Ecuadorian Dancer

Day 216: Cuenca, Ecuador

After a long 14-hour bus ride from Otavalo I arrived in Cuenca on a Saturday night without any idea that it was the beginning of the city’s 190th anniversary of their independence from Spain.

This was not as great as it seemed when the first hostel I tried told me everything in the city was booked, but someone was looking down on me and a wonderful hostel owner saw me wandering the streets and gave me her last hostel dorm bed.

I’m not known to turn down a party so now that I no longer had to sleep in the streets I decided to stay a few days as the celebrations promised to be plentiful.

I was not disappointed as there were throngs of people everywhere, dance troupes and bands lining streets. This afternoon I stumbled upon this parade and was overwhelmed by the energy of this group.

 

Yes, I definitely think I’ll stay awhile.

41 Comments

  1. Sarah on the November 20, 2010 remarked #

    Such a fun video. It already made me want to go visit. Festival and fun vibe!~
    Sarah recently posted..Photos- A Glimpse of Hollywood- The Entertainment Capital

  2. turkey's for life on the November 20, 2010 remarked #

    Wow, that all looks very energetic! The colours in the top photograph are amazing. Lucky you for stumbling into a festival like that – and for getting a bed!
    turkey’s for life recently posted..A Bayram Stroll Along Fethiye Harbour

  3. inka on the November 20, 2010 remarked #

    How lucky for you to have stumbled upon these festivities. Great video, lots of energy and color. It just so happens that it’s Independence Day in Beirut on Monday.
    inka recently posted..The sweet smells of Saida Sidon-Lebanon

  4. No Vacation Required on the November 20, 2010 remarked #

    I was going to say “how fortunate for you to stumble upon this festival” but it seems more unlikely to NOT stumble upon a street festival. It’s one of the things we loved about South / Central America – there seems to be innumerable holidays and festivals.

    Once in Alicante, Spain, we started following a procession (not having any idea where it was going or for what reason) and ended up walking like three miles. We didn’t figure out what was at the end (a statue of a saint or the Mother Mary no doubt) but we had a blast!

    Did you say you almost slept on the streets in Cuenca?! Girl, you crazy!
    No Vacation Required recently posted..Passports with Purpose – Build a Village and Enjoy Paradise

  5. Jill - Jack and Jill Travel The World on the November 20, 2010 remarked #

    That’s really cool to have stumbled into something like that. Love the video. Nice way to start this cold Saturday morning..
    Jill – Jack and Jill Travel The World recently posted..How To Survive Long Airport Layovers

  6. Michael Hodson on the November 20, 2010 remarked #

    Viva Cuenca indeed!! :)
    Michael Hodson recently posted..Interview with Akila and Patrick of The Road Forks- Lucky 13 Questions

  7. Sophie on the November 20, 2010 remarked #

    Looks like a happy, colourful parade :) Nice video.

  8. Lily @ Explore for a Year on the November 20, 2010 remarked #

    Hi Ayngelina,

    Thanks for sharing this lively video – you just reminded me of my experience in Cuenca 3 years ago. I wasn’t there for independence day, but I do remember loving the area and the food (and it was a restful stop from the more active activities we did right before) :)

    Thanks for sharing!
    Lily @ Explore for a Year recently posted..The 4-Hour Workweek- Book Review &amp Give-Away ends Sat Nov 20

  9. Andi on the November 20, 2010 remarked #

    I LOVE when you’re traveling and you get surprised! Thank goodness you found a place to sleep.
    Andi recently posted..Cuba- Day 5 Part 1

  10. Jason on the November 20, 2010 remarked #

    Nice post and great festival. Cuenca is lovely, especially the architecture.
    Jason recently posted..Peruvian Cuy- Pets or Meat

  11. Jim on the November 20, 2010 remarked #

    YNice one Ayngelina, Cuenca Ecuador is high on our ‘Must do’ list. We spent a magical time in Cuenca Spain some years ago, so exploring it’s namesake in Ecuador draws us. Thanks for the vid and I’ll be reading everything you write on Cuenca.
    Jim recently posted..First steps and new boots

  12. Bethany on the November 20, 2010 remarked #

    Wow, that place looks really beautiful. I can’t wait to visit Ecuador some day.
    Bethany recently posted..Melbourne’s Top Sporting Events

  13. Nancie on the November 20, 2010 remarked #

    How lucky you were. I love their costumes.
    Nancie recently posted..Wanderfood Wednesday &8212 Welcome to my Korean Kitchen- Again -

  14. Claire (Travel Funny Travel Light) on the November 20, 2010 remarked #

    Are you going to Vilcabamba? If so, I have a DEFINITE hostel recommendation. Let me know! Definitely the best hostel I have ever, hands down, stayed in!
    Claire (Travel Funny Travel Light) recently posted..A Year Ago Today

  15. Kirsty on the November 21, 2010 remarked #

    Wow they’re really going for it! great thing to stumble across!

  16. Erica on the November 21, 2010 remarked #

    I love the dancing! Great capture. I couldn’t imagine keeping that pace up for long periods of time.
    Erica recently posted..For Love and Travel

  17. Cornelius Aesop on the November 21, 2010 remarked #

    Good thing you found that bed, wouldn’t want to spend the night in the streets especially after a festival.
    Cornelius Aesop recently posted..Cleveland Rocks- Belly Busters- Beers and Cheers

  18. Chris - The Aussie Nomad on the November 21, 2010 remarked #

    What a great festival to stumble upon on your first day there.

  19. Cathy Sweeney on the November 21, 2010 remarked #

    What fun! Great that you happened to be there at that time.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Three Months in a New York Minute

  20. Hogga aka @ _thetraveller_ on the November 21, 2010 remarked #

    That video is awesome lady! Be safe in Ecuador!
    Hogga aka @ _thetraveller_ recently posted..On the Road- Vietnam- Yum- Yum! Rat- Snake and Frog!

  21. Christy - Ordinary Traveler on the November 21, 2010 remarked #

    I love when things work out like that! Have fun!
    Christy – Ordinary Traveler recently posted..Holiday Gift Ideas When You Are Far From Home 5

  22. inka on the November 21, 2010 remarked #

    Thanks so much for your comment on the glamour granny. What a coincidnce. I’m so gald you are now looking forward to going to Peru.
    inka recently posted..THE dream trip to Peru!

  23. Devin the Travel Writer on the November 21, 2010 remarked #

    Sounds like you are having a blast. Good on ya!
    Devin the Travel Writer recently posted..The 5-Star- 2-Star Conundrum- part two

  24. Jeff on the November 22, 2010 remarked #

    Cuenca is a magical place any time of year, but especially during the festivals (Holy Week is the other major festival time here).

    You were definitely lucky (blessed, even) to have found a room. The city is filled from Friday until Monday or Tuesday (especially this year since it was also Day of the Dead on the Tuesday after).

    If you’re still in Ecuador and plan on returning to Cuenca, send us an email or reach us through the contact page on http://www.captivatingcuenca.com.
    Jeff recently posted..Why am I interested in Cuenca

  25. Zablon Mukuba on the November 22, 2010 remarked #

    that festival looked like a lot of fun

  26. Phil on the November 22, 2010 remarked #

    Nice! The video is great. WHere is the part where you start dancing with them? B well, Phil
    Phil recently posted..Inside my Head- Five Months Alone in West Africa

  27. Adam. on the November 22, 2010 remarked #

    Love the video. Just randomly coming across festivals while traveling is one of my favorites. And they really know how to do it in Latin America when it comes to singing and dancing and celebrating.
    Adam. recently posted..La Boca Picture Post

  28. Shannon OD on the November 22, 2010 remarked #

    What a fun slice of the traditional dancing that you happened upon – gorgeous colors and energy!

  29. Ryan on the November 22, 2010 remarked #

    Did you have to run from fireworks this time?

  30. Ayngelina on the November 22, 2010 remarked #

    @Ryan

    They did have those big fireworks structures but you couldn’t fool me a second time, I stayed farther back!

  31. Laurel @Expat in Germany on the November 22, 2010 remarked #

    Looks like fun! I can see why you wouldn’t want to leave!

  32. Steve on the November 22, 2010 remarked #

    Looks like it’s a good time. It’s so great when you go somewhere and find out that a festival is going on that you didn’t know about. Glad you found somewhere to stay.
    Steve recently posted..8 Countries You Can Travel to That Aren’t Really Countries

  33. Candice on the November 22, 2010 remarked #

    That looks like a ridiculous amount of fun.
    Candice recently posted..iPhone App Review- The Cartographer

  34. A Tramp Abroad on the November 23, 2010 remarked #

    Great video! It looks like so much fun and the colors are lovely.
    A Tramp Abroad recently posted..A Miracle Berry Adventure- Tokyo- Japan

  35. Amanda on the November 23, 2010 remarked #

    Awesome find! That video really made me smile.

    I had a friend who studied abroad in Cuenca. From what I could tell, he liked it!
    Amanda recently posted..Why the Travel Blogging Community is Awesome

  36. greg urbano on the November 23, 2010 remarked #

    what a colorfull and lively parade, loves the colors of s.a.
    greg urbano recently posted..Hiking Honeymoon Island State Park

  37. Caz Makepeace on the November 25, 2010 remarked #

    A great stumble upon. You are really inspiring me to get to South America
    Caz Makepeace recently posted..Daily Travel Photo- Lost in Istanbul- Turkey

  38. Devin the Travel Writer on the November 30, 2010 remarked #

    There is a part of me, albeit a small part, that misses the 14-hour bus rides. It has been a while.
    Devin the Travel Writer recently posted..Get Published Now- Be Interesting

  39. Ayngelina on the November 30, 2010 remarked #

    @Devin

    I’m sure that one day I will feel that too, but it won’t be any time soon :)

  40. Andrew Murray on the December 7, 2010 remarked #

    Wow what a wonderful coincidence to meeet that hostel owner on the street! Hope you enjoyed the celebrations they look fantastic!
    Andrew Murray recently posted..Attractions of Arkhangai Aimag- Mongolia

  41. Federico on the February 14, 2011 remarked #

    hmm…I never made it there, yet this is inspiring enough to go some other day
    Federico recently posted..San Sebastian del Oeste- Colonial Charm in Mexico

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