
  • JW Marriott Hotel Quito

    Traveled thur Quito on a Eco Tourism trip. The Marriott was unforgetable. Beautiful hotel in every...

    more
  • Santa Lucia

    This place has character! All the rooms are centered around an enclosed courtyard that also serves...

    more
  • Samari Spa Resort

    Av. de las Amazonas, Banos, 2000, Ecuador

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

Top Ecuador Hotels

Quito Hotels
1105 Reviews - 3079 Photos
Guayaquil Hotels
145 Reviews - 474 Photos
Cuenca Hotels
272 Reviews - 825 Photos
Baños Hotels
194 Reviews - 776 Photos
Otavalo Hotels
140 Reviews - 407 Photos
Isla Baltra Hotels
4 Reviews - 55 Photos
Puerto Ayora Hotels
46 Reviews - 340 Photos
Puerto López Hotels
34 Reviews - 137 Photos
Mindo Hotels
47 Reviews - 295 Photos
Milagro Hotels
See nearby hotels
Cumbayá Hotels
See nearby hotels
Atacames Hotels
13 Reviews - 58 Photos
Riobamba Hotels
40 Reviews - 204 Photos
Puerto Villamil Hotels
18 Reviews - 127 Photos
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno Hotels
21 Reviews - 173 Photos

Instant Answers: Ecuador

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

80 travelers online now

Comments

Ecuador Local Customs

Reviews and photos of Ecuador local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Ecuador sightseeing.
Map of Ecuador