Guaranda Ecuador

guaranda ecuador

Guaranda Ecuador is a beautiful city located in a deep valley in the Andes Mountains of the Bolivar province.

The February Carnival celebrations are the most traditional and last for up to a week.


The carnival in Guaranda is considered by many to be one of the best celebrations in Ecuador.

Guaranda has a population of around 25,000 inhabitants and is the capital of the Bolivar Province.

Its name was taken from the old Indian chief Guaranga who still towers over the town in statue form.

During the 19th century the city was a central crossover route between Guayaquil and Quito but since the advent of the railroad and better roads, the city today has returned it to its tranquil slumbers of the past century.

The city is surrounded by seven hills and the local residents have given Guaranda Ecuador the nickname The Rome of the Andes.

Guaranda Ecuador Attractions

El Indio Guaranga: is an impressive 5 meter high sculptured statue located in the north west of the city.

From here you can enjoy a magnificent view of the area along with the snow crested peaks of Chimborazo Volcano.

Simon Bolivar Park: the park is surrounded by colonial houses and municipal buildings with panoramic views from the towers and a nice courtyard.

Main Cathedral: the cathedral is constructed in stone and inside has an impressive marble altar complete with stained glass windows and wooden ceiling.

Cruz Loma Hill: this beautiful site offers an incredible panoramic view of the entire town. The town is also home to a small museum containing the independence arms, historical documents, archaeological remains, and ancient artwork.

Cochas Lake: is an artificial lake located 10km from Guaranda Ecuador. It's a very popular destination where you can go for a boat ride and admire the beautiful gardens.

Salinas de Guaranda: is a small town located about 1h 30 min from Guaranda.

The town is famous for its brand of cheeses called Salinerito (sold nation-wide) as well as wool spinning and dye mills. The area of Salinas is surrounded by salt formations left over from salt mining.

The town is also home to a major sweets industry and has beautiful walks and fishing areas along with horse riding facilities.

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Guaranda Carnival

The carnival in Guaranda has a dazzling combination of parades, dancers, strolling poets and masked people who roam the streets at random.

The grand celebratory opening of the Guaranda Ecuador carnival features the dramatic entrance of Taita Carnaval (Father Carnival) into town.

Taita Carnaval is one of the local wealthy landowners and the generous sponsor of the party, earning him the gratitude and respect of party-goers.

Taita Canaval, accompanied by Mama Carnaval (Mother carnival), presides over the parades and celebrations of the carnival.

A group of local musicians also meanders in and out of various houses through the day often receiving alcoholic beverages or the locals drink called Pajaro Azul (Blue Bird).

Guaranda Food

The traditional foods in Guaranda Ecuador include fritada (fried pork), bolos (mashed plantains) and empanadas (cheese and meat filled pastries).

One of the original traditions of Guaranda Carnival is to throw water and flour balloons to the people participating in the celebrations (visitors and locals).

The people in Guaranda seem to have endless energy as they dance and sing all day and all night long.

Recommended Reading

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides). Click to order from Amazon

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides)

With 250 photos and tons of great information, this is an essential addition to your pre-Ecuador and -Galapagos reading!

There are better guides if you are only interested in the islands, but for a combination trip taking in Ecuador as well, it's hard to beat.


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Small enough to fit into your pocket, yet containing comprehensive information and pictures of all the species you will encounter in the islands, this book is a must-have for nature lovers.

Let's face it, Galapagos is largely about the wildlife. This book will NOT disappoint, and you'll have a great memento of your time with the seals, penguins and tortoises!


Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World. Click to order from Amazon

Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World

Definitely NOT a tourist's guide, but if you're like me, and find the history and geography of the islands irresistible, then this is a title you ought to invest in.

Stunningly illustrated, and painstakingly researched, those of you who have been there will be enchanted again -- and those of you who have not will begin planning your trip!


Moon Spotlight Galapagos. Click to order from Amazon

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Small, well-priced, and reliable!


Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire. Click to order from Amazon

Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire

The 10th anniversary edition of this photographer's tour of the Galapagos Islands is a stunning book, worthy of anybody's coffee table.

This is a perfect post-trip talking point -- a great way to remember what you've seen, and spread the word amongst your envious friends!


More About Ecuador

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Traveling in Ecuador

Facts About Ecuador

Music of Ecuador

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If you have questions about Guaranda Ecuador, or if you'd like to request more information about our exciting Amazon Jungle Tours or from our recommended Galapagos Tours to visit these Amazing Islands, You can Contact us here

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