During the summer months when school holidays lead to new found discoveries in the vibrant landscapes of Ecuador, the country’s festivals kick into gear. Many revolve around the harvest and summer solstice, dating back to before the Inca when indigenous people lived and celebrated their fortunes under the moon and stars.
People gather in the cities and towns across the country for festive days of parades, ceremonies and nights of dancing, drinking, and eating in the streets until the last note is played.
The summer months also usher in concerts and events in the cities of Ecuador. Dance, music, theater, and creative arts explode in the theaters, galleries, and performance halls of the small Andean country. New twists on operas by Mozart, concerts by nationally renowned musicians, and Avante Garde productions make a stayover in Quito, Cuenca, the areas around Cotopaxi National Park, and Otavalo-a fun time exploring on urban and rural adventures. Keep reading for a few things taking place during the months of June and July.
The Corpus Christi Festival is an annual celebration that draws thousands to the street of central Ecuador’s cultural hub and the surrounding highland towns and villages. The celebration lasts all month-parades, music, and festival adorned participants make the celebration worth the trip each summer-putting you at the center of a time-honored tradition that hasn’t lost any steam with age.
This summer’s classical music showcase steps into the limelight with a new interpretation on Motzart’s classic opera-bringing traditional Andean dancing to the score and setting the stage alight with color, sound, and movement.
During June, the French Alliance of Ecuador hosts the Cuenca Music Festival as part of a pledge to foster the arts in the city and country. Local and international acts bring a fresh beat to the colonial streets of the city and set a new tone for the musicians of the country. The event is a musical gathering that draws musicians, foundations, and those passionate about the arts from around the globe.
The Inti Raymi holiday is a gathering of the tribes for the indigenous people of the country. One of the better-known festivals of the Sun takes place in the streets and surrounding areas of the highland city of Otavalo.
Normally known for its long-standing and wide-reaching outdoor market, the plazas and streets turn to celebration over the summer solstice, showing a festive depth to the culture that spans back to when the Inca ruled the land.
Celebrations include dance contests, music concerts, parades, and pilgrimages to the nearby Pechuge Waterfalls whose waters are meant to purify the spirit during the ancient tribute to the Sun.
For athletes and fans of endurance races worldwide, the Ironman competition based around the coastal city of Manta is a cool way to get out in the sun and cheer on your favorite competitor.
Athletes take to the cool waters of the annual Humboldt Current before putting the pedal to the metal on a 56-mile bike loop that hugs the coast and explores the different terrains of the mangroves and forests found inland. The last leg of the journey is a 13-mile foot race that skirts the coast and ends just off of the beach in town.
Manta has a variety of hotels catering to an international clientele. The city’s restaurants, clubs, and activities are worth the trip and during busy weekends bring out the country’s glitz and beach glamour.
For a modern celebration that means chagras-Ecuadorian cowboys ride out of the wilderness and down the streets of the Machachi and the surrounding open spaces for contests, dancing, and merriment that takes the form of the Fortier spirit of the mountains. It an immersion to the way of life of farmers and ranchers in the Andes, and a fun way to discover a culture often passed by when in transit.
Huairasinchi is an outdoor competition for adventure athletes that takes you high into the outback of Ecuador, up precipices, down waterfalls, and across high mountain tundra.
Other legs of the route traverse the terrain by bicycle and kayak, along peaceful routes and through fast-moving white water. The competition is internationally recognized and attended by teams from around the world. The actual course isn’t revealed until the day before the start of the competition-giving those with a few free days in the country a spontaneous option that explores the fascinating wilderness of Ecuador.
For more information about custom-made tours in Ecuador that take you to the far reaches of the country and into the festivals and adventures that are within arm’s reach, contact a member of our team by clicking here.