Traditions and Scenery
Located in the heart of the country, quaint Guaranda is the smallest
provincial capital in the highlands. Its pleasant climate (22 to 25
degrees centigrade in the tropical regions) make it very popular with
visitors, who are also attracted the areas cool paramo. The
Carnival festivities of the area have gained fame throughout Ecuador.
Surrounded by the peaks of San Jacinto, Loma de Guaranda, San Bartolo, Cruzloma,
Tililac, Talalac, and el Mirador, Guaranda is known as the City of the Seven
Hills. At 2650m, this highland city is the smallest provincial capital in
Ecuador. The Carnival festivities are very traditional and last for several
days. Visitors are offered chicha (a local, maize-based alcoholic
drink) and the popular firewater known as Pájaro Azul (Blue bird)
which help them get into the spirit of the festivities.
Towns and Villages
San José de Chimbo (20 km from Guaranda) is famous for its skilled craftsmen
who handcraft guitars as well as fireworks. Chimbo has a museum dedicated
to the story of Christ's shroud and the locals worship the El Guayco Virgin.
Near Chillanes (67 km from Guaranda) you can visit the archaeological remains
of the Chillanes tribe and in San Miguel, the Guardias Caves (10 minutes
from town) and the Virgin of Lourdes Grotto (20 minutes from town) are a
must-see for tourists.
Cruz Loma Hill
Cruz Loma offers a panoramic view of the entire city of Guaranda. The town
is also home to a monument to the Indio Guaranga as well as a small
museum containing the independence arms, historical documents, archaeological
remains, and centuries-old artwork.
Lake Cochas is an artificial lake located 10 km from Guaranda. It is a popular
destinaiton where visitors can go for a boat ride, admire the beautiful
gardens and surrounding lanscape, and try some local delicacies.
A few kilometers from Chimbo stands the pyramid-shaped Cerro Zumbi. Its
considered to have been an ancient place of worship to the Gods Cuiche and
These hot springs are a few minutes from Chimbo and their medicinal properties
attract visitors from all over.
Culture & Traditions - A Fair to Enjoy
Dating back centuries, the Guaranda Fair is a well known local celebration
during which locals parade through 15 de Mayo Plaza on mules and on horseback,
dressed up in gold ponchos, black hats, and masks.
Fritada (fried pork), mashed plaintains (known as bollos),
sweet hornado (roasted pork), and empanadas (pastries
filled with meat and cheese) are traditional fare in Guaranda.
Map of Bolívar, Ecuador
Intro | Guaranda | Towns
& Villages |
| Cruz Loma | Cochas Lake |
Zumbi Hill | Catequilla Hill
| Culture | Cuisine | Map
of Bolívar, Ecuador |