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Tripbase Travel Reviews

Ecuador Culture: Cotacachi Festivals, Fiestas, Parades, Political Rallies and Religious Ceremonies

Ecuador culture is a continuous celebration. There are Cotacachi festivals, fiestas and fun-loving celebrations all year long.

Festival in Cotacachi

Sometimes in Cotacachi there are back-to-back parades and fiestas spanning several weeks.

A lot of balloons

Everyone has a good time. There is plenty of good food, balloons and bright things to buy for the kids and music.

Christ in front of the church in Cotacachi

Easter celebrations last for hours. This year was fairly mild in its portrayal of Jesus' death.


The depiction of Jesus' crucifixion in another Easter parade was all too realistic.

Girl with a candle

Religious ceremonies are frequent, Christmas being the most popular day of the year. Statues of Christ are carried with pomp and solemnity throughout the streets as solemn music accompanies the mourners.

Four little sheppards

Children dressed as angels and shepherds act out the birth of Jesus in a remote indigenous village.


Mother Mary is just one of the many saints who are honored during parades. Santa Ana, the patron saint of Cotacachi, has a statue in the main town square in front of the cathedral.

A girl participating in a religious ceremony

The attitude of participants in the religious ceremonies in Cotacachi is one of respect and reverence tinged with sadness.

Inty Raymi Cotacachi also called San Juan

In July we had the Dance of San Juan (Inty Raymi), where the indigenous of many villages surrounding Cotacachi dress in chaps, kerchiefs and big black hats with symbols. They march and shuffle through Cotacachi, circling on corners, then reversing their circle.

Inty Raymi Cotacachi

They whistle, stomp, glare, drink and sometimes, fight. It's an odd, but powerful ceremony that covers several days and nights and ends with a day of dancing by the women. This is a gentler day that seems to settle down the emotional content of the fiesta and return the men to their senses. After they've recovered from days of being falling-down drunk, that is.

Banda Musical

A few days after the Dance of San Juan, Cotacachi celebrates its birthday and independence a few more days of revelry, parades and loud music. But the locals don't stop here. They also celebrate the liberation or independence days of other Ecuador cities, too.

Rafael Correa

Political rallies

There are political rallies, as when President Correa visited Cotacachi. Speeches were spoken, flags were flown, flowers were flung and promises were made.

Dressed up for Inty Raymi

There are children's dance performances.


There are military parades.

Strange costumes

Parades with strange characters.

Beauty queen

Beauty pageants.


Dance performances.

To live in Cotacachi is to celebrate life in many different ways. The Cotacachi festivals, fiestas and parades are colorful, dramatic, loud and musical. From our window overlooking Bolivar Calle, we have a front row, bird's eye view of everything Cotacachi celebration.

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